Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Friday
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Friday

Repeated same order existing since 2009: Jaitley on MHA surveillance order

ANI | Updated: Dec 21, 2018 17:07 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 21 (ANI): Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday told the Rajya Sabha that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has only repeated the same order, pertaining to surveillance, which was there since 2009.
Responding to Congress leader Anand Sharma over MHA order allowing 10 agencies to monitor any computer, Jaitley said, "On 20 December, same order of authorisation was repeated that was existing since 2009. You are making a mountain where a molehill does not exist."
The Centre, in its latest order, had authorised select security and intelligence agencies for purposes of interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000) read with Rule 4 of the Information Technology ( Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009, the Competent Authority hereby authorises Security and Intelligence Agencies for the purposes of interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under the said Act," read the notice issued by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
The recent directive of the Ministry of Home Affairs has invited collective ire of the Opposition.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Anand Sharma termed it as an attempt to convert India into a surveillance state.
"Through this order, the BJP government is converting India into a surveillance state. It is the ultimate assault on fundamental rights and right to privacy. It is also in direct conflict with the Supreme Court judgement that the right to privacy is a fundamental right. The government has done it by stealth, we collectively oppose it because this gives unlimited power to all these agencies to monitor every information to intercept and complete surveillance, which is completely unacceptable in our democracy." (ANI)

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