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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 27, 2013
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the government to take action against internet companies sharing data from India with the US National Security Agency (NSA). A vacation bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik held it cannot entertain the petition as no Indian agency was involved in it. According to the petitioner, faculty of Delhi University, SN Singh, the internet companies and the US agency were snooping data that are in violation of privacy rights.

“The petitioner may have right to privacy against foreign companies, but this is not covered under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the court said.

It even declined to direct the Parliament to enact a law to safeguard privacy of citizens against such snooping. Singh alleged in his PIL that the large scale spying by the US authorities was detrimental to national security.

He accused Internet companies of breach of contract in their move to share information with a foreign authority.

“As per reports, nine US-based internet companies operating in India through agreements signed with Indian users, shared 6.3 billion information/data with NSA without consent of Indian users,” the PIL stated. The bench was, however, not convinced and said it could not pass any order against the NSA as it had no jurisdiction.