Short Take: Why locating FB, Google servers in India is not a good idea

BigBrother-YourCountryNeedsYou.jpgThe recent demand, by Indian internet service providers that foreign tech companies like Facebook and Google must set up servers in India in the guise of protecting the Indian citizen’s privacy is such a sham!

Here’s what they want: Government must make sure that data from India is kept in the country on local servers.

Here’s why they say they want it: To protect you from any such “misadventure of any intelligence departments.” This is in the wake of recent media reports that the US government has backdoor access to data stored by 9 technology companies including Facebook, Google & Microsoft.

Here is why they really want it: As pointed out by The Hindu Business Line, Indian internet service providers have been lobbying to get companies such as Skype to comply with the ban on VoIP calls to phones. Since Skype servers are abroad, there isn’t much you can do about it in India.

Here is why they may not get it: India is the second most risky country to setup data centers because of high energy costs, low international bandwidth, taxes and other reasons including availability of power and water supply.

Here is why they shouldn’t get it: Being snooped by the Indian government is no less scarier than being snooped by the US government. We already know that the Indian government is planning to collect metadata and build capabilities that can monitor internet activities. Placing servers in India means more access for government agencies and could work against privacy.

In the absence of strong privacy laws, we aren’t sure how information is safe from being used against citizen.

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