Hope SC takes hard look at MHA surveillance order, says Omar Abdullah

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Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday expressed that he hopes the Apex court will take a “long hard look” at the authority given by the Central government to agencies to scan “any information” present in any computer system.

Taking to social media site Twitter, Omar Tweeted, “Given that the government has now authorized multiple agencies to snoop on the personal & official computers of the Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court I hope the SC takes a long hard look at the legality of the order. #surveillancestate #emergency2pointzero.”

Omar reacted following the order passed late Thursday by the ‘Cyber and Information Security’ division of the Union Home Ministry authorises 10 Central agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to intercept, monitor, and decrypt “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”.

According to the order, 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. Failing to do so will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.

The agencies are the 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 (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

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