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MHA to empower mass surveillance agencies

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) on December 20, notification that allows ten agencies to monitor any computer resource. The apex court said that it will examine the issue and sought the reply from centre within six weeks.

On December 20, the MHA had issued the notification empowering ten agencies for mass surveillance. The agencies include, 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 and Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

Advocate ML Sharma had challenged that the MHA order on grounds of it being ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’. However, the Home Ministry, in an earlier statement had clarified that its order does not confer any new powers to any security or law enforcement agency, adding that any interception, monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource will be done as per the law.


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