In what comes as shocking news to every citizen in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted sweeping powers to 10 central agencies to track, monitor and even intercept data on every personal computer.
This is the first time that the government has granted the power to scan data on a computer and not just in transfer between two computers- to investigating agencies, as per the reports.
The newly signed order that was issued yesterday, Dec 20, by the Ministry of Home Affairs authorizes India’s 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.”
All the 10 respective agencies are 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 (for service areas in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and the Delhi Police Commissioner.
The NDTV report says, “this signed order requires any person in command of the computer to cooperate and extend technical assistance to investigating agencies if they come knocking on your doorstep.”
If the person in the query doesn’t cooperate, they can face up to 7 years in jail and a monetary fine. This new move by the Home Ministry to grant powers to investigating agencies to track, record and scan data on any computer that can be misused.