Opposition slams Centre's surveillance order

A united opposition on Friday slammed the Modi government's order authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any information stored in any computer

A united opposition on Friday slammed the Modi government's order authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any information stored in any computer.

“This is a serious development. Through this order BJP is converting India into a surveillance state,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters here. He was flanked by leaders from Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, RJD and the AAP.

“We collectively oppose it. Right to privacy is a fundamental right. The order directly hits at this fundamental right,” Sharma said.

Sharma raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha, while RSP leader N K Premachandran mentioned it in the Lok Sabha saying the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs was a violation of fundamental rights.

In the Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the MHA order referred to by the opposition is for “national security” and first issued in 2009 when the Congress-led UPA was in power.

Congress' chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the Modi government of mocking and flouting fundamental 'Right to Privacy' with brazen impunity.

“Having lost elections, now Modi government wants to scan and snoop your computers? ‘Big Brother Syndrome’ is truly embedded in NDA’s DNA,” Surjewala said.

Speaking to reporters, Azad admitted that a similar order was issued during the UPA years, but the then government had made it clear that such provisions would be used only for purposes of keeping national security intact.

“But, this new government order doesn’t say so. This order for interception is the new face of the undeclared Emergency that has been imposed by Modi government,” Azad said.

CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned why was every Indian treated like a criminal.

“This order by a government wanting to snoop on every citizen is unconstitutional and in breach of the telephone tapping guidelines, the Privacy Judgement and the Aadhaar judgement,” Yechury said.

“India has been under undeclared emergency since May 2014, now in its last couple of months Modi government is crossing all limits by seeking control of even the citizens computers. Can such curtailment of fundamental rights be tolerated in world's largest democracy,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav dubbed the MHA order as an attack on democracy.
“It is a case of blatant overreach. Is the government panicking about the 2019 elections,” Yadav said.

 

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Opposition slams Centre's surveillance order

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