NSA sets poor precedent for other governments
The surveillance program of the U.S. National Security Agency has set a deplorable example for other governments like India's as to how government should regulate and monitor activity on the Internet.
The leaks of Edward Snowden shed some important and alarming light on the state of government surveillance on the Internet. Unfortunately, the NSA policies are not isolated as many governments have been working to implement similar kinds of policies throughout the world. A free and open cyberspace is far from being realized at the moment, and while the U.S. and other countries allow for more access to content than others like China or Iran, the program that the NSA has put in place is not conducive toward making progress.
The AFP reported that Human Rights Watch recently published a report on the role that the U.S. plays on a global scale when it comes to Internet freedom.
"The US government, for better or worse, is a trendsetter with respect to Internet privacy and Internet freedom," said Kenneth Roth, the HRW executive director, according to the news source. "One reaction to the NSA snooping is that many countries are going to create in essence national Internets, they're going to force Internet companies to keep user data in their country."
A poor example
Not only are these kinds of violations a detriment to the rights of American citizens, they also serve as a poor example for foreign governments, as they try to stay competitive with the U.S. This trend can certainly be seen in India, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The source reported that the Indian government has begun the deployment of the Central Management System, which is a $132 million project that is designed to provide the government access to communications content and metadata that travels through the country's networks.
Compounding the problem is the fact that those in the country who are looking to bring the program to light are being silenced. The news source noted that an Economic Times journalist who covers the topic said government officials involved with the program have ceased speaking with journalists that cover the issue, making it difficult to spread news about.
India is currently the world's largest democracy, however, such policies certainly work counter to this. In order to ensure that it will be able to preserve this democracy, the country needs to reform its CMS policy in order to make sure that each of its citizens are able to participate freely in the press of the country.