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Rights activists up in arms after govt announces intercept of computer info by central agencies

Massive uproar by rights activists as the government defended its recent order to authorise 10 central agencies to intercept “any information” on computers.

Even the opposition is all out up in arms over the issue.

The order authorises these 10 agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to intercept, monitor, and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under the said Act (section 69 of the IT Act, 2000).”

It is said that the order was passed by the ‘cyber and information security’ division of the Union home ministry under the authority of home secretary Rajiv Gauba.

As per the order, the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will be bound to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies and any failure in compliance will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.

Describing it as unconstitutional, undemocratic and an assault on fundamental rights, opposition parties on Friday, including CPM, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Trinamool Congress, said they will collectively oppose the home ministry’s order.

The opposition leaders said the BJP government was converting the country into a surveillance state.

The agencies are 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 (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

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