Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cloud Computing Regulations In India Missing

Cloud computing has been in news in India. The obvious benefits of cloud computing are very vigorously propagated by cloud computing vendors and India is seen as a huge market for cloud computing.

Even India government is also interested in using cloud computing for delivery of its digital services. However, what is not obvious is the fact that Indian government, intelligence agencies of India, law enforcement agencies of India, etc are interested in cloud computing for a reason not very much known in Indian circles.

Cloud computing is a very good platform for e-surveillance, snooping and interceptions, both lawful and unlawful. This is more so when India does not have dedicated privacy laws, data protection laws and data security laws. Even research in motion (RIM) has arranged for an architecture that allows Indian intelligence agencies to snoop upon blackberry messenger services at will and in real time.

So from any angle cloud computing is a risky business for civil liberty activists in general and those in believing privacy rights in particular. Add to this scenario the fact that in India phone tapping is done under a colonial law called Indian telegraph act that is definitely not a constitutionally sound law. Further, there is no judicial scrutiny while either tapping a phone in India or engaging in e-surveillance or engaging in various interceptions activities.

This practically means that intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies in India can simply pull your private information by approaching the cloud computing vendor. There would not be any privacy safeguards nor would any judicial order be required.

India is turning into an endemic e-surveillance society. It is high time Indian Parliament must enact effective laws regarding privacy, data protection, data security and cyber security. Further, before cloud computing is implemented in India, there is a dire need of effective cloud computing regulatory framework that is presently missing.