After extending the deadline to Blackberry™ to open up its servers to security agencies to monitor data flowing through it (or else), the Indian government is now threatening Google™ and Skype™. Orwellian home ministry officials have demanded “access to everything” from “any company with a telecoms network”.
Such insecurity passes in the name of security. Having access to “encrypted data”, the mandarins believe, will thwart terrorism through the telephone and internet, as if the terror-mongers cannot find newer ways. That fear is being happily used to write off privacy and personal liberty, as if they no longer matter in a democracy.
Although the moves will affect millions, there has been little opposition or aggression from the people’s representatives, media or industry bodies, even as Blackberry’s competitors like Nokia™ have used the Chidambaram-sent opportunity to tout their new security-compliant systems.
Questions: Should Blackberry, Google and Skype open up? Are you willing to open up every facet of life in the name of security? Will these measures stop terrorism? Just because other countries have allowed similar monitoring, should we too? Or is this just another figleaf that the Union home ministry is using to pry into out lives?