Last week technology giants Facebook and Google were accused of participating in US government’s PRISM project that collects emails, documents, photos and other material for US spy agencies to review.
The Prism system allows agents at the NSA to send queries “directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations”, rather than directly to company servers (Guardian).
Now that technology giants are being questioned over their involvement in PRISM, India’s ISP association (Internet Service Providers Association of India) has asked Indian government to get companies like Google, Facebook to setup local servers.
“The members want us to take immediate measures such as insisting upon Indian users’ privacy to be protected from any such misadventure of any intelligence departments.” [source]
This isn’t the first time that Indian government has explored talks with Google/Facebook/Microsoft/Skype to setup local servers, but PRISM disclosure probably makes the case stronger for government to push MNCs.
Having said that, we wonder whether the government agencies has technology will and skill to decrypt the data (which they failed for a very long time in case of Blackberry).
Increased Government’s snooping
Indian government has been increasing its control on the web content and as per Google’s last transparency report , there was an increase of 90% in content removal requests by the government.
The Indian government has been trying its best to get access to Internet data and has had its shot at Internet censorship from time to time. Besides the usual legal recourse, phone tapping, shadowing, questioning and on the ground investigation, the government has a whole new set of tools now (read : Indian Government’s Privacy Tools). The government is also planning cyber surveillance agency to monitor content posted on several social media sites.