Mobile Internet

Indian government to allow 10 of its central agencies to access user data from their computers

The internet changed the world completely when it came into the picture. The statement cannot be truer as it has literally changed every single thing of this world, from our social life to private, everything is on the internet for everyone to read. Our financial assets are also digital nowadays, with paper becoming more like the past we had and data becoming public like the lives we have.

There are two terms, security and privacy, both have a very specific meaning. The two words are the most important terms in the age of the internet. The private data should be secured, is also a statement which is quite underrated if we look around nowadays. There are mammoth companies who cannot guarantee the security of our data and then there are other mammoth companies who use our data to make themselves a fortune.

News, as latest as today, is a good exemplar of how not to misuse the privileges one has. Facebook, a company which we all trust with our information, uses the very same information for its own use in a way which silently alters our lives. The scandals that the company is a part of makes us feel insecure on a level which we aren’t even aware of exists. Facebook is a company which accesses our data without authorization but there is another side to this as well.

There are entities who compel us to share our data. Those entities are known as governments. Almost all the governments in the entire world have laws that compel us to share our information with them. There are many reasons behind it, national security is the number one and one can understand the thinking that goes behind such a decision.

The most recent government to take this harsh but necessary decision is the Indian government. The central government has made a note that ten of its agencies will have authority to intercept, monitor and decrypt that is stored, received or generated in any and all computers. Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, issued this order stating the same.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, told on Thursday that the following agencies will be the authorized to access the user data; Commissioner of Police, Delhi, Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Directorate of Signal Intelligence which is for Jammu & Kashmir, North East and Assam.

Another news tells us that any service provider or entity decided to not share the information or defies the government orders then they will be subject to seven years of imprisonment and a fine on top of that. This decision is taken under section 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The act states that the government can direct any agency to access the data in order to keep the sovereignty of the nation and also for defense, security and integrity of the nation.

– Unmesh Phule

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