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Monday, 24 December 2018 07:40

India issues sweeping orders for computer surveillance

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India issues sweeping orders for computer surveillance Pixabay

India has stepped up its surveillance of computers within the country's borders, authorising 10 government agencies to intercept and monitor information from any device.

India's Interior Ministry made the announcement on Thursday, saying that the new rule provides that "the competent authority may authorise an agency of the government to intercept, monitor or decrypt information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource".

It said that interception, monitoring or decryption would have to be approved by the federal home secretary, or by designated authorities in each state.

A total of 10 agencies are authorised to make these requests., They are:

  • 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)
  • Commissioner of Delhi Police
  • Directorate of Signals Intelligence (for service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East, and Assam only).

The issuing of the special order led to criticism from the head of the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to convert India into a police state.

"Converting India into a police state isn’t going to solve your problems, Modi Ji,” he tweeted. “It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians, what an insecure dictator you really are.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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