Clean and clear: Government, Twitter must reassure the public that user data has not been compromised

Source: The post is based on an article “Clean and Clear: Government, Twitter must reassure the public that user data has not been compromised” published in “The Hindu” on 29th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.

Relevance: Fundamental Rights of the Citizens

News: Last Month, the whistle-blower Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko, a cybersecurity expert, disclosed to the U.S. government agencies and congressional committees that there were deficiencies in the working of Twitter.

What is the relevance of this Whistleblowing for India?

In this whistle-blower’s disclosure, it has come to the notice that the Indian government forced Twitter to hire a specific individual(s) who were government agents. Due to Twitter’s basic architectural flaws, they got access to the platform’s user data and vast amounts of Twitter’s sensitive data.

However, it is not clear whether the agent referred here is the grievance officer that social media networks operating in India are required to recruit, as per the new laws framed in 2021.

How this will impact free speech?

In recent years, the Government of India has been part of efforts to block its critics on social platforms. Therefore, unfettered access to sensitive user data on the social media platform can kill free speech.

What should be done?

The Government of India as well as Twitter must come up with an official response to the recent disclosure.

Further, the Government of India should also assure everyone that it is indeed batting for the individual’s rights of free speech and privacy.


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