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The government wants to surveil social media users, and track their ‘sentiments’

Surveillance

The Indian government is taking yet another aim at surveilling social media, just two years after it had to withdraw a controversial proposal to build a social media monitoring hub, after the Supreme Court likened it to a move towards a "surveillance state". This time, the government is planning to develop a surveillance tool which will monitor individual social media users, and track overall trends on various social media platforms, among other things. Alarmingly, it will also “crawl” through paid and private social media data, monitor social media trends and “sentiments”, and track trends relevant to "government related activities", which “may have adverse negative impact on socio-economic fabric of the society”. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, through Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), last month floated an expression of interest to empanel an entity to create this surveillance tool.  It’s not clear…

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