Snooping row: Don’t be hypocritical! 9000 phones & 500 emails tapped under UPA-II, BJP tells Congress

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Published: December 23, 2018 12:58:39 PM

Earlier this week, the present dispensation repeated the same authorisation order but it triggered a massive uproar by the opposition leaders who accused the government of converting India into a surveillance state.

Snooping row, Snooping controversy, congress, bjp, Snooping details, phone tapping issue, snoopgate, snooping in india, snooping caseOn an average, between 7500-9000 orders for interception of telephones are issued by Central Government per month. (PTI)

Even as the opposition continues its attack on the government for authorising agencies to intercept computers, it has been reported that as many as 9,000 phones and 500 emails were tapped every month in the Congress-led UPA-II. The information was revealed by the Ministry of Home Affairs in response to an RTI filed in 2013.

“On an average, between 7500-9000 orders for interception of telephones are issued by Central Government per month,” ANI reported citing the RTI. It further revealed that the then UPA-II government had also issued on an average 300-500 orders for interception of e-mails per month.

The agencies that were authorised to collect data through intercept were Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Enforcement, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Research & Analysis Wing and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and Directorate of Signal Intelligence (for service areas of Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Assam).

Earlier this week, the present dispensation repeated the same authorisation order but it triggered a massive uproar by the opposition leaders who accused the government of converting India into a surveillance state.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it ‘an ill-informed campaign’ by the Congress. He further said that the IT Act has been in existence for almost two decades. “Section 69 of the IT Act authorises in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity etc. to direct a notified agency to intercept or monitor or decrypt information stored in a computer resource.”

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also hit out at the Congress and said that they should not have double-standard.

Referring to UPA-II era interception, the minister in a tweet said: “As many as 9000 phones & 500 emails were tapped monthly in UPA2, a 2013 RTI reveals That’s 300 phones & 20 emails tapped- every. single. day. With its history of emergency & post office amendment bill, Congress should NOT be hypocritical about steps to ensure national security.”

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