Skip to main content

Prime Minister "gifted away" India's digital markets to Google, Facebook, Microsoft just for few hours of "glory"

By Our Representative
A senior science activist has alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his meetings with the top brass of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, gifted away digital oceans for "a few hours of glory". Associated with the Delhi Science Forum, Prabir Purkayastha has said, Modi will be providing "last mile connectivity" to these giants, and the “bulk of expenditure in providing Internet backbone will be done by the government”. 
An engineer and an expert in power, telecom and software sectors, Purkayastha says, all three giants will be allowed a “free ride on India’s Internet infrastructure”. Wanting it to be Internet to be a public utility, the Modi government, he adds, has decided for spend Rs 70,000 crore on National Optical Fibre network “for developing an internet backbone for the country on top of the existing infrastructure that BSNL and others."
“Google will use RailTel – a fibre optic network that Indian Railways has built -- for its wifi installations in the railway stations, giving it access to this very large, existing fibre optic infrastructure, for its own use as well”, Purkayastha says.
Insisting that this is what India would have to pay, Purkayastha says, “It was a huge ‘success’ for PM Modi”, but “what was missed is that Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all interested in grabbing India's digital market.”
Purkayastha insists, it is time one knew what Edward Snowden, former CIA employee has revealed – “that Facebook, Google, Microsoft have been fully a part of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Five-Eyes (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) global spying network.”
“All these companies, along with telecom MNCs such as AT&T and Verizon, act as agents of the US intelligence agencies”, says Purkayastha, adding, “ They provide access to all their data, to be searched, sorted, and stored in data banks for the next 50 years, by the NSA of the US, the shadowy agency that Snowden outed.”
“So giving the US MNC's our data, is not only giving them a very important economic resource, it is also helping the US to monitor intimately all the current and future decision makers in the country”, the senior expert contends
Contrasting this with China, Purkayastha says, the Chinese “have kept Google, Facebook and others out of their market”, and the only three companies among the top 10 global IT companies that it has hired are are not from the US.”
He says, “China has done this by protecting their huge internal digital market, creating internet and mobile based businesses that rival, if not are more advanced, than their US counterparts. They are now expanding globally, particularly in those markets that are much more based on mobile based access to the internet.”
Commenting to Modi's visits Facebook headquarters, Purkayastha says, “By doing so, he also implicitly gave his seal of approval to Facebook, which reciprocated by allowing people to endorse Digital India on Facebook and change the colour of their Facebook page.”
Calling internet.org Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's “truncated Internet supervised by Facebook”, Purkayastha wonders, if Modi, by such high profile visit, was not vitiating the regulatory process, when “Facebook's internet.org is being examined by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Department of Telecom and the Competition Commission of India for possibly violating India's telecom rules.”
Says Purkayastha, “Zuckerberg claims that he wants to connect the poor to the internet to lift them out of poverty. What Facebook's internet.org is proposing is that out of the nearly 1 billion websites in the world, the poor need to see only a few; and Facebook will decide what the poor should see.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
The ideas of author seems skewed.

TRENDING

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.

Gujarat CM aide 'doubts' authenticity of Gandhi article published in 'Harijan'

By Rajiv Shah
A top aide of Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has doubted the authenticity of the article written by Mahatma on Gandhi January 27, 1948, three days before his death. Hitesh Pandya, who was assistant public relations officer (PRO) under Narendra Modi’s chief ministership in Gujarat, and is currently serving as PRO of Rupani, has said, there is “reason to doubt”, since the article appeared on February 1, 1948, two days after Gandhi’s assassination.

Why nobody objected to Gautam Gambhir, Sunny Deol in t-shirt, jean?: Activists

By Our Representative
Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan’s excitement on their first day as MPs was overshadowed by a barrage of sexism over their ‘non- sanskari’ outfits, a group of civil society activists have said in a statement. According to Aarushi Nigam, Divya Kaushik, Riya Sharma, Ruman Ganguly, and Anulekha Agarwal, both Bengali actors and first-time MPs "were certainly excited to take them on when they posted pictures from their new workplace on social media."
Hit by misogynistic comments, the activists say, "Their choice of workwear – jeans and a white button-down shirt for Mimi, a wine-coloured peplum suit for Nusrat – was the first and last word on their political competence for many."
“You’re not on vacation”, “they have mistaken Parliament for Kolkata’s Nicco Park or City Centre”, “this is not a photo studio, this is a place where you should fight for people’s rights and legislate”, “keep some respect towards your Bengali society” were some of the &quo…

Australian protesters picket, stop work of Adani contractors for Carmichael coalmine

By Our Representative
Australian protesters have stopped work at the Mackay office of piping company AC Whalan, demanding the company withdraws its tender from Adani’s controversial Carmichael coalmine mine.Twenty-year-old Lisa Amato locked herself to the gate of the facility, while a group of 30 people formed a picket line. Adani is a top Indian tycoon close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The group say they have information that AC Whalan have put in a tender for Adani’s polyethylene pipe contract, though the company have not publicly announced. Spokesperson Donna Smit said, “AC Whalan have not publicly declared their interest in Adani’s Carmichael mine, understandably because the majority of Australians do not want this climate destroying mine.”
“The message we are sending to AC Whalan and all other companies involved with Adani is that we have our eyes on Adani’s contractors. With the effects of climate breakdown being seen right now across this country, any company that hopes to…