Government order allowing interception and monitoring of data challenged in SC

Concept Note: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in an order on 20-12-2018 gave a power to 10 Central Agencies of “interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”.

The said order was given in exercise of the powers under Section 69 (1) of the IT Act, 2000 read with Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009.

Further the stated agencies that have been given the power are:

  • Intelligence Bureau;
  • Narcotics Control Bureau;
  • Enforcement Directorate;
  • Central Board of Direct Taxes;
  • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence;
  • Central Bureau of Investigation;
  • National Investigation Agency;
  • Cabinet Secretariat (RAW);
  • Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of J&K, North-East and Assam only);
  • Commissioner of Police, Delhi

All of the above information states that “not just calls or emails, but any data found on a computer can be intercepted. The agencies will also have powers to seize the devices.”

Advocate ML Sharma has challenged the said order in the Supreme Court of India on grounds of it being unconstitutional and illegal.

[Source: The Hindu]

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