A new order by the union home ministry has given sweeping powers to top government investigating agencies to monitor and intercept contents on computers. The order, signed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said that the central agencies will now be equipped with powers of “interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.”
The agencies, according to The Hindu, 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.
According to the order, the NDTV reported, for the first time, powers of scanning data at rest have been given to various agencies. “Earlier, only data in motion could be intercepted. But now data revived, stored and generated can also be intercepted as powers of seizure have been given,” a senior bureaucrat was quoted as saying.
Under the new order, even the Intelligence Bureau, which has no powers of seizure, will have powers to seize devices.