The Indian Government Has Been Spying On Your Social Media In Secret

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Representational image of social media applications. The Indian government is using a software called AASMA to track the social media posts of people in real time around the clock, and perform sentiment analysis, to track citizens.

More than 40 government departments are spying on social media with no oversight or scrutiny, and the Home Minister wants security agencies to use facial recognition tools.

“Government of India has officially declared this project as STRATEGIC in nature and is closely monitoring the growth of the same,” Scroll.in quoted from the institute’s annual report of 2016-2017. The report also said that more than 40 state and central government departments had deployed the tool by April 2017 and another 75 had requested its installation at the time.

According to Scroll.in, the tool can be used to collect data around the clock from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Google+. It can track social profiles, carry out “sentiment analysis” of posts and track user devices.

The Punjab police is already running a project called PAIS which uses facial recognition to identify people using a smartphone or even CCTV footage. And speaking to HuffPost India, a senior police official said that Aadhaar could provide the missing information to bring not just people who have been sentenced to jail, but all citizens, under this surveillance dragnet.

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