Government Monitoring Big Concern Among Indian Net Users: Survey

NEW DELHI: India is among top three nations where government monitoring of online activity is a big concern for Internet users, according to a global survey.

In India, 76 per cent of Internet users have expressed concerned about police or other government agencies from their own country secretly monitoring their online activities, compared to global average of 61 per cent, said the survey conducted by Centre For International Governance Innovation and research firm Ipsos.

Mexico and Turkey topped the chart where 84 and 77 per cent Internet users have expressed concern over monitoring of online activity by their own government. The survey covered 23,376 Internet users in 24 nations. India ranks second where 77 per cent Internet users are concerned government agencies from other countries are secretly monitoring their online activities, despite only 62 per cent of Internet users in the country knowing about whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Of those Indians who are aware of Snowden, only 69 per cent have taken steps to protect their online privacy and security as a result of his revelations that U.S government agency NSA spies on Internet activity outside US. In Mexico, 83 per cent Internet users have expressed similar concern. "Unless trust is restored in the Internet through creative governance innovations its real potential to promote human development and global prosperity will be severely compromised," CIGI's Global Security & Politics Program Director Fen Hampson said in the report. India is also among top three countries where 88 per cent people believe that Internet is important for their future in terms of free speech and political expression compared to global average of 83 per cent.

Eighty-seven percent of Internet users in India, compared with 83 per cent globally, believe affordable access to the Internet should be a basic human right, the survey found. Indians have also taken lead in appreciating work of government in making sure the Internet is safe and secure. In India, 71 per cent spoke for government compared to global average of 48 per cent. The survey was conducted to support work of The Global Commission on Internet Governance which was established in January 2014, to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance.

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Source: PTI