Congress, BJP voice concern over Election Commission-Google tie-up

Monday, 6 January 2014 - 9:02pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
Asked about the proposed tie-up by EC, BJP also expressed concern and said the issue could have been discussed first at an all-party meeting by EC.

Congress and BJP today voiced concern over the proposed tie-up of Election Commission with internet giant Google for voter facilitation services ahead of the next general elections, saying stakeholders should have been consulted before taking such a decision.

Sources said the Congress legal cell has written to the Chief Election Commissioner raising security concerns over the proposed tie-up and hoped it will not have any effect on the electoral process and national security.

"It seems to be a very sensitive issue.... It seems to have been done without consulting all stakeholders," AICC Secretary K C Mittal, who is incharge of Congress legal and human rights department, has said in a letter to CEC.

Asked about the proposed tie-up by EC, BJP also expressed concern and said the issue could have been discussed first at an all-party meeting by EC.

"Though we do not doubt the intentions of the Election Commission. The matter could have been first discussed with various stakeholders at the all-party meeting before taking a final decision.... It does raise some security concerns," said BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Security concerns on the tie-up between EC and Google were also raised by a group of cybersecurity experts who have questioned the poll body's move. The experts have written to the EC amid concerns over sharing of vital data pertaining to Indians to a foreign company.

The concerns also come at a time when eyebrows have been raised over sharing of other vital data of Indians with the United States in light of exposes about widespread intelligence gathering by the US agencies exposed by Edward Snowden.

They have also said that while India is considered a software giant with major Indian IT companies providing vital support to US and the poll body instead of choosing Indian companies has sought to engage a US-based company. On the request of US-based Google, the Election Commission has proposed a tie-up with it for online voter registration and making available vital details about Voter EPIC card numbers and polling station location.


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