Recent news websites carried the news about the Modi Sarkar bringing out orders naming 10 agencies allowed to “snoop” on any computers.
There was a huge hue and cry over how this is going to be an invasion of privacy and how the Government is passing new laws to enter people’s computers now.
This post will try to analyse what actually has happened based on facts and precedence.
The order was passed on 20th December 2018 which referred to section 69 of the Information Technology Act 2000 read with the rule 4 of Information Technology Rules 2009. The order specified the names of 10 Government agencies which would be authorized to intercept, monitor and decrypt any information transmitted or received from any computer or digital resource.
The exact order can be found as an image here
The Information Technology Act was passed in Oct 2000 by the Parliament under the NDA Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The ITA-2000 is basically a primary law in India that deals with Cyber crime and Electronic Commerce.
You can read the entire act here if you want but the focus of this post is specifically on Section 69.
The Section 69 of the ITA-2000 was passed as an amendment to the original act in the year 2008 by the Parliament under the UPA 1 Government led by Manmohan Singh.
The Section 69 is what introduced the snooping order by amending the original ITA-2000.
You can read the entire amendment here
You can read the entire section 69 here
And the section 69B here
So while the earlier ITA-2000 mentioned only decryption or messages, the section 69 of the new IT Act of 2008 enhanced the scope to include interception and monitoring.
The Information Technology Rules 2009:
These Rules which were made in 2009 by the UPA Government led by Manmohan Singh, were basically a procedural guidelines for monitoring and collecting data, largely based on the Section 69 and Section 69B.
You can read all the rules here
What is however interesting is the Subsection 4 of these rules which indicates that the Government needs to authorize the agencies which will be allowed to monitor and collect this data.
The order passed by Modi Sarkar does specifically this. It authorizes the 10 agencies which will be snooping on our data, which they were already snooping on even before we knew it.
THE HYPE: This is a new law made by the Modi Sarkar who wants to get into everyone’s computer and check your porn collection.
THE TRUTH: This Law was passed by BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sarkar in 2000. The Section 69 which gives special powers to agencies to snoop was added in 2008 under Congress’s Manmohan Singh. The Rules which specified the declaration of agencies were made in 2009 under Congress’s Manmohan Singh. The 10 agencies have been specified by Modi Sarkar under the existing laws and acts.
This post was first published by Darshan Mondkar on his Facebook Timeline.
Disclaimer: You were already being screwed since 2008, you just didn’t know it back then. Now you specifically know who is authorized to screw you up and who authorized it. 😛