Express news service : kolkata, Wed Jul 03 2013, 10:43 hrs
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday flagged the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS)— an all-encompassing surveillance mechanism in the Centre’s agenda — saying the privacy of people is at stake.
On the social-networking site, Facebook, she posted: “Will it be targeted to silence the opposition in general, and politicians and others in particular? Who will authorise or decide on selection of targets? Will not this intrusion make our Constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) a mockery?”
Quoting reports that the CMS developed by C-DoT will enable the government and its agencies unfettered access in real time to snoop, she wrote “any mobile and fixed line phone conversation, SMS, fax, website visit, social media usage, Internet search and emails, including partially written emails in draft folders of target accounts” will be targeted. Related: Call details within reach, emails tougher to access
“Experts feel these capabilities could be as lethal and intrusive as the highly controversial PRISM project,” she said referring to the USA’s controversial National Security Agency monitoring system, which came to light following a sensational revelation by a contractual employee of the CIA, Edward Snowden, who has been charged with treason and currently seeking asylum.
Mamata claimed the project is supposed to be launched in Kolkata, Kerala and Karnataka first. “By March, 2014, the aim is to cover about 12 states… Will it be proper to move ahead with such a draconian means without consulting political parties?”