The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an order granting ten central intelligence and security agencies access to information stored, recieved or transmitted in computers.
The notice, issued on Thursday, says the agencies can intercept, monitor and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.”
These ten agencies are-:
The Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation. Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.
This basically gives the 10 agencies mentioned in the notification, complete authority to snoop on any data on computers owned by individuals who are under the scanner of these agencies.
According to the order, the person who the computer belongs to will have to provide access and technical assistance to the aforementioned agencies. If they fail, there will be a punishment of up to seven years. Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba has issued the order.According to Section 69(1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, central or state governments allow agencies to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.
As per the section, the government can direct any agency to do this if it finds it necessary in the "interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence."
Why is every Indian being treated like a criminal? This order by a govt wanting to snoop on every citizen is unconstitutional and in breach of the telephone tapping guidelines, the Privacy Judgement and the Aadhaar judgement, said Sitaram Yechury, a prominent CPM leader tweeted.
“We have the North Korean news channels & now we have the North Korean police state. Imitation, as they say, is the sincerest form of flattery,'' tweeted Omar Abdullah of National Conference.