Indian Politician Plans To Install Surveillance Cameras In His Ministers' Homes And Offices
from the do-as-you-would-be-done-by dept
Recently, Tim noted that, for some strange reason, politicians don't like having the same level of surveillance applied to them as they wish to inflict on the public. Here's a nice case from the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India, found via Evgeny Morozov, where politicians aren't being given any choice:
UP [Uttar Pradesh] chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has decided to install CCTV cameras at the residences and camp offices of all the ministers in his cabinet.
As usual, the politicians are up in arms:
But a minister told Mail Today on the condition of anonymity that many of his colleagues including Raja Ram Pandey, khadi and village industry minister, Paras Nath Yadav, animal husbandry minister, Awadhesh Prasad, social welfare minister and Durga Prasad Yadav, stamp and registration minister, have opposed it.
The reasoning behind the move is interesting:
'the CM [Chief Minister] found the idea exciting mostly because he could boast of this action during Lok Sabha election campaign to claim that his ministers were observing complete transparency in their activities,' a source close to the CM said.
It's clear from this that there are some ulterior political motives behind this extreme form of governmental transparency. But equally, assuming that Uttar Pradesh's Chief Minister goes through with his plans, there's no denying that it would give politicians a unique insight into the reality of surveillance, and that can't be bad thing.
Indeed, what we need is a general rule that politicians anywhere who are contemplating increased snooping on their citizens must be put under 24x7 surveillance in their homes and offices before they are allowed to enact any such laws. If that were the case, I predict their enthusiasm for spying might well evaporate.