Govt. Authorises 10 Central Agencies to Intercept Data on Any Computer

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New Delhi : The Central Government has reportedly authorised 10 Central Agencies which will have the ability to access any computer in matters of national importance.

According to ANI, the 10 agencies which have been authorised will be able to intercept, monitor and decrypt any “information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.”

The Central Agencies include the following —

  1. Intelligence Bureau (IB),
  2. Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB),
  3. National Investigation Agency (NIA),
  4. Enforcement Directorate (ED),
  5. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT),
  6. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI – CBIC),
  7. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),
  8. Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW),
  9. Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and
  10. Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

The authorisation has been given under Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. It allows the government to direct any agency in the interest of the sovereignty, defence of India and security of the state among other reasons.

What does the MHA notification mean?
According to the order, the aforementioned agencies can gain access to a person’s computer and the person will have to provide access and technical assistance to the agencies. If they fail, there will be a punishment of up to seven years. Home secretary Rajiv Gauba has issued the order.

This basically gives the 10Central 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 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.”

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