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SC refuses to grant urgent hearing on Centre’s social media snooping project

The Supreme Court has refused to grant an urgent hearing to West Bengal legislator Mahua Moitra had filed a petition challenging the Centre’s move to set up a social media communication hub to analyse and monitor social media content. The Tribune reported that Moitra wanted the apex court to stay the entire project, on grounds that it would violate an individual’s right to privacy. But the court's vacation bench headed by Justice S Abdul Nazeer refused to grant an urgent hearing to the TMC lawmaker’s petition and asked her counsel Nizam Pasha to either move a high court for an urgent hearing or wait till the end of the SC's summer vacation. Last month, the I&B ministry had posted a tender saying that it was going to set up a social media communications hub. The tender went on to say that the bidder must be able to monitor Twitter, Instagram, some blogs, and YouTube. It also said that the tool that is created for this purpose must keep track of key influencers and be able to archive and retrieve older conversations. And to top it all off, it will have to create a ‘360-degree’ view of everyone it tracks and create ‘personalized responses’. The tender Here are a few features of what the MIB wants from bidders, as described in the 66-page tender: — The hub needs to create a “analyze as well as visualize large volumes of data across diverse digital platforms in real time”. — It needs to “listen” and respond…

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