Mamata questions UPA’s monitoring system

    By IANS,

    Kolkata : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said the people’s privacy was in jeopardy with the central government developing the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS), an all-encompassing surveillance mechanism.

    “The UPA-II government is developing a system called Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) by C-DoT that will enable the government and its agencies unfettered access in realtime to any phone conversation, SMS, fax, website visit and social media usage,” Banerjee said on Facebook, quoting a media report about the CMS.

    “Experts feel that these capabilities could be as lethal and intrusive as the highly controversial PRISM project. Privacy of our countrymen would soon be at stake at the hands of the UPA,” she said.

    Stating that the centre has plans to launch the system by March 2014 in 12 states, Banerjee questioned the motive behind it.

    “Why is the UPA government developing an autocratic system of surveillance and monitoring to secure interception of telephonic conversation in all forms? Will it be targeted to silence the opposition, politicians and others? Who will authorise or decide on selection of targets?” she said.

    “Won’t this intrusion make our constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) a mockery,” asked the Trinamool Congress chief.

    Calling the CMS draconian, Banerjee accused the centre of impropriety without consulting political parties or discussing the CMS in parliament.