All computers can now be monitored by Govt. agencies

• The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday issued an order authorising 10 Central agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.”

• The agencies are the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation;

• National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

Key highlights

• According to the order, the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will be bound to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies and failing to do will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.

• The MHA gave the authorisation under 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which says that the Central government can direct any agency after it is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do so in the “interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence.”

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Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Challenges to internal security through communication networks, basics of cyber security etc.

Prelims level: Details of the MHA Order

Mains level: Cyber Security and associated issues

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