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Hate speech to data misuse to press harassment: Five weekend reads on India’s ‘blind eye’ state

Who watches the data collectors?

Indian politicians frequently speak about data as a national resource, and algorithms as well as Artificial Intelligence as technologies that can revolutionise the lives of citizens. But much of this promised technological development is premised on Indians giving up rights to their personal data, and the state either collecting or allowing private companies to use this information as they please.

The lack of a personal data protection law – and the government’s evident lack of interest in protecting data privacy – should concern us all.

“At present, it is as if the state can have deep learning on its citizens. In turn, we the citizens have no remedies for the abuse of that learning. You can switch off Siri, but not the state,” writes Menaka Guruswamy.

Read the piece here.

The normalisation of anti-Muslim hate speech

It has been evident for some time that hate speech, particularly targeted at the Muslim minority in India, travels unchecked across Facebook. Recent whistleblower revelations made it clear that pages associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh promoted anti-Muslim narratives that were not taken down due to “a lack of Indian language editors”.

Hemant Gairola dug deeper, joining four Hindutva groups on the social media…

Read more

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