New Delhi :
If you have any personal data stored in your personal desktop or laptop, it's better you get rid of that now because the Narendra Modi government has granted sweeping powers to 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer. According to a new home ministry order signed by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, 10 central agencies have been granted with powers of "interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer".
The Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and the Delhi Police Commissioner are the agencies allowed by the home ministry to snoop any computer.
The home ministry order said that the above agencies were powered to obtain any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Criticising the move to authorise central agencies to intercept, monitor, decrypt information on all computers, the Opposition Congress said that after the recent defeat in Assembly elections, the Narendra Modi government was desperate for the information and thus turned into "stalker government" Also Read: Snooping Row: Centre clarifies on order allowing 10 agencies to intercept, decrypt any computer
"From Modi Sarkar (government) to Stalker Sarkar, clearly the string of losses has left the BJP government desperate for information," the Congress party wrote on its official Twitter account.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also lashed out at the Modi government for "flouting" the "Right to Privacy". He said that it spying on people was a tendency of the Modi government.
"Modi Govt mocks & flouts Fundamental ‘Right to Privacy’ with brazen impunity! Having lost elections,now Modi Govt wants to scan/snoop YOUR computers? ‘Big Brother Syndrome’ is truly embedded in NDA’s DNA!" Surjewala tweeted.
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Modi Govt mocks & flouts Fundamental ‘Right to Privacy’ with brazen impunity!
Having lost elections,now Modi Govt wants to scan/snoop YOUR computers?
‘Big Brother Syndrome’ is truly embedded in NDA’s DNA!
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— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) December 21, 2018
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday clarified that no new powers have been conferred to any of the security or law enforcement to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer, adding that each case of interception, monitoring, decryption is to be approved by the Union home secretary.