November 16
08:32 2017

Gooogle News Team |

“When you become complacent with someone lying, then you have essentially given them permission to continue to do so and most often at your expense.”

Two decades ago, Bette Midler’s song “From a Distance” streaked to the top of the charts. The song not only sold in the millions, but also won a Grammy for Song of the Year in 1991.

The lyrics celebrated a peaceful world as seen “from a distance,” with the chorus introducing God into this idyllic existence: “God is watching us. God is watching us. God is watching us from a distance.”

I liked the sound of this song, but its lyrics never quite made sense to me “at that time”. As, I being an atheist, I felt it was not encouraging to know that God was watching us from far away?

But, after two decades, the lyrics began to haunt me, as the “Big Brother”, government plans to connect your Aadhaar card to your mobile phone number, thereby ensuring that it has attained a God like position to watch you every moment.

Yes, “God is watching from a distance” indeed, with Aadhaar Linked to your Mobile.

Because, what you write or say or comment will be available forever. Big Brother will not only be watching (scooping), he will be Data profiling your preferences, lifestyle and encroach into every aspect of your life.

One might seek solace that the promise of encryption will protect you from the surveillance by the Big Brother.

This encryption assurance is as good as an attempt holding the water in a cloth.

An encrypted WhatsApp may be difficult to control by a third party but it can be intercepted and if your phone is already compromised, then information can easily be eavesdropped and shared to another source.

The word “Security” is no more secure, and it’s a disguise for the government, which may access your personal life and peep into your privacy, while going around the town that it is only interested in the safety and security of the nation and has no intention to look into your personal affairs.

If the government perceives that the opinions expressed by you on your mobile is not in agreement with its policies, you can then be tracked on the grounds that you could be a security risk to the country and a case to be booked under Sedition Laws.

Unfortunately, the fear of terrorism makes such “Big Brother scooping” legitimate and such branding someone a case fit for booking under Sedition Act a security necessity.

The large majority of us, who, of late, began to pose as self-styled patriots would humbly accept being security scooped technologically, on the grounds that there is no other way to keep a vigil on those Anti-Nationals who harm us.

The so-called advantage of knowing which number is owned by whom comes to naught with the flow of burner phones, the ability to borrow each other’s instruments, to steal SIM cards and also use the underground market for illegal SIMs that can be had for a mere Rs 100.

Terrorists have the fiscal liquidity to buy into much more sophisticated telephony or route calls in a criss-cross of the planet, until the snarl would be impossible to unravel.

Scarier still is the fact that 40,000-odd phones get stolen every year. Many more cases are not reported. Consequently, at any given point of time, there are several thousand temporarily functioning mobile instruments with live SIMs.

With laptops and Ipads getting smaller, you do not even need a SIM card to send out messages.

So why is this being done?

To create a database so vast and so complete that it would be a hacker’s wet dream and terrorists and business corporates, underground organised criminals, and foreign government wanting a ringside view of another nation’s priorities would get their hands on it.

How do we know it will not be hacked? We don’t. We truly have no idea.

 And if we are to go along with this surrender in good faith, then the authorities have to do a much better job of convincing us.

According to the report published by the Abraham’s Centre for Internet and Society, over 130 million Indians have had their Aadhaar details leaked from government websites and actually published.

Even now, there is no ban on publicising Aadhaar details or publishing them. This is gift wrapped marketing for online sales in India and all over the world.

All this effort certainly warrants a debate on the efficacy of the contribution made to the nation’s safety, and also what safeguards are being placed to ensure that the fundamental right of privacy is not damaged.

Accepting this policy with complacency under the guise of “security” would only be at our expense.

Next time when you enter into your toilet, make sure you are not carrying your mobile….

..The Big Brother is Watching.

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