03rd Aug :- The central government has withdrawn from the decision to create a social media hub for surveillance. After the strictness of the Supreme Court, the government has decided to withdraw its hand. In the previous hearing on July 13, the top court had said that it would be like making ‘surveillance’ rule. The proposed social media hub was charged that it could be the weapon to monitor citizens’ online activities.
The Center informed the Supreme Court on Friday that the notification for the proposal to create a social media hub has been withdrawn and the government will take a thorough review of its social media policy.
A three-member bench of Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice AM Khanvilkar and Justice Dhananjay Y Chandra Chowdhury considered the plea of attorney general K Venugopal on behalf of the Center that the notification is being withdrawn. The bench then disposed of the petition challenging the proposed social media hub. Venugopal told the bench that the government would fully review its social media policy.
The bench was hearing the petition of Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Maitra in which allegation that the Center’s social media hub policy will be used as a weapon to monitor the social media activities of citizens.
Let the Supreme Court decide on July 13 that the government wants to know whether this move to build a media hub is to monitor the citizens’ WhatsApp messages. At the same time, the court had said that it would be like making ‘surveillance’ rule.
The Trinamool Congress MLA had questioned whether the government wants to keep an eye on citizens’ messages on Whatsapp or other forums on social media. It will also allow the private information of every individual to scrub the government. It will be able to scrutinize government data from the district level.
Maitra had said in the petition that the government has issued a request for the proposal and invited tenders for 360 degree surveillance software for all social media forums such as Whatsapp, Twitter and Instagram, which will be opened on August 20. The apex court had on June 18 rejected the request of the Ministry of Information on the request to ban the initiative in this direction.