Your call for a free, private & secure Internet has reached the IT Ministry

IT Ministry confirms receipt of our open letter in the screenshot below




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Listen to our Tamil podcast about these changes
Read the detailed FAQ by sflc.in on these changes
IT Ministry's official announcement
Read about the social impacts of these changes at saveourprivacy.in

Problems in the new changes

The new changes would make Internet companies the guardians the ultimate authority on what we can see / share / consume on the Internet. This is wrong.


You may no longer be able to create / share memes

Memes are an itegral part of today's Internet experience. While they are funny and easy to connect with, they usually contain scenes from movies or faces of people. They also tend to make fun of social / political events. The changes require automated blocking of such things, which could mean that memes would no longer be allowed.


Government can prevent people from protesting for their livelihood


The Jallikattu protests in Tamilnadu were possible only because of personal messaging & social media platforms. This was well understood by the TN government which shutdown Internet and electricity in the entire Thoothukudi district during the Sterlite protests. A lot of unconstitutional & immoral things happen when government restricts the flow of information. The proposed changes require service providers to interrupt their service to mass or targeted individuals whenever required by the government. Internet is a public utility just like water or electricity, this is undue and unjust power in the hands of government and corporations.


Government can access all your private data

If government agencies are empowered to request data as they seem fit, this opens up avenue for misuse. We don't have a strong data protection bill yet thus there are no safeguards on what should or should not be done. Supreme court has struck down Section 66A of the IT Act but government agencies have continued to use that law. Supreme Court has forbidden the use of Aadhar in non-subsidy matters but government regulations to telecom companies and banks require Aadhar.


Facebook & Google can now store your private data forever

The proposed changes have extended the period for data retention by the service providers / Intermediaries from 90 days to 180 days or 'as required'. This empowers companies to store private data without permission of the user. Facebook and Google make their money by selling private data to advertisers. The proposed changes can make their immoral actions legal.


Your access to Internet based services can be blocked automatically

Internet has now become an integral part of our life. The proposed changes put the companies in charge what can be spoken or shared on the Internet platforms. The proposed changes require the service providers to terminate user access to their services - Internet, email, chat, social media, file hosting, web search - based on an arbritrary criteria.



Public interest initiative by

FSHM logo

FSHM

Free Software Hardware Movement Puducherry

FSHM conducts free weekly sessions and works to bring awareness about digital security, privacy and economic sustenance through Free and Open Technologies. It conducts frequent public exhibitions, mapathons and hackathons.
FSFTN logo

FSFTN

Free Software Foundation Tamil Nadu

FSFTN has presence in 7 cities in Tamil Nadu, where it conducts free monthly sessions on Free & Open Technologies. FSFTN has given its expert opinion on numerous technosocial issues including IT Act, Net Neutrality, TN free laptop scheme, FB data breach, EVMs.