Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has demanded the withdrawal of a central government notification authorising 10 central agencies with “interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”.
Speaking after inaugurating a Christmas festival in Park Street, Mamata said, “This morning, I saw a notification which says there will be blanket surveillance on all computers. And this is not even for special circumstances, but in general. If we fail to provide all the data, we will face jail term. Will this be acceptable to an industrialist or a student or a common man? In 2009, there was a similar notification, but the phrase ‘under unavoidable circumstances’ was included. Today’s notification empowers 10 agencies, and there is no mention of ‘unavoidable circumstances’. The home ministry notification seeks to invade the privacy of all users. It must be withdrawn. Just clarifications are not enough. It can be misused against students, youths, employees and institutions.”
The reaction came a day after the Narendra Modi government issued an order enabling 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 (RAW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi to intercept information stored on any computer device.
“We take oath of secrecy. Now even our data will be available to these agencies. Then what is the purpose of this oath? We are citizens of a free country. Our rights and privacy are being trampled upon,” said Mamata.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister said “blanket surveillance” was not favoured by the law.
“I have come to know that the Union Home Ministry has issued an order yesterday authorising 10 central agencies to carry out interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource. If it is for National Security, then only for that purpose central government already has the machinery. But, why all commoners will be affected? Public Opinion please,” she said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, the chief minister also extended her support to actor Nasiruddin Shah, who had expressed concerns over how “the death of a cow has more significant than that of a police officer” in a recent interview.
“We must be focussed on welfare of the people, not hate, divisive politics and discrimination. What Naseeruddin Shah ji has said is significant. He is worried whether his children will be able to live in this country. This government even cancelled the holiday on December 25 in the past. We had written letters in protest,” she said.
Article source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/kolkata-withdraw-surveillance-notice-chief-minister-mamata-banerjee-tells-centre-5504753/