In a society where the flow of information is perfectly symmetric, no political player has any advantage at the ballot box.
Less than three months after the Supreme Court cut the ever-proliferating Aadhaar card down to size, individual privacy has taken another body blow. On December 20, 2018, the Ministry of Home Affairs conferred powers under the IT Act 2000 to ten security agencies to “direct any agency of the appropriate government to intercept, monitor or decrypt… any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.”
The gallery of eminence thus authorised comprise not just the usual suspects such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence but also the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Delhi’s Commissioner of Police. That’s a lot of sleuths let loose! Why is India finding it so hard to restrain the exuberance of its super snooping sovereign?
I will spare you a long sociology soliloquy. Very briefly, one way or another, sovereignty is always ‘captured’, even if you use the ballot box to do it. Politics is about the acquisition and exercise of power and that rides on insider information.