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National security forces EC to not move forward with Google tie-up

US-based Google had earlier this week made a formal presentation to the Election Commission proposing a tie-up with it for voter facilitation services ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

The commission, in its meeting here on Thursday which was attended by Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and election commissioners HS Brahma and SNA Zaidi, deliberated on the issue and decided not to go ahead.

'After due consideration, the commission has decided not to pursue it any further,' said an EC official.

The EC said Google had proposed to provide electoral look up services for citizens to help in commission's efforts for better electoral information services.

The commission had earlier signed a non-disclosure agreement with Google but had not shared or handed over any data to the internet giant so far and was deliberating on the tie-up with it for using its search engines for voter facilitation.

Congress and BJP besides some cyberspace experts had voiced concerns over the proposed tie-up, saying stakeholders should have been consulted before a decision.

The Congress legal cell has written to the Chief Election Commissioner raising security concerns over the proposed tie- up and hoped it will not have any effect on the electoral process and national security.

BJP also expressed concerns and said the issue could have been discussed first at an all-party meeting by EC.

Questioning the EC's move, a group of cyber security experts had written to the panel amid concerns over sharing of vital data pertaining to Indians to a foreign company.

The concerns also come at a time when eyebrows have been raised over leaking of vital data of Indians to United States intelligence agencies as exposed by Edward Snowden.
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