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Updated: Supreme Court To Hear PIL Against NSA Surveillance Of Indian Data – Report

Update: Supreme Court has said that it cannot pass any order against the US government for surveillance of Indian data because it has no jurisdiction over the US government. Instead, the court has agreed to hear the PIL filed by Prof. S.N.Singh against the internet companies that allowed the foreign agency to access Indian data, says an Economic Times report.

The report further states that Prof. Singh has been asked by the Supreme Court to convince them in the hearing on June 28, 2013 that the Fundamental Rights of the people have been violated for initiation of action against these companies.

Earlier: The Supreme Court of India has agreed to have an urgent hearing of a Public Interest Litigation filed by Prof. S.N. Singh seeking to initiate action against Internet companies that allowed US National Security Agency to access Internet from India under its PRISM program, reports The Hindu. A bench of justices A.K. Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi posted this case  for hearing in the following week.

The PIL also mentions that the large scale U.S Surveillance is a threat to national security especially because government communication has been under U.S surveillance since the Internet services of these private companies are used by the government. He also claimed that the sharing information by the Internet companies with NSA was in breach of contract and violation of right to privacy.

The PIL has also sought directions for these foreign Internet companies to establish their servers in India. It is worth noting that in May 2013, India had decided to ask Internet Telephony companies, including Skype, to set up servers in the country, and also ask ISPs and telcos to segregate IP addresses on a state-wise basis. Several Indian ISPs have also asked the Indian Government to insist foreign Internet companies like Facebook and Google to setup local servers in India.

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6.3billion data points from India: Earlier this month, it was revealed that USA had collected 6.3 Billion data from India in March 2013 through its National Security Agency (NSA)’s PRISM program by tapping into the servers of companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, for information including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats. This development comes at a time when Facebook and Google are already fighting a case, pertaining to safety measures in place for minors on their respective sites.

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