Published On: Fri, Dec 21st, 2018

Mass surveillance threat to privacy, independence: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: The Centre must withdraw the mass surveillance notification, which is a grave threat to an individual’s privacy and independence, said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Friday.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee today speaking at an event in Kolkata.

“Today I saw a notification where it is mentioned that all the computer resources will be under surveillance. Does this mean we don’t have any independence or privacy? This notification should be withdrawn as it can be misused,” added Chief Minister Banerjee.

The Government of India has authorised select security and intelligence agencies for the purposes of “interception, monitoring, and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.”

“The notifications need to be withdrawn immediately. What’s the use of taking the oath of secrecy when government data will be shared,” added Chief Minister Banerjee.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also took to his Twitter account to express his concern over the notification. “Sweeping powers given to Central agencies to snoop phone calls and computers without any checks is extremely dangerous,” he said.

“This step is a direct assault on civil liberties in general and fundamental right to privacy of citizens in particular, guaranteed by the Indian Constitution,” further tweeted Chief Minister Naidu.

The Centre on Friday clarified that every individual case will continue to require the prior approval of Union Home Ministry or the state government.

“Union Home Affairs Ministry has not delegated its power to any law enforcement or security agencies,” the Central government on Friday clarified on its latest directive that empowers security, intelligence agencies for mass surveillance.

“The notification does not confer any new powers and adequate safeguards are provided in the IT Act 2000,” the government further clarified, stating that similar provisions and procedures already exist in the Telegraph Act along with identical safeguards.

ANI

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