SC to hear PIL on US surveillance of net data
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a PIL which has sought action against internet companies which have allowed sharing of internet data from India with US National Security Agency, causing serious threat to the security of the country.
A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi has agreed to hear the PIL, which has been filed by former dean of the law faculty of Delhi University, Professor SN Singh. The petition said spying by the US authorities is detrimental to national security and urged the court to intervene in the matter.
The PIL has sought directions from the court to the central government to take urgent steps to safeguard the government’s sensitive internet communications which are being kept outside India in US servers and are unlawfully intruded upon by US Intelligence Agencies through US-based Internet
companies under secret surveillance programme called PRISM.
The petition has demanded that the government and its officials be restrained from using US-based internet companies for official communication and all such companies, which are doing business in India, must establish their servers in India so that they can be regulated as per Indian Laws. The petition also referred that after the Mumbai terror attack, the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement from a hotmail address of Microsoft Corp.
In his petition, Prof Singh has claimed that the Internet companies are sharing information with the foreign authority in breach of contract and violation of right to privacy. The petition also says that it is a breach of national security as the government’s official communications have come under US surveillance as services of private internet firms are being used by them.