Union minister Kiren Rijiju today said national security and interest override everything while referring to the recent Supreme Court judgement that declared right to privacy a fundamental right. “I am not here to criticise the Supreme Court judgement. It becomes law of the land. The primary responsibility of making law and policies rests with Parliament. We have been authorised by sovereign people of this nation. We have primary responsibility to frame laws,” the Minister of State for Home Affairs said at an Assocham event on cyber security.
The Supreme Court on August 24 ruled that right to privacy is a fundamental right with some restrictions as enshrined in part III of the constitution. The minister said privacy is very important and it is intrinsic part of the fundamental rights.
“No doubt about that and no question of revisiting those provisions enshrined in the constitution of India. At the same time privacy cannot be unqualified. There is something called national interest. There is something called national security. When it comes to national security, I personally feel, that national interest overrides everything,” he said.
Rijiju said the benefits through Aadhaar as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi can reach out to individuals if the Indian economy is converted into digital economy.
The minister said digital or the cyber platforms have become an important part of bilateral agreements. He acknowledged that there are cyber security challenges and people have become vulnerable with their exposure to this world.
“The more we are exposed to this world more vulnerable we have become. I am not discrediting our capability but the reality is what is India’s capability and what is our capacity, there is a huge gap,” he said.
He said that the country has tremendous capability but there is gap in the capacity to deal with challenges which must be narrowed and filled up.
Rijiju said the home ministry has recently launched a robust Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), which will mark a huge jump in national security.
The minister said that there is no escaping the digital economy, adding that every aspect of modern life is dependent on the cyber world, be it health, banking or taxation. Citing a report which said content in English is more vulnerable to cyber attacks, he called for use of Indian languages in cyber space and also appealed to security experts to examine threat associated with them.
National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai said that impact of cyber attack is higher compared to nuclear or chemical war. “A nuclear attack may have impact around 100-300 kms of area but one shot of a cyber attack can impact hundreds of countries, thousands of systems,” Rai said. He said only local production of technology can help country move towards safe and secure cyber space.