Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Document Type



Information and Communications technologies (ICT) pervade society. The Internet, wireless communication, and social media are ubiquitous in and indispensable in society today. As they continue to grow and mushroom, there are new and increased calls from various segments of the society such as technologists, activists, sociologists, and legal experts, who issue warnings on the more nefarious and undesirable uses of ICTs, especially by governments. In fact, government control and surveillance using ICTs is not a new phenomenon. By looking at history, we are able to see several instances when ICTs have been used by governments to control, surveil, and infringe on basic rights of their citizens. It is useful to document and study those instances, so that we may understand what is at stake, and how such situations can be perpetrated as well as prevented or at least curtailed. In this paper, I trace the case of the “Internal Emergency” that was promulgated in (democratic) India between 1975 and 1977 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The paper examines the use and abuse of ICTs by the Indian government against its own people, along with its ramifications.