New Delhi :
The Opposition parties led by the Congress on Friday slammed the Narendra Modi government for authorising investigative agencies to snoop on any computer, terming the move undemocratic and an ultimate assault on fundamental rights. The Union Home Ministry on Thursday authorised 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any information stored in any computer device. According to the order signed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, 10 investigative agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, CBI, NIA, RAW and the Delhi Police Commissioner, will be allowed to obtain any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Criticising the move, the Congress party said, "From Modi Sarkar to stalker sarkar, clearly the string of losses has left the BJP government desperate for information." Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma described the move “ultimate assault” on the Right to Privacy.
"It is the ultimate assault on fundamental rights and the right to privacy. It is also in direct conflict with the Supreme Court judgment that right to privacy is a fundamental right," the Congress leader told reporters in Delhi.
Several other Opposition parties, including the CPI(M), the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the Trinamool Congress, said that they will collectively oppose the Narendra Modi government’s diktat issued on Thursday.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to condemn the central government’s order. "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. Isn’t this dangerous?” she said.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the order to snoop on every citizen was in breach of the telephone tapping guidelines. “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 judgment. Why is every Indian being treated like a criminal?” Yechuri asked.
According to the government diktat, 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. Failing to do so will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.