Right to Privacy Officially Under Threat! MHA authorises 10 govt agencies to monitor & intercept every digital move

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As per recent updates, 10 central agencies can now intercept, monitor and decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer. These agencies could include the Intelligence Bureau as well as the NIA.
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An order to the effect was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 20th December. The agencies authorised to have access to your computers are:

 

 

  1. Intelligence Bureau
  2. Narcotics Control Bureau
  3. Enforcement Directorate
  4. Central Board of Direct Taxes
  5. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
  6. Central Bureau of Investigation
  7. National Investigation Agency
  8. Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW)
  9. Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only)
  10. Commissioner of Police, Delhi
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According to the order, the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will have the onus and responsibility to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies. If anyone fails to do so, they will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.
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The MHA gave the authorisation under 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which says that the central government can direct any agency after it is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do so 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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The government has stated:

“This has been done as there was essentially an anomaly in law. In the IT act, unlike the Telegraph Act, there was no scope for intercepting digital data.”

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IT Information Act, 2000

 

In May 2000, both the houses of the Indian Parliament passed the Information Technology Bill. The Bill received the assent of the President in August 2000 and came to be known as the Information Technology Act, 2000. Cyber laws too are contained in the IT Act, 2000.

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The Information Technology Act, 2000 also aims to provide for the legal framework so that legal sanctity is accorded to all electronic records and other activities carried out by electronic means. The Act states that unless otherwise agreed, an acceptance of contract may be expressed by electronic means of communication and the same shall have legal validity and enforceability.

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