Indian Government Wants To Monitor Twitter And Facebook, Maybe Google And Skype Too

So remember that one time when RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis kind of freaked out during a BBC interview. The fact that he flaked on the interview kind of hinted at the reasons why he started freaking out in the first place — India. The Indian government has been tightening its control over social media and other forms of communication within the country amidst the rising threat of terrorism, RIM included. But the government is now looking to monitor communication on two of the most popular sites in the world, reports HackerNews.

You might have heard of them: Twitter and Facebook.

Carriers already help out the Indian government by monitoring communication on their networks, Twitter and Facebook included. But as you should already know, not every thing you do or say on Twitter and Facebook is public information; some of the data/text is encrypted. This is what the government in India is after, although to what extent has not be clarified.

Here’s the problem: India’s new IT Act says that websites and service providers must offer up information like passwords from private accounts, even without a court order. However, both Facebook and Twitter’s privacy policies dictate that personal and private information will not be released without a court order.

Along with RIM, who refused to grant the Indian government access to its BlackBerry Enterprise Servers based on the fact that it is impossible to do so, India has also said it wants to monitor Skype and Google. However, neither company has actually heard anything from the government.

This won’t affect us much in the States but it’s a bad precedent to have floating around in any country, let alone a burgeoning tech powerhouse like India.