Govt authorizes 10 security agencies to snoop on any computers

New Delhi: The Union government on Friday authorized ten security and intelligence agencies, including Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to “intercept, monitor and decrypt” all information on any computer device in the country.

A Gazette of India notification to this effect signed by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba was issued on December 20. The Gazette of India is a legal document that carries information about changes to law or new laws and orders.

“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 the following 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,” the notification read.

The agencies listed in the ministry order are the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and the Delhi Police Commissioner.

Snoop on computer

Earlier, the government had authorised agencies to tap phone calls after permission from the Home Secretary. The order was last updated in 2011 and enables agencies to get into social media accounts and telephone intercepts.

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