The Indian government on Thursday, December 20 gave legal rights to a total of 10 agencies to monitor, decrypt the information received or transmitted, intercept that in any computer user in India.
Indian Ministry of Home Affairs approved an order on Thursday to enhance the IT Act of 2000 in India. By this Indian government now have the legal power to investigate and to request for the access to any encrypted information of citizen’s computer or the internet traffic.
Those who won’t comply with the authorities’ request to intercept, access, monitor citizens whether it’s an individual or an entity will have to face a fine or seven years of prison.
Below is the list of agencies government has authorized to request data or intercept.
- the Central Bureau of Investigation
- the National Investigation Agency
- the Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW)
- the Commissioner of Delhi Police, and
- the Intelligence Bureau
- the Narcotics Control Bureau
- the Enforcement Directorate
- the Central Board of Direct Taxes
- the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
- the Directorate of Signal Intelligence (for service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East, and Assam only)
This approved order faced extremely strong reaction of anger by Indian citizens.
Government officers gave statements that the expansion of the Indian IT Act was necessary for the national security purpose and to maintain the public order and to deal with foreign interventions of the government.
To calm down the outrage online in social media the Ministry of Home Affairs gave a clarification and told that any data decryption or monitoring or interception of information will be done as per the due process of law with approval from union home secretary
#SnoopingSarkar | IT Minister @RSPrasad defends the MHA's #Snooping order. Says monitoring of data has been going on for long enough now, the difference is that now interception will be done in a structured manner based on the defined ground of security.#SecurityVsSnooping pic.twitter.com/O1MF3qO6bL
— ET NOW (@ETNOWlive) December 21, 2018
“Every individual case will continue to require prior approval of Home ministry or state government,”
the government also said that.
“MHA has not delegated its powers to any law enforcement or security agency.”
This expansion order in IT Act is expected to get challenged in the court.
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