December 6, 2011
By Sriram Vadlamani
While the Indian president is too busy riding a T-90 battle tank, India’s telecom minister Kapil Sibal is busy getting the framework right for snooping. Technically, it’s not a framework. Sibal wants human intervention to every tweet on Twitter and every comment on Facebook.
Here’s what Sibal wants :
Someone from Facebook, preferably Zuckerberg, should screen all the Facebook messages coming out of India, find if they are hurting anybody in the ruling Congress party and then delete them.
This is not just a software filter which has to be installed nor a broad keyword filters on the nation’s routers. This is manual intervention or as we like to call it, curation.
Not just Facebook but Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are invited to the party.
It’s just that Facebook in India has 37 million users and generates a lot of content which we now call Big Data. Monitoring all that content means, Facebook or the Indian government has to hire a whole lot of people or trying to create a massive employment generation program like MNREGA. It has to promise much more than a 100 rupee per day wages.
Does this sound cockamamie to you?
If it does, then it’s OK. You are doing just fine. That’s how it is supposed to sound.
If it doesn’t sound all cockamamie to you, then you’re fine too. In a way this is already happening. If we stop judging what’s right and wrong, Google is already censoring the torrent related search terms. Facebook’s pages have been disappearing mysteriously.
The companies which are being courted by Sibal are not ready because it’s impossible to do and there is no court order. Not because of moral reasons.
Google with its search dominance, Facebook with its social dominance are already credited with being the new information gatekeepers. Add to that the Carrier IQ mess and you are potential carrying your enemy right in your pocket. Unlike Carrier IQ, Sibal is make it all too obvious for you. Instead of capturing data it’s filtering data. Same difference.
Here’s a tip for your online sharing : Be nice to a certain dynasty. If possible just be nice to everyone.
So Indians, you have to wait for your Tweets and Facebook messages to appear online. That shouldn’t be too hard.
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