Privacy rights not above National Security – Kiren Rijiju

Both individual freedom and privacy are very important but it cannot be unqualified as everything overrides when it comes to the national interest and security, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said today.

“When it comes to national security, I personally feel that national interest overrides everything,” said Rijiju while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM Summit on Cyber & Network Security.

His comment comes in the wake of a ruling by the Supreme Court that privacy was an individual’s ‘fundamental right’. In Indian jurisprudence, a fundamental right cannot be abridged or curtailed by ordinary laws, and may be compromised only to protect another fundamental right.

Rijiju also had something to day about the way the court stipulated the principle of privacy being a fundamental right.

Pointing out that primary responsibility of making laws and policies rests with the Parliament, the Minister said “We are being authorised by the sovereign people of this nation, we have primary responsibility to frame laws.”

“So all this scenario in which we live, we must understand that there are fundamental rights but equally there are fundamental duties,” he added.

Rijiju also said that there is a huge gap in India’s capability and capacity when it comes cyber warfare.

“During the briefings and understanding of how prepared we are with our security officers, I realise that 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.

The Union Minister further said that it is imperative to narrow down this gap and fill it up to discourage cyber-attackers from misusing cyber networks.

He noted that governments across the globe have been discharging their duties and carrying out constitutional obligations but they alone can never secure the world.

“Governments can provide the cover security by deploying police and paramilitary forces but both private agencies especially the business communities and the government in the larger context are just partners and need to work accordingly,” said Rijiju.

Talking about the need for spreading awareness amid citizens, he said that it is easier for countries having an authoritarian system to frame and enforce laws but that is not the case with India where there is rule of law and not rule by law.

Terming the launch of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) as a major step in in terms of securing the nation, the Union Minister said “Policing is not an easy job and as a large country, the challenge is huge.”

“It is a huge jump in terms of our dream to secure our citizens, assets and national security. It will be further linked with various authorities, judiciary in the courts, in the jails with all police stations of the country, and everything be it the name of crime, criminal, case should be ready at a click of a mouse thereby making our security system very robust,” he added.