Unlimited surveillance powers ‘against fundamental right to privacy’

India: Modi's super-snoop powers face court challenge

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA

Controversial super-snoop powers enjoyed by major Indian intelligence agencies are set to undergo court scrutiny, a local broadcaster reported.

India’s Supreme Court on Monday asked Narendra Modi’s government to respond in six weeks to legal petitions filed last December against laws giving unrestrained powers to top 10 intelligence bodies, the NDTV said.

The powers include “interception, monitoring, and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored on any computer” without a court warrant.

Petitioners argue that the practice is “against the fundamental right to privacy” and must be canceled. They are demanding an immediate halt to it.

The wide-ranging powers are currently used by the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (Research and Analysis Wing), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in Jammu and Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and the Delhi Police Commissioner.

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