Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday gave notice under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha to take up discussion on ‘Home Ministry notification which seeks to invade the privacy of all computers’. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the Centre’s move to authorise the mentioned central agencies to intercept “any information” on computers. She sought public opinion on the same.
The WB CM took to the micro-blogging site and tweeted, “I have come to know that the Union Home Ministry has issued an order yesterday authorising 10 central agencies to carry out an interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.”
Incidentally, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had on prior occasion, too had attacked the order and PM Modi saying, “It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians what an insecure dictator you really are.”
Earlier this month, at least ten central agencies were authorised by the Centre to intercept information from any computer, a move that set off a political storm with the opposition accusing the government of trying to create a “surveillance state”.
But the Centre said the rules for intercepting and monitoring computer data were framed in 2009 when the Congress-led UPA was in power and its new order only notified the designated authority which can carry out such action.
The opposition parties led by the Congress slammed the order as unconstitutional, undemocratic and an assault on fundamental rights and an attempt by the BJP government to convert India into a “surveillance state” by resorting to “snooping”, inviting a sharp response from the ruling party.
With regard to the ‘snooping order’, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley 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?”