Protect citizens’ freedom

SC should not allow Aadhaar to eliminate constitutional right of privacy
By Eben Moglen – As a law teacher and lawyer working in my home system, but concerned with issues of law and technology that are global more than they are national, i’ve spent the last several years paying much more attention to the Indian Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court now has before it – pending already for a period of almost two years – petitions asking it to rule on whether Indian citizens have a constitutional right of privacy against government.

The Court has ruled, and occasionally reaffirms in commentary on related matters, that Aadhaar registration cannot be made generally mandatory, yet it has before it unaddressed numerous petitions concerning large numbers of social services for which Aadhaar registration has been made mandatory in apparent contempt of the Court’s ruling.

If government does not have a positive responsibility to protect the privacy of its citizens, including against itself, then the technologies of behavior collection now being grafted into the nervous system of humanity we call the internet will make new, hyper-efficient modes of despotism inevitable.

But two successive Chief Justices have now found it impossible to constitute a seven-member bench to hear the privacy right petitions.

If the Supreme Court places India in the vanguard of the constitutional democracies, then the evolution of Aadhaar, UPI, and other aspects of Digital India will occur in a legal and constitutional context that will become a light unto nations, an example to the world’s advanced societies.

What is the Supreme Court waiting for? more> https://goo.gl/5e0UGv

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