|Demand of the question |
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Issues of law agencies in investigation of cyber crimes. Threat of linking Aadhar to social media.
Conclusion. Way forward.
The massive influx of personal information that has become available online has put user privacy at risk. Ideas like Linking Aadhar to social media is not only dangerous but also carry high risk to individual privacy but also a threat to democracy.
Difficulty of law enforcement agencies at investigating cyber-crimes:
- Jurisdiction: Most of the time, the person committing the crime is located outside of the country and is out of legal jurisdiction of the court and prosecutors.
- Difficulty in defining cyber laws: Internet crime is a recent phenomenon. States have had a hard time figuring out what is or isn’t illegal in the computer world for a particular location, especially if that crime involves computers or people outside of their jurisdiction.
- Slow and inefficient agencies: It has taken decades for law enforcement agencies, legal systems, and juries to get up to speed on cyber crime. Law enforcement agencies do not train their officers to recognise the various forms of cyber crime, how to collect and preserve related evidence, and how to hire and train specialised forensic investigators.
- Under-reporting: The vast majority of internet crimes are never reported. Most people have no idea of where and how to report internet crime.
Threats posed by linking Aadhar to social media:
- Attack on Privacy: The privacy of users’ data is at stake. Aadhar contains vital information like age, sex, date of birth, address of the individual. Linking Aadhar to social media would expose this data to cyber criminals. Linking Aadhar and stalking peoples’ is a direct impingement of right to privacy under Article 21.
- Threat to democracy: Democracies are established with the purpose of protecting the rights of their citizens. Linking Aadhar to social media is a threat to democracy in a way that it can be used to influence elections and voting behaviour of individuals through surveillance. This is a serious threat to people’s power and freedom.
- Financial frauds: Aadhar is linked to banks, various social schemes etc. Linking it to social media will expose users data and possibly all the transaction information. Hacker can easily exploit how the money deposits, and may cause a financial fraud risking financial security of individual and of our nation. Hackers may use Aadhar info linked to social media accounts to steal money.
- Dark activities: The possibility that the linking Aadhar will nurture illicit activities and markets like drug selling, weapons etc through darknet by using stolen ids, Aadhar information from social media accounts. It also increase risk for being used in various terrorist activities across the border.
- Surveillance state: The government’s surveillance may not be always about increasing security. It can be used in the to avoid transparency, leading to the loss of basic human rights. Decisions about surveillance are taken by the executive branch (including the review process), with no parliamentary or judicial supervision.
- Threat to social security: Social media websites keep track of all interactions used on their sites and save them. These companies like Facebook are found to be involved in cyberstalking, location disclosure, social profiling, 3rd party personal information disclosure, and without the safeguard of a search warrant. Linking Aadhar would expose sensitive info to be out in the market which could be used for blackmailing, targeted advertisements etc. infringing social security.
- Propagandas: Such exposure of identities are threat to social peace and stability by using propagandas, false news and false ideologies used by various anti-social actors targeting specific community and people. Although government would keep eye on such agendas, it is difficult to prevent all of such actors. Further it is very difficult to define what is fake and what is propaganda.
The Supreme Court stressed the need to find a balance between the right to online privacy and the right of the State to detect people who use the web to spread panic and commit crimes. But finding such a balance is not only difficult but almost impossible.