Ministry of Home Affairs authorises 10 central agencies to access any computer

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued an order authorising ten security and intelligence agencies of the country to access any information stored in any computer for the purpose of monitoring, decrypting and interception.

Cyber and information security
Cyber and information security

In its order dated December 20, 2018, the cyber and information security division of MHA under the sub-section (1) of section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, authorized the following 10 agency to access any computer resource.

  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,

Undersigned by Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, the order mandates for a subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource to extend technical assistance to the agencies. Non-compliance will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine

The order drew sharp reaction from CPM leader Sitaram Yechury who took to Twitter condemning the order as “unconstitutional”. “Why is every Indian being treated like a criminal? 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 judgement,” wrote Yechury.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram compared the order to a situation called “Orwellian state” 

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