Friday, June 24, 2011

Central Monitoring System Project Of India

Central Monitoring System Project of India (CMS Project of India) is a very crucial project to safeguard Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related security and e-surveillance issues in India. It is mooted by the Central Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT).

The aim of CMS Project of India is to have a “Centralised Mechanism” where Telecommunications and Internet Communications can be analysed by the MCIT, Indian Government and its Agencies. Some have called this mechanism as the Internet Kill Switch of India where Internet Communications all over India can be suspended through this mechanism.

Recently, the United Nations declared “Right to Access” to Internet as Human Right. This would have a positive impact upon many Human Rights in Cyberspace. For instance, Right to Speech and Expression, Right to Privacy, Right to Know, etc cannot be violated by the CMS Project of India. United Nations must expand Human Rights Protection to many more issues.

This is the real problem for the CMS Project of India. We have no dedicated Privacy Laws in India, Data Security Laws in India and Data Protection Laws in India. Further, the CMS Project of India is also beyond the “Parliamentary Scrutiny”. The Cyber Law of India, incorporated in the Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000), was drastically amended through the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (IT Act 2008).

The IT Act 2008 incorporated various “Unconstitutional Provisions” in the Cyber Law of India that clearly violates the Human Rights in Cyberspace. For instance, provisions regarding Internet Censorship, Website Blocking, Encryption and Decryption, etc have no inbuilt “Procedural Safeguards” as mandated by the Constitution of India. This is the reason why the Cyber Law of India needs to be repealed.

Further, we have no E-Surveillance Policy in India. Even Phone Tapping in India is done in an “Unconstitutional Manner” and even by private individuals with or without Governmental approval.

If CMS Project of India has to be “Legal and Constitutional” it must be subject to “Parliamentary Oversight”. Further, the IT Act 2000 must be repealed as soon as possible as it is clearly not in conformity with the Constitution of India and Civil Liberties Protection in Cyberspace.

Of course, if India Government persists in this “Unconstitutional Approach”, taking recourse of “Self Defence Measures” is not a bad option. Rather that remains the “Sole Option” when our Parliament, Executive and Judiciary fail to protect Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India and the Human Rights Charter of United Nations.

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