As per the reports, the Government of India had authorized more than 10 central agencies that are able to Tap Individual phones of every Indian Citizen.
Is it against Privacy?
India is not the only country to give permission to agencies for tapping citizen’s phones, WhatsApp calls, and messages.
National Security Agency in the USA is able to tap all US citizens easily. Likewise, Indian has 10 agencies that can tap user’s recordings for the safety of the country.
So, it is clearly not against privacy and agencies will tap phones of citizens having no criminal backgrounds. They will target specialized criminals, Fraudsters, etc to know their plans in advance and can take necessary actions.
Union Minister Of State Statment
G Kishan Reddy informed Lok Sabha that according to Section, 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. This enables the central Government and state government to intercept, monitor, or decrypt or cause to be intercepted or monitored or decrypted, any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of the country.
List of agencies that can track
- Intelligence Bureau
- Central Bureau of Investigation
- Enforcement Directorate
- Narcotics Control Bureau
- Central Board of Direct Taxes
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
- National Investigation Agency
- Directorate of Signal Intelligence
- Delhi Police Commissioner.
Approval is a must before tapping the phone
The listed above agencies are the ones who can have access to the phone conversation and messages of any Indian Citizen in India.
Though all the agencies have the power to tap the phones, before tapping any phone they are supposed to take the approval of Union Home Secretary.
In a written response to a question, Reddy said “This power of interception is to be executed as per the provisions of law, rules, and SoPs. Easy such case is approved by the Union Home Secretary in case of the central government and by the Home Secretary of the state concerned in case of the state government,”. (reference)
Additional Important statement
The minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy said “Government didn’t give “blanket permission to any agency for the interception or monitoring or decryption and permission from competent authority is required, as per the due process of law and rules, in each case,”.
He also added, “Each case is also reviewed by a committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary in case of Central Government and Chief Secretary of the State concerned in case of a State Government,”.