Congress leader Rahul Gandhi spent his second day in San Francisco on Thursday, 1 June, with Silicon Valley-based startup entrepreneurs who work around Artificial Intelligence and batted for appropriate regulations on data safety and security, news agency PTI reported.
Gandhi is on a six-day-visit to the United States will subsequently visit Washington DC and New York.
Gandhi participated in a fireside chat with startup incubator Plug and Play Tech Centre CEO Saeed Amidi and FixNix Startup founder Shaun Shankaran, and said that data is the “new gold” and added that countries like India have realised the real potential of data.
The discussion covered artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning and their implications on mankind in general and on issues like governance, social welfare measures and also disinformation and misinformation.
Responding to a question, he said, "If you want to spread any technology in India, you have to have a system where power is relatively decentralised.”
'Hello! Mr Modi': Rahul Discusses Pegasus
Discussing Pegasus spyware and similar technology, Gandhi said he is not worried and said that he presumes his phone is being tapped, jokingly saying "Hello! Mr Modi" on his phone.
"I presume my iPhone is being tapped. You need to establish rules with regard to privacy of data information as a nation and also as an individual…If a nation, state decides that they want to tap your phone, no one can stop you. This is my sense.”Rahul Gandhi
"If the nation is interested in tapping phone, then this is not a battle worth fighting. I think whatever I do and work, is available to the government," he further claimed.
Gandhi was accompanied by Indian Overseas Congress Chief Sam Pitroda and Congress Data Analytics department Chairman Praveen Chakravarty, and subsequently travelled to Stanford University Campus in California for an address.
‘Given Me a Huge Opportunity’: RaGa on Disqualification From Parliament
Responding to a series of questions from Indian students at Stanford University, Rahul Gandhi said that when he joined politics, he did not believe that his disqualification from Parliament was possible but added that it provided the former Wayanad MP with a "huge opportunity" to serve the people.
"But then I think it's actually given me a huge opportunity. Probably much bigger than the opportunity I would have. That's just the way politics works,” he said.
Gandhi was disqualified as an MP following his conviction and two-year sentence by a Gujarat court in a defamation case over his Modi surname remark.
"I think the drama started really, about six months ago. We were struggling. The entire opposition is struggling in India. Huge financial dominance. Institutional capture. We're struggling to fight the democratic fight in our country."
The BJP previously accused Gandhi of "insulting India" during his foreign visits and Union Minister Anurag Thakur said:
"Rahul Gandhi on his foreign trips wants to insult the Prime Minister but ends up insulting the country. He doesn’t even consider India as a nation and calls it a union of states. He raises questions over India’s progress. What does he want to achieve on his foreign visits? Is mud-slinging all that he has left to do?”
Speaking to Indian-origin students and academicians at Stanford University during a talk called 'The New Global Equilibrium,' Gandhi said, "I am very clear, our fight is ours fight."
“But there is a group of young students from India here. I want to have a relationship with them and want to talk to them. It's my right to do it,” he added.
Moreover, Rahul Gandhi emphasised that he is not seeking support during his foreign visits.
"I don't understand why the prime minister doesn't come here and do it,” Gandhi asked.
Meanwhile, the event's moderator said that Prime Minister Modi is welcome to visit Stanford and speak to academicians and students