Senior minister Arun Jaitley today defended a current government order on monitoring all computers as he congratulated the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the arrest yesterday of 10 members of an ISIS-inspired group allegedly planning a terror attack.
“Well done NIA for cracking the dangerous terrorist module,” the Union Finance Minister stated in tweets.
“Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?”
The Congress and other opposition parties have attacked the government’s order empowering 10 agencies to intercept and monitor data in computers and infect seize devices. “It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians what an insecure dictator you really are,” written Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Mr. Jaitley stated the order was under a 2009 rule and the opposition was “making a mountain where even a molehill doesn’t exist”.
Today, the minister tweeted: “Were the maximum intercepts done in the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May 2014.”
He stated national security and sovereignty are “paramount” and added: “Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation – not in a terrorist dominated State.”
On Wednesday, the NIA stated it had caught a group headed by a cleric operating in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, which was planning suicide attacks on the country’s vital installations and VIPs. It had planned to strike at the Delhi police headquarters and the local office of the RashtriyaSwayamsevak Sangh on Republic Day said sources. Ten people were arrested.
Mr. Jaitley had put out a strong defense of what was dubbed by many as the government’s “big brother” order last week. Before, only the home ministry could scan calls and emails of people. Now the same power has been assigned to the NIA, Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI and the Delhi Police Commissioner.