What a waste of Rs 450 cr. Arm our cops better instead | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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What a waste of Rs 450 cr. Arm our cops better instead

A new Big Brother-like system is all set to allow the government to monitor phone calls and track a person’s location. Do you think such a system will help protect the country and tackle terror? Is the inherent invasion of privacy justified? Could the Rs 450 crore that this system will cost have been better spent on more concrete anti-terror methods?

mumbai Updated: May 15, 2011 01:32 IST

The government’s proposal to invest Rs 450 crore in a phone-tapping system is an unnecessary extravagance. That money could be much better utilised for more concrete anti-terror measures. Our policemen and security personnel, for instance, could be given better salaries and benefits and staff strength increased so they have more flexible working hours.

Our cops are still paid measly salaries and armed with antique rifles that in no way match up to the power of the modern-day weapons used by terroists like Kasab.
The government must rethink its decision to invest this huge amount in a tapping and tracking system.
— S Krishna Kumar

This is not a sensible expenditure plan
India is an almost-developed country, an emerging super power. We spend huge sums and tremendous manpower in combating terrorism. This weakens our economy, as we end up using most of our wealth on defence, surveillance etc.
If we were able to draw up a sensible plan for the expenditure — and track down all the black rupees stashed away by politicians and businessmen in Swiss bank accounts, — then indeed we could afford to combat terrorism without ruining our dwindling economy. Until then, this is not a sensible plan.
— Madhumita Satpathy

Stop this insiduous bullying of citizens
Our laws are drafted as if to favour the government and not citizens. Citizens are always made responsible for their actions, while politicians get away. Meanwhile, the government inches further and further towards violating our privacy. At least Indira Gandhi was honest and declared Emergency openly. This is an insiduous bullying and harassment of citizens, with no real constitutional framework — sort of like a backdoor emergency!
— Deendayal Lulla

Security is more vital than privacy
In no way does this move promise to be an invasion of privacy. The government will be able to monitor phone calls made by anti-social elements, terrorists and economic offenders, and even check terrorist activities and operatives’ whereabouts. It is a great way to keep track of black marketers, foreign exchange violators and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats too.
There must, in fact, be most such monitoring of phone calls of babus working in customs, central excise, income tax and other revenue-generating departments.
Why should we complain about privacy when the security of the nation is at stake? In fact, the implementation of this plan will be proof of good governance.
— KP Rajan

This is a total invasion of privacy
Any free citizen of India would disagree with this new Big Brother-like system our government is planning to set up. Going through our phone calls is an invasion of privacy. And what guarantee is there that it will bring down the crime rate? There are so many crimes done without even a phone call. It might just open up a Pandora’s box of blackmailing.
— Pretty Mirchandani

The more high-tech the better, I say
Terror activities are mostly carried out via telecommunication and when an advanced intelligence system is available to tap or monitor phone calls, we should install it without a second thought. The individual’s privacy must be a secondary concern; our first priority must be safety and national security.
I think it’s high time the Indian government changed its outdated equipment and invested in high-end technology.
— V Venkitasubramanian

Govt must use the utmost discretion
This is not the time for India to invest in a phone-tapping system that is only likely to push criminals to find other ways to spread terror. And if the tapping is done, it needs to be done with utmost discretion — only when an investigation is underway. Random tapping involves huge costs and is also an invasion of privacy.
— Ramesh Mahadevan