I&B Ministry floats tender for snooping software: Congress

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New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) The Congress on Friday accused the government of acting like a “Super Big Brother” to intrude people’s privacy and claimed that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had floated tender for snooping tool/software to monitor the social media.

Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “It is the habitual, perennial, repetitive, and ingrained tendency of this government to act as a ‘Super Big Brother’ and to watch you and intrude every aspect of your life, body, and every aspect of your privacy.

“We find a very curious Rs 42-crore tender under which bids are invited from private agencies. This is the worst example of using the taxpayers’ money to snoop on them. The tender is for so-called social media communication hub creation.”

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Singhvi said that the tender officially talks of getting a software to try and create a platform which will be deployed in the private data centre to not only listen to the standard digital channels which are listed but to consolidate them and converge them.

The listed digital channels are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Google Playstore, Pinterest, emails, news, blogs, forums, complaint websites.

“In the entire 66-page tender, there is not a single safeguard. There is a line on Page 40 that meta data should also be supplied. That is seeking additional meta data. But it doesn’t tell you how meta data can’t be unencrypted.

“There is not a single safeguard against such strong and tall rules and laws which we have in favour of privacy,” he added.

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The Congress leader said that in four years “we have seen how exponentially the Modi government has been violating privacy”.

The government is using people’s money collected as taxes to snoop on them by floating this tender for listening tools, he claimed.

Singhvi said that several instances like Namo App and Aadhaar data leak had made it quite evident that the Centre is violating the privacy of citizens.



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