Enjoying phone tapping while it lasts. 

Wire tapping was the title used in earlier days for eavesdropping on phone calls. Phones became wireless and far more complicated and now phone tapping is insufficient to define the complete spectrum of surveillance we undergo.

Last time my phone was tapped was in 2011 by ATS or Anti Terrorist Squad at Mumbai. I was merely representing a client who was arrested to identify a terrorist. My client was merely a pizza delivery boy. Well something like illegal pizza.

This time it is a revenue intelligence department chasing my client. They have no direct evidence to implicate and phone tapping was a desperate attempt. I wonder if it still continues

Problem lies in absence of proper law. Supreme Court of India permitted this intrusion on privacy subject to some guidelines but in the absence of a complete law aimed at preventing illegal tapping, it is a free for all.

Continue reading

How to handle security issues with Shangmail/Hudeemail?

Welcome Screen of HudeeMail

Hudeemail is a service claimed to be provided by Babeeta Beijing Technology Co. Ltd., but the profile of this company is not clear. It claims that its Chinese counterpart shangmail is a e-mail provider in china. Hudeemails’s website does not provide any physical address. Rather it claims that HudeeMail and Babeeta are two different companies and Babeeta handles the front end. Installation method of hudeemail has been described elaborately in my previous post about installation and some security concerns  if it is a hack? To trust a company in China, whose legal system is completely unknown, is a little difficult. Worst part is that Blackberry is completely silent. No technical person comes forward with details.

When hudeemail accesses the Google or Yahoo, first it accesses as if it is from a desktop from an IP address in USA. Hence the google/yahoo/etc. detect that account is not being accessed from the regular place or even country and a warning is generated. Warning does not give any indication as to what was the name of client which accessed its server. Continue reading

Evolution of Law of Privacy

History of Origin of concept of Privacy

Persecution of human races: (A Preface)

Might is right. This was the official motto of existence on earth and till this date, it continues to be the actual rule of existence. The only difference from dark ages and today is that now physical might has been replaced with various type of authority. We have invented numerous way to dominate others and we continue to invent new technologies to expand the domination. Freedom was and is an illusion. Words like Religion and God were such earlier tools of domination, which is now joined by Psychology and the list is endless.


In 12th century Roman Catholic Church became very aggressive in enrollment of new followers and in purging the non believers. The church was custodian of a divinely imparted revelation which it alone was authorized to expound under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit or the holy ghost. Which is the third personality in Christian Trinity.
Any criticism of official interpretation made by church, on any subject, was heresy and heretical person was liable to be purged.

Inquisition by Church

In 1184 Pope Lucius III, authorized a process of inquiry to combat heresy. the Bishops were authorized to make inquiries in their dioceses. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX started independent persons as Inquisitors who had authority over everyone except bishops and their officials. In 1252 Pope Innocent IV authorized these Inquisitors to engage henchmen to torture people.
The procedure adopted by these Inquisitors was anything but not Due Process recognized later. It was persecution of innocent people who were compelled to deny anything that according to Inquisitors was heresy. Remember Galileo, he was kept under house arrest till he died. They employed every method to extract confession, public ridicule, imprisonment, solitary confinement and torture to select a few. Murder and Burning alive were also not uncommon.
Since church was an Independent Authority acting under the Trinity of God, his son and Holy Spirit, the Due Process guaranteed by King had no effect. Rather the King could always approach church to control erring citizens.
This situation continued until about seventeen century.

Bill of right:

In 1689 the enactment of Bill of rights, and availability of Habeas Corpus to all coupled with the unpopularity of Church activities, a New Era or respect for human life begin.

Privacy as Fundamental Right:

US Courts as also Indian Courts have attributed different reasons and logic to protect individual liberties especially Privacy. It is my understanding that the above background has not been taken into account by the courts and it is for this reason, privacy has become a misunderstood concept. Some time it is a weapon to proclaim individuality or an inconvenience for Governments to do the same things which inquisitors were doing in Middle Ages.

United Nations Charter:

According to Universal Declaration of Human rights adopted by United Nation in its General Assembly in 1948 “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Further article 12 of Declaration provides:

“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

United States of America

The Constitution of United States was first to recognize the right of privacy from the intrusion of the State. Privacy is recognized in the Fourth Amendment of US constitution as under:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The reason given for aforesaid amendment is that founding fathers were smugglers and were seriously affected by Writ of Assistance, may be true or may be not but is not the only reason.

Position in India

Historically India has no known concept of privacy. In its 500 years of recurrent invasion and thereafter 450 years of foreign rule (first by Mughals and then by Britain), people have accepted the intrusion by State as part of life. However the Modern and Recent views are rather different. In India, relevant clause of the Constitution is Article 21 which is as under:

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

the Supreme Court of India has interpreted article 21 and has held that right to life means Right to live with Dignity and therefore privacy is an integral part of Right to Life. This interpretation is more in tune with German Ground or Basic law ‘Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland‘ which came into force in 1949 and its Article 1 states that:

Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.

However the courts while deciding various cases seems to be in jinx of thought. May be because the above process of evolution is now a distant history. We shall soon enter into the discussion about these decided cases in another post.

© Sandeep Bhalla

Testimony of a businessman

While a common person on the street, is trying to make out as to what is happening and how much people know about the things which are personal to him, a businessman is unconcerned either with the truth or the justice. It is just another reckless instance of violation of privacy in which different versions of truth appear after the event. My question is what are the steps taken ‘NOW’. Does Mr. Murdoch assures us that at no level his publications/channels will not use private investigators to find out so-called truth about people’s life? Does he assures that good old principles of journalism would be preferred over these new age technology driven intrusion? Would Governments of the day come forward and assure the citizens that it is none of their business to intrude into lives of people only on the basis of suspicion? I do not think so. So it would be business as usual.

Even as their onetime proprietor was disassociating himself from the newspaper he owned for 31 years, former News of the World employees were expressing disbelief at what Hayley Barlow, a former News of the World publicist, called his “black sheep strategy.”  “Is this the same man who once stormed into our editorial conference after we had won a raft of industry awards, fawning all over NOTW execs,” Ms. Barlow asked on Twitter, saying he had praised the “great paper,” and “great journalists.” Another former employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of jeopardizing a severance package, said of Mr. Murdoch: “He will say whatever he thinks is the best thing to say at a given moment.”

Mr. Myler, the editor Mr. Murdoch accused of participating in the cover-up with Mr. Crone, is now editor of The New York Daily News, rival of the Murdoch-owned New York Post. Mr. Myler did not respond to e-mails or phone messages to his office seeking a comment. He and Mr. Crone told a parliamentary committee last summer that in 2008, they told Mr. Murdoch’s son James of allegations that phone hacking might be widespread at The News of the World. James Murdoch has consistently maintained that the pair did no such thing and that he knew nothing about it.

Speaking of Rupert Murdoch, Mr. Crone said: “It is perhaps no coincidence that the two people he has identified in relation to his cover-up allegations are the same two people who pointed out that his son’s evidence to the parliamentary select committee last year was inaccurate.” ( Source: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/04/27/world/europe/in-testifying-murdoch-cites-a-cover-up-in-hacking.xml)