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‘State surveillance a threat to democracy’, says The Wire's Siddharth Varadharajan at Human Rights Forum

Describing the current situation as an undeclared state of emergency, Varadarajan cautioned that this new form of surveillance is more insidious and dangerous.

Published: 11th October 2021 08:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th October 2021 08:18 AM   |  A+A-

Three surveillance cameras on the corner of a building (Pic: Wikimedia Commons).

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Surveillance by the Indian State is not simply a violation of the right to privacy of a few individuals, but also a threat to democracy and the electoral process itself, said Siddharth Varadharajan, founding-editor of The Wire.

Delivering the Balagopal memorial lecture on the topic ‘Surveillance State’, organised virtually by the Human Rights Forum (HRF) on Sunday, October 10, 2021, he said surveillance in the last seven years is such that it had not been seen in the last 70-75 years. Describing the current situation as an undeclared state of emergency, Varadarajan cautioned that this new form of surveillance is more insidious and dangerous.

Varadharajan, who sought to analyse how the spyware Pegasus was allegedly used to target certain individuals and indirectly impact the democratic process, opined that such surveillance should not be seen as pertaining to only a few individuals, but as an assault on the rights of the people and the larger problem confronting everyone.

K Balgopal in whose memory the lecture was organised was a renowned human rights activist, who founded the Human Rights Forum. A lawyer by profession, he championed the cause of human rights all his life and wrote several articles and books on various issues including the law.



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