Centre Withdraws Notification on Social Media Hub That Was Alleged to Track Citizens

Centre Withdraws Notification on Social Media Hub That Was Alleged to Track Citizens

In a U-turn, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was withdrawing its notification proposing to create a social media hub, which some have alleged could become a tool to monitor online activities of citizens.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra considered the submission of Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, that the impugned notification was being withdrawn, and disposed off petitions challenging it.

Venugopal told the bench, comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, the social media policy would be reviewed completely by the government.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by TMC (All India Trinamool Congress) MLA Mahua Moitra alleging that the Centre’s social media hub policy was to be used as a tool to monitor social media activities of the citizens and has sought quashing of the same.

The apex court, while agreeing to hear the plea on July 13, had asked the government whether its move to create such a hub was to tap people’s WhatsApp messages, and observed that it will be like creating a “surveillance state”.

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