The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill: A Political Standoff between India, Pakistan and the people of IoK

On May 4, 2016, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs proposed the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill (GIRB). The Bill is meant to regulate the acquisition, dissemination, publication and distribution of geospatial information of India. The permission of the Government of India would be mandatory while adding or creating any information related to geospatial imagery, data acquired through space or aerial platforms such as satellites, aircrafts, airships, balloons or unmanned aerial vehicles. Anyone disseminating, publishing or distributing information in contravention of the section 4 of the bill will be punished with a fine ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period of up to seven years.
Similarly, graphical or digital data showing natural or man-made physical features, phenomenon or boundaries (including international boundaries of the states) on the earth would require the consent of the Indian Security Vetting Authority. The Authority would have the powers to grant licenses to organisations or individuals for the use of geospatial data.

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