The government has authorized ten security and intelligence agencies for “interception, monitoring, and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.”
The order was passed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 20 December, mentioning all the ten agencies, as “Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (RAW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.”
According to a report in The Hindu, ” the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will be bound to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies and failing to do will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine, as per the order.”
The order has been passed under 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Kashmir needs independent journalism…
…now, more than ever to give a voice to the voiceless. The press in Kashmir has operated under tremendous pressures of reporting from a conflict zone but since August 2019 we find ourselves in unchartered territory. The Kashmir Walla is among the oldest independent media outlets in Kashmir and has withstood successive lockdowns as well as attempts to suppress us, fighting back with authoritative ground reports based on facts.
We believe in making the powers that be accountable to their actions but to also hold the mirror to the society. We believe in covering all sides of the story and that empowerment in essence means the ability to make informed decisions. As such we have not allowed our journalism to be influenced by the pressures.
Despite the new and still unknown pressures, we are all the more committed to keep informing you of events and stories that matter. Our recent coverage of events has brought us an increased readership. However, the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic crisis has affected our operational capabilities. We are facing an existential threat but only your support can help us withstand this and maintain our editorial independence.