07 January 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Surveillance state?

Surveillance state? Have we entered the era of mass surveillance with little oversight? The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an order authorising 10 Central agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.” The order, signed by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, gives a licence to snoop to the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (Research and Analysis Wing), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and the Delhi Police Commissioner. Not surprisingly, the move has created a furore especially among the Opposition parties who are accusing the Modi sarkar for breach of privacy of citizens and promoting a surveillance state. The government has responded by saying that such powers were already there since 2009. However, while earlier, only the Home Ministry could scan calls and emails of people, and security agencies could only intercept data after authorisation from the ministry, the new order gives them free rein. The controversy is likely to resurface again, believe experts.

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