New Delhi: Defending a recent Government order which authorises Central investigative agencies to monitor any computer, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday cited the example of the previous day’s crackdown by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on an ISIS-inspired module, Harkal ul Harb e Islam.
Taking to Twitter, Jaitley said, “Well done NIA for cracking the dangerous terrorist module,” he tweeted. “Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?”
On Wednesday, the NIA rounded up 16 people of which it eventually arrested 10, after raids at 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Jaitley also hit out at the Congress, which along with other Opposition parties, has attacked the government for “snooping on citizens” through its order authorising investigative agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer.
“Were the maximum intercepts done during the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May 2014,” he said in another tweet.
This was in response to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s attack on the Government saying, “If anybody is going to monitor the computer, including your computer, that is the Orwellian state. George Orwell is around the corner. It is condemnable.”
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had too had attacked the order saying, “It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians what an insecure dictator you really are.”
The order, Jaitley had stated last week, was under a 2009 rule and the Opposition was “making a mountain where even a molehill doesn’t exist”.
“National security and sovereignty are paramount. Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation, not in a terrorist dominated state,” Jaitley tweeted on Thursday.