The debate between personal privacy and national security continues to rage on, but privacy advocates in India have recently been dealt a blow with the news that keyloggers will be installed in the approximately 500 Internet cafes serving the city of Mumbai. According to a report in today's Ars Technica
, "cybercafe owners must agree to the installation of the software or else they will lose their licenses." Given that terrorists seek to hide their identities and are known to frequent Internet cafes in order to stay anonymous, the government hopes to thwart terrorism by monitoring computer activities in the cafes.
Vijay Mukhi, the president of India's Foundation for Information Security and Technology, defends the decision to install keyloggers stating, "The police needs to install programs that will capture every key stroke at regular interval screenshots, which will be sent back to a server that will log all the data. The police can then keep track of all communication between terrorists no matter which part of the world they operate from. This is the only way to patrol the Net and this is how the police informer is going to look in the e-age." But will such surveillance practices actually stop terrorism or will they just leave everyday citizens feeling uncomfortable using Mumbai's cybercafes?
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