Indian monitoring system threatens rights: rights body

New York, June 9 (IANS) The Indian government should enact clear laws to ensure that increased surveillance of phones and the Internet does not undermine rights to privacy and free expression, Human Rights Watch says.

In April, the Indian government began rolling out the Central Monitoring System (CMS), which will enable the government to monitor all phone and Internet communications in the country.

The CMS will provide centralized access to the country's telecommunications network and facilitate direct monitoring of phone calls, text messages, and Internet use by government agencies, bypassing service providers.

"The Indian government's centralized monitoring is chilling, given its reckless and irresponsible use of the sedition and Internet laws," said Cynthia Wong, senior Internet researcher at Human Rights Watch.

"New surveillance capabilities have been used around the world to target critics, journalists, and human rights activists."

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