These 10 Govt Agencies Can Tap Phones Of Any Indian Citizen: Rise Of Surveillance State Or Security Need?

These 10 Govt Agencies Can Tap Phones Of Any Indian Citizen: Rise Of Surveillance State Or Security Need?
These 10 Govt Agencies Can Tap Phones Of Any Indian Citizen: Rise Of Surveillance State Or Security Need?

As per the reports, the government of India has authorized more than 10 central agencies to tap individuals phones, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate and the Intelligence Bureau.

Govt: 10 Agencies Can Snoop On You

 On 19 November, the Ministry of Home Affairs told the Lok Sabha, adding the power of telephone interception is vested and according to the procedures, the agencies have to take the Union Home Secretary’s approval before putting anyone on surveillance.

All these doubts were cleared by the government in response to questions related to tapping of WhatsApp calls and messages.

While giving information about the subject, the Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy informed the Lok Sabha that Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, enables the central government or a state government to intercept, monitor or decrypt or cause to be intercepted or monitored or decrypted, any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of the country.

Which Agencies Got The Authorisation?

According to the reports, the competent authority in the central government has authorized 10 agencies for this purpose which includes – 

Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, National Investigation Agency, R&AW, Directorate of Signal Intelligence and Delhi Police Commissioner.

How Would It Work?

The agencies like CBI, the ED and the Intelligence Bureau are among 10 central agencies upon which the power of telephone interception is vested.

Although they have to take the Union Home Secretary’s approval before putting anyone on surveillance, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

In a written response to a question, Reddy said “This power of interception is to be executed as per the provisions of law, rules and SoPs. Easy such case is approved by the Union Home Secretary in case of central government and by the Home Secretary of the state concerned in case of the state government,”. (reference)

How Would This Process Work?

The minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy said “Government didn’t give “blanket permission to any agency for the interception or monitoring or decryption and permission from competent authority is required, as per the due process of law and rules, in each case,”.

He also added, “Each case is also reviewed by a committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary in case of Central Government and Chief Secretary of the State concerned in case of a State Government,”.

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