The Centre today (August 3rd, 2018) informed the Supreme Court that it has decided to withdraw its notification proposing to create a social media hub, which many have alleged could become a tool to monitor online activities of citizens.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal appearing in front of the bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, and comprising of justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, has said that the social media policy would be reviewed completely by the government.
The matter came up before the bench in a petition filed by Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Moitra alleging that the Centre’s social media hub policy was to be used as a tool to monitor social media activities of citizens and sought the quashing of the same.
Further, the petitioner claimed that the intrusive action on part of the government was "not only without the authority of law but brazenly infringes" her fundamental right to freedom of speech under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution and violated her right of privacy.
The apex court, while agreeing to hear the plea on July 13, asked the government whether its move to create such a hub was to tap people’s WhatsApp messages, and observed that it would be like creating a “surveillance state.”