In­dia says law al­lows state to in­ter­cept data

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

New Delhi, In­dia - In­dia’s govern­ment said on Tues­day it’s ‘em­pow­ered’ to in­ter­cept, mon­i­tor and de­crypt dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion in the public in­ter­est as long as its agencies fol­low the law.

Laws al­lowed fed­eral and state gov­ern­ments to in­ter­cept ‘any in­for­ma­tion gen­er­ated, trans­mit­ted, re­ceived or stored in any com­puter re­source’, G Kishan Reddy, Min­is­ter of State for Home, told Par­lia­ment in a writ­ten re­ply when asked by an op­po­si­tion law­maker whether the govern­ment had snooped on What­sApp, Face­book Mes­sen­ger, Viber, and Google calls and mes­sages. In­for­ma­tion can only be in­ter­cepted by ‘ au­tho­rised agencies as per due process of law, and sub­ject to safe­guards as provided in the rules’, the state­ment said.

Reddy didn’t an­swer a ques­tion on whether the fed­eral govern­ment had used the ser­vices of NSO Group’s Pe­ga­sus soft­ware to snoop on calls and mes­sages on What­sApp Inc’s mo­bile plat­form. In­dian news re­ports had ear­lier this month listed ac­tivists and hu­man rights lawyers who had spo­ken out against govern­ment poli­cies as among those whose phones were hacked.

Face­book Inc, par­ent of What­sApp, in­formed about 1,400 users that a mal­ware was sent on their de­vices us­ing the video call­ing sys­tem, the com­pany had said in a state­ment. Face­book has sued spy­ware man­u­fac­turer NSO, al­leg­ing that the Is­raeli com­pany hacked into the mo­bile phones of users.

The govern­ment can mon­i­tor dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion ‘in the in­ter­est of the sovereignt­y or in­tegrity of In­dia, se­cu­rity of the State, friendly re­la­tions with for­eign States or public or­der or for pre­vent­ing in­cite­ment to the com­mis­sion of any cog­niz­able of­fence re­lat­ing to above or for in­ves­ti­ga­tion of any of­fence,” Reddy said in his state­ment.

(AFP)

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi (cen­tre) ad­dresses me­dia af­ter ar­riv­ing for the win­ter ses­sion of par­lia­ment in New Delhi on Mon­day

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