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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

Dear readers,

The very possibility of electronic eavesdropping is distressing and unsettling because one is never sure as to who is overhearing when, and what conclusions are being drawn about one from the portion of interaction being heard or recorded or both. And the fact remains that an overwhelming majority of electronic interactions - be it on phone or the internet - have nothing to do with national security or crime.

The legitimacy of the phone tapping hinges heavily on its need in the interest of public peace and national security. Phone tapping is not supposed to be used as a run-of-the-mill investigative tool to gather evidence in general crime investigations. It is an extraordinary weapon in the arsenal of the state to be used only when nothing else could bring the results urgently needed in national interest and the stakes are really high.

However, phone tapping - as has recently come to light - is now being used for purposes a lot shallower than even crime investigation. The practice of phone tapping is constitutionally questionable, particularly in the absence of effective safeguards against misuse. It's time the authorities acted before the judiciary is forced to step in to save the day yet again.

(Manish Arora)

(Print Version)
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