New Delhi: The Union home ministry has authorized 10 central agencies to access or intercept information stored or transmitted on or by any computer in the country. The Union home secretary, Rajiv Gauba, issued an order, on Thursday, enabling there agencies to “intercept, monitor and decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”
The agencies that have been given the authorization to do so include the 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 (Research and Analysis Wing), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (for service areas of Jammu & Kashmir and northeast only) and Delhi Police commissioner.
The order is issued under 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which says that the central government can direct any agency to intercept any information transmitted through computers, if required 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”.
According to the notification, if any subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer fails to extend all facilities or any technical assistance to the agencies, the failure will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.