Following outrage over a Ministry of Home Affairs notification authorizing 10 central agencies to intercept “any information” on computers, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Friday stated the opposition is “making a mountain where a molehill does not exist.”
Talking in the Rajya Sabha in response to Congress leader Anand Sharma over the order, Jaitley said: “On 20 December, same order of authorization was repeated that was existing since 2009. You are creating a mountain where a molehill does not exist.”
Jaitley cleared in Parliament on the powers given to the 10 central agencies, citing the 2009 rules of interception formulated by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity).
“The 2009 order published by Meity says “competent authority may authorize any agency of the govt to intercept, monitor, decrypt information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer source for reasons the specified in subsection (1) of section 69 of IT act.”
As per the 2009 Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information Rules, directions for interception and monitor stored in any computer, can only be taken by an officer not below the rank of joint secretary in GOI, under unavoidable circumstances.