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Rahul Gandhi slams Narendra Modi over Centre's move to snoop on computers

Image: Congress Twitter

Rahul Gandhi slams Narendra Modi over Centre's move to snoop on computers

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 21 Dec 2018, 06:19 pm

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IBNS): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the union government authorised ten central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”.

Hitting out at the Prime Minister, Rahul tweeted, "Converting India into a police state isn’t going to solve your problems, Modi Ji. It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians, what an insecure dictator you really are."

Ten central agencies, including the NIA and CBI, can now intercept, monitor and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer".

An order to the effect was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Dec 20. The 10 agencies with the freedom to peek into any computer are the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

According to the order, the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will be bound to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies and failing to do will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.

The MHA gave the authorisation under 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which says that the central government can direct any agency after it is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do so 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.”

The government has stated that this was done as there was "essentially an anomaly in law."

Other political leaders also criticised:

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee too criticised the Modi government saying on Twitter, "I have come to know that Union Home Ministry has issued an order yesterday authorising 10 Central Agencies to carry out interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource."

Mamata further posted: " If it is for National Security, then only for that purpose Central Government already has the machinery. But, why all commoners will be affected?Public Opinion please."

"Blanket surveillance is bad in law," she added.

CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted, "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."

Former Jammu and Kasmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said the Supreme Court should intervene to check the authority to snoop on computers.

He said: " Given that the government has now authorised multiple agencies to snoop on the personal & official computers of the Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court I hope the SC takes a long hard look at the legality of the order. "

 

Rahul Gandhi slams Narendra Modi over Centre's move to snoop on computers

India Blooms News Service
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