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Arun Jaitley defends Centre's snooping order, lauds NIA for busting new ISIS-like module

Jaitley Was Replying To The Congress’ Accusation Of Snooping On Citizens Through The Government’s Order To Intercept, Monitor And Decrypt Information Stored In Any Computer.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Nabanita Chakorborty | Updated on: 27 Dec 2018, 05:17:30 PM
Arun Jaitley defends Centre's snooping order, lauds NIA (File Photo)

New Delhi:

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday congratulated the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for busting an alleged ISIS-like terror plot while defending a recent move by the Centre, granting sweeping powers to 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in all computers. On Wednesday, the NIA, in a coordinated raid, arrested 10 people in connection with a new ISIS-like module, from various parts of the national capital and Uttar Pradesh. The agency also added that the group, self-appointed and financed, was in an "advanced stage of carrying out a series of blasts" across the country and had "vital installations and important personalities, including politicians" on their target.

Taking to Twitter, the finance minister wrote, "Well done NIA for cracking the dangerous terrorist module". "Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?" Jaitley asked.

Read | ISIS module case: Delhi court sends 10 accused to 12-day NIA remand

Taking a dig at the Congress, the senior minister further said, "Were the maximum intercepts done during the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May 2014”. Jaitley was replying to the Congress’ accusation of "snooping on citizens" through the government’s order to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer.

In a veiled attack on the Modi government, Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "If anybody is going to monitor the computer, including your computer, that is the Orwellian state. George Orwell is around the corner. It is condemnable”.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi too had criticised the order saying, "It's only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians what an insecure dictator you really are”.

Read | Modi government authorises 10 central agencies to snoop on any computer

"National security and sovereignty are paramount. Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation, not in a terrorist dominated state," Jaitley said in a series of tweets.

Last week the union minister had also said that the snooping order was under a 2009 rule and the opposition was "making a mountain where even a molehill doesn't exist".

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First Published : 27 Dec 2018, 05:01:19 PM