India's snooping record will make Snowden melt in shame

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New Delhi, July 2: Will India, which itself is has in motion its monitoring and surveillance mechanism, grant asylum to US whistleblower Edward Snowden?

Will it also defy the American demand sent to many nations, including India, not to grant shelter to Snowden?

Whatever be the final outcome, Snowden will feel uncomfortable in India as it has one of the worst records in privacy issues. After decades of unauthorised snooping the government is now establishing a sophisticated mechanism to cover 90 percent of India's population.

The Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) will be operational in 10 of the country's 22 telecom circles by the end of the year. This will allow the government to monitor any one of its 900 million telecom subscribers and 120 million internet users.

The far-reaching surveillance program rivals the worst in the world, and makes the US National Security Agency (NSA) look like a pigmy of modesty.

The CMS will give nine government agencies the power to access, in real-time, phone conversations, video conferences, text messages, emails, and even internet search data and social media activity, and will work without any independent oversight.

In contrast, under PRISM programme, the NSA has been monitoring phone-call metadata (such as phone numbers and call durations) on a widespread basis for years, but has to get the approval of a court to spy on the calls themselves or the content of emails.

Consider other brazen acts of India like censorship of tweets, blogs, books or songs. India ranked second only to the US on Google's list of user-data requests. These requests by India has shot up from 50 percent to 90 percent.

With such weak record on privacy issues, Snowden's request for ayslum in India is nothing but a bitter irony.

Many on Twitter did express such sentiments while Snowden was sitting at the top of Twitter trend, worldwide.

WildShip ‏@WildShip: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seeks asylum in India via #WikiLeaks & to that I have a question, is India safe? yeh, put a million dollar.

Shrutin Shetty ‏@shrutinshetty: Edward Snowden seeks asylum in India. Heheh. Ironical, considering an 'asylum' is exactly what some politicians have made India look like.

rajeshpunwani ‏@Unclesekyasaram: If it was cold war era "Edward Snowden" would be enjoying in USSR.

Prince Varghese ‏@revprince: Edward Snowden seeks asylum in India. Not a good place for athletes or whistle blowers.

IndiaSpeaks ‏@IndiaSpeaksPR: Edward Snowden approaches India for asylum as everyone there is too busy trying to trace Rahul Gandhi. No one will pay him any attention.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote"><p>We shld award a Bharat Ratna to <a href="">#EdwardSnowden</a> for seeking asylum in India - he has understood India very well !</p>— Abdulla Madumoole (@AMadumoole) <a href="">July 2, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Advo Sidharth ‏@sidharthaurora: #India to EDWARD SNOWDEN-'Bhai ham majboor hai.kagaz ke dollar ne ye haal kar diya.Dollar ka desh bharak gaya to tissue paperbhi nahi milega.

lalit ‏@lalit_k1: Dear Edward Snowden Don't keep hopes from India, We are America's closest F*.

Gururaj S ‏@Equateall:He is a fool. India won't do it. Don't bother.

Aarvey ‏@Dxdevilx: Indian government pays no heed to its own people. Forget about Edward Snowden seeking asylum in India.

Ullas Sharma ‏@ullasharma: Edward Snowden should be given shelter in India. If Dalai Lama can find refuge why not Assange and Snowden. Uncle Sam will understand!

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