Coming soon: sting ops in cyber cafes!
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Coming soon: sting ops in cyber cafes!

After hotels, ATMs and shopping malls, it is now the turn of cyber cafes to be under scanner, writes Sidhi Chadha.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2007 12:25 IST

For many in the city there is a disconcerting feeling that Big Brother is watching — and increasingly breaching the contours of private space. One wonders if the Right to Privacy is becoming redundant in the Capital? After hotels, ATMs and shopping malls, cyber cafes are the next on the hit list of the secret scanner, with recent plans to install web cams in cyber cafes.

So is there no sacred space left from the prying eyes of the camera? Says cyber law expert Pavan Duggal, “Security concerns of the government are appreciated, but what if the photos of the net-users get misused or morphed for some illegal purpose?"

Net café owners like Shantanu Nanda also have concerns. “It is embarrassing for the user to be put under the scanner. Our business would go bust.” That net cafes are becoming hot love-spots with couples has added to the brouhaha. The concern over threats to VIPs via e-mail sent from cyber cafes has been drowned by the greater fear of an invasive lens.

“There is no central body in place to monitor the pictures taken of cyber users,” warns Pavan. But Tajindra Luthra, ACP Delhi disagrees. “It’s misplaced apprehension. Pictures can be morphed anywhere. Security concerns will always be over-riding. If people aren’t doing anything wrong, why worry?” But for 27-year-old Rajat, a frequent netuser, the fears are very real. “I don’t mind showing my identity proof. But I don’t appreciate invasion of my privacy. Why should anyone else know what I am surfing or not?” So are you still gunning for some privacy? Forget it guys…

First Published: Jan 18, 2007 12:15 IST