Order to monitor computers exists since 2009: Arun Jaitley

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 21, 2018, 05:02 PM(IST)

File photo of Arun Jaitley. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Jaitley added that the order came into existence after Congress party-led Opposition joined hands on to oppose the government's move to authorise 10 Central agencies to intercept 'any information' on computers.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday responded to Congress leader Anand Sharma's remark over Home Affairs Ministry's move to allow ten agencies to monitor any computer.

Jaitley stated that the same order of authorisation was repeated that was existing since 2009. 

"You are making a mountain where a molehill does not exist," Jaitley stated. 

Jaitley added that the order came into existence after Congress party-led Opposition joined hands on to oppose the government's move to authorise 10 Central agencies to intercept "any information" on computers.

Jaitley was responding to former Union minister Anand Sharma's remark which noted that the BJP government is converting India into a surveillance state through its recent order.

×

"It is the ultimate assault on fundamental rights and the right to privacy. It is also in direct conflict with the Supreme Court judgement that the right to privacy is a fundamental right. The government has done it by strength we collectively oppose it," Sharma told reporters.

The Centre on Friday authorised select security and intelligence agencies for purposes of interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.

The agencies empowered by the government in accordance with the Information Technology Act, 2000, include the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Narcotics Control Bureau (NIB), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA), Cabinet Secretariat (RAW) and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, news agency PTI reported. 

"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000) read with rule 4 of the Information Technology ( Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009, the Competent Authority hereby authorises Security and Intelligence Agencies for the purposes of interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under the said Act," read the notice issued by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

The direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs comes as a follow up to a 2009 notification, wherein the then UPA government had stated that no person shall carry out the interception, monitoring, or decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under sub-section (2) of section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, except by an order issued by the competent authority.

"Such order may be issued by an officer, not below the rank of the Joint Secretary to the Government of India, who has been duly authorised by the competent authority," the 2009 notice read.

(With inputs from PTI)

Read in App