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Saikat Datta @saikatd
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
After in posted this #thread on #surveillance in India, a common push back is:

"What do we have to fear, if we have nothing to hide?"

Let me answer that.
Yes, you should be very afraid if you don't have anything to hide.

Because the very act of #surveillance over you, makes you a suspect in the eyes of the watcher.

It's like you are taking a bath and someone is constantly peeping in on you.
When you become a suspect in the eyes of the watcher, you also end up messing up to two basic docrrines of the Indian Constitution.

1. Your fundamental rights are immediately taken away.

2. The balance of power is taken away from the individual and given to the state
Let's examine both. The Indian Constitution.

It guarantees you life, liberty, dignity and privacy. By being placed under surveillance, you no longer have these rights.

Still think it's ok to be placed under surveillance if you have nothing to hide? Read on
The Indian Constitution is essentially about limiting the powers of the elected government.

This is to ensure that citizens will never be ruled by a dictator and democracy will thrive.

That changes in a surveillance state. The power is now with the political party in power
When your power as a citizen is taken away, not only is that a violation of the Constitution, it also threatens your basic life.

Now, you are under watch, but you don't know it. This gives the watcher enormous power.
The watcher can now manipulate you in any way she or he wants to. That is the power of surveillance.

From your bank records to your medical health to your intimate relationships. Everything is now under a watch. Do you want that? Still don't have anything to hide?
Think of this as a corporate job.

Do you work better when you are given autonomy and independence?

Or do you work better when you are constantly under watch of the boss?

Studies show that productivity plummets/collapses under surveillance.
And remember, once the state takes away your power as guaranteed by the Constitution, it's very hard to get it back.

Don't believe me? Check out what happened to Pakistan post 1953.
So you still think it's ok to be under surveillance if you don't have anything to hide?

Fact is, modern societies are built on giving individuals the space to hide a lot. That's the very essence of a modern democracy. And India's constitution.
And guess what? India's Constitution framers knew this. So they gave a specific clause saying that a central intelligence agency must be created by an Act of Parliament.

This has been ignored by every government since 1950.
If you are still interested in the dangers of surveillance, even though you have nothing to hide, then you need to understand why a 9-judge constitutional bench of India's Supreme Court ruled privacy is a fundamental right.

And read the works of Prof Alan Westin.
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