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Exclusive: Himachal Pradesh government wants to monitor social media in attempt at “proactive governance”

The system as proposed by the government will involve tracking social media conversations in real-time, profiling influencers, and carrying out sentiment analysis on collected data.  In a development worth keeping an eye on, the Himachal Pradesh State Electronics Development Corporation (HPSEDC) has issued a 'Request for Proposal' inviting responses to create a grievance redressal mechanism that would identify complaints posted on social media platforms, blogs, etc., and automatically raise tickets on the complaints for government departments to take action.  The RFP, viewed by MediaNama, stated that the motives behind developing such a system include reinforcement of an "image of a proactive government" along with public satisfaction, identification of genuine issues of citizens, and so on. Previously, the Supreme Court had criticised a central government tender to create a social media monitoring hub. While not for surveillance purposes, the design of HPSEDC's project is quite similar to the design of surveillance projects and thus, worth knowing about. Scope of the project According to the RFP, the system could be implemented in a span of two years. Its functionalities can be broadly categorised under the following: Tracking content and data storage The system will track and store the following data on its server: Real-time monitoring and storing of conversations: The RFP asks that the system be able to track in real-time "all open source talk related to State Government" on different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, blogs, news, discussion forums, etc., using keywords and channels. Further, the…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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