NEW DELHI: The government is stepping up efforts around cybersecurity to check the growing menace of financial fraud and terror threats, but has promised that, in the interest of maintaining citizens’ privacy, there will be no witch-hunt.
Law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said cybersecurity is one of the priority areas for the Narendra Modi government at a time when India is in an overdrive to promote cashless transactions and has been rolling out numerous citizen-empowerment services digitally. However, there would be no compromise on the privacy of individuals through snooping and other such measures. “Individual privacy is a must, and should remain important,” Prasad told TOI, adding, however, that “privacy cannot become a shield for the corrupt or terrorists.
They will not be spared”. The minister said that in between efforts to strengthen cyber laws, due regard needed to be given to an individual’s right to privacy. “Any surveillance of money launderers or terrorists is done, and should be done, after proper homework, feedback from security agencies and intelligence agencies, and when there is a tangible evidence of wrong-doing,” he said.
The government’s focus on cybersecurity comes at a time when India is preparing to play host to the Global Conference on Cyberspace that would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi later this week.