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Thread on surveillance!

Brilliant work by investigative journalists (@kum_sambhav) and digital rights activist @digitaldutta has alerted us of Government projects which aim to centralise databases and collect people’s call records for mass collection of personal data.
This poses a serious risk of mass surveillance. This thread collates the latest developments and also links you to a few instructional videos we have prepared on the subject under our #SaveOurPrivacy campaign.
Read Part 1 of the surveillance series about the National Social Registry which will provide real time information to the government about every individual’s religion, caste, income, education, marital status, employment etc.
Part 1 discusses how Aadhaar is being used as the underlying unique identifier which will enable this profiling system. It also alerts us that there may be an amendment to the Aadhaar Rules which may undercut the Supreme Court’s 2018 judgement on Aadhaar.
Part 2 of the surveillance series highlights opposition to the National Social Registry by the Former Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Rural Development who fears it may lead to a police state.
Mr Manoranjan Kumar who was initially tasked with setting up the Social Registry expresses clear fears of how the project is prone to misuse and could lead to India becoming a “police state”
Part 3 of the surveillance series explains how Telangana is leading the pack when it comes to building intrusive real time databases. It reveals that Telangana is administering these profiling projects without the need to rely on Aadhaar
In addition to building new databases in a legal vacuum, the Government is also violating existing rules under telecom licensing conditions to demand call records of all subscribers in certain areas.
Such mass surveillance is completely illegal and interception orders under the Telegraph Act and IT Act can be issued only against specific individuals. @sasi_anil @pranavmukul
@DOT_India has sought to justify demands for bulk call records and stated that it was “an innovative way of identifying call drops” and only anonymized call records will be used.
What is revealing is that typically areas like call drops and QoS are the domain of @TRAI so therefore, the reported justification of DoT offices seems rather questionable.
If you are struggling to articulate your concerns about these projects and the changes you want your Government to make we’ve got your back. Under the #SaveOurPrivacy campaign we prepared a series of explainers on data protection, informational privacy and surveillance.
Shout out to @IndianExpress @BloombergQuint @TheQuint @DhruvRathee @BuzzFeedIndia @JamunProductions in helping us make these highly instructional sources. Here’s a link to an entire playlist with the explainers. We encourage you to check them out!

More shout outs are in order for @AakashSinghccmg @gautambhatia88 @prasanna_S @ujwala_U @tame_wildcard @mv_meanderings @VrindaBhandari @namanwa @SoKneeOh @dhruv_rathee who were incredibly generous with their time in developing these explainers.
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