Is the central government trying to create a surveillance state? The Supreme Court asked the question today on hearing a writ by Trinamool Congress legislator Mahua Maitra against the social media hub that the centre plans to set up to monitor social media activity.
“The government wants to tap citizens’ WhatsApp messages. It will be like creating a surveillance state,” a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed, according to PTI.
The top court has asked the centre’s response to come back with its response within two weeks. It will hear the case again on August 3.
Ms Maitra, represented in court by advocate AM Singhvi, filed the writ after coming across calls for bids floated by the information and broadcasting ministry, first in January and then in April again.
The bids are to be opened on 20 August, PTI added, quoting advocate AM Singhvi.
If the move survives the legal challenge, it would arm the government with a monitoring system that…