SC to hear plea on US snoop on Indian netizens next week

Published: 20th June 2013 07:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2013 07:53 AM   |  A+A-

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a PIL on the alleged snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on Internet data from India .

The PIL filed by former Dean of Law Faculty of Delhi University Professor S N Singh was mentioned for urgent hearing before a Bench comprising Justice A K Patnaik and Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The Bench posted the matter for a hearing next week.

Prof Singh sought action against internet companies for allowing the agency to access the information. In his petition, Prof Singh averred that the largescale spying by the US is detrimental to national security and sought the apex court’s intervention on the matter.

“These internet companies are sharing the information with the foreign authority in a clear breach of contract and violation of right to privacy,” Prof Singh stated.

“As per reports, nine US-based internet companies, operating in India through agreements signed with Indian users, shared 6.3 billion information/data with NSA without the consent of Indian users. Such large scale spying by the US authorities, besides being against the privacy norms is also detrimental to national security. It is a breach of national security as government’s official communications have come under US surveillance, as services of private internet firms are being used by them,” said the petitioner.

With those arguments, he sought directions to the Centre to “take urgent steps” to safeguard the government’s sensitive internet communications which are being saved in the US servers and are unlawfully intruded upon by US intelligence agencies through US-based internet companies under a secret surveillance program called Prism.

 The petitioner also sought directions to the government restraining it and its officials from using the US-based internet companies for official communications and that all such companies, which are doing business in India, must establish their servers here so that they can be regulated as per Indian laws.

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