Supreme Court: On a plea challenging the notification authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system, the Court sought Centre’s response within six weeks.
According to the Notification dated 20.12.2018, the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (for Income Tax Department), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in service areas of J-K, North East and Assam) and Delhi Police commissioner are empowered under the Information Technology (IT) Act for computer interception and analysis.
Petitioner ML Sharma argues that the notification gives the state the right to access every communication, computer and mobile and “to use it to protect political interest and object of the present executive political party”. By way of this PIL, he has sought to prohibit the agencies from initiating any criminal proceedings, enquiry or investigation against anybody under the provisions of the IT Act based on the notification.
However, the Central government 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.