The Narendra Modi government authorised 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt all data contained in any computer system, a move that the opposition alleged was aimed at surveillance.
The agencies have been authorised for the purpose of interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under Section 69 of the IT Act, 2000, according to the order passed by the cyber and information security division of the Union Home ministry.
The section provides such powers to the government.
The agencies are Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in service areas of J-K, North East and Assam) and Delhi Police.
The government has clarified that the order issued is not new and in accordance with the existing laws.
“No new powers have been conferred to any of the security or law enforcement agencies by the statutory order dated 20.12.2018,” a statement said.
(with news agency inputs)