Snooping row: Jaitley says authorisation given under old rules

Union Minister Arun Jaitley
Union Minister Arun Jaitley

The government’s move to authorise 10 Central agencies to intercept any information on computers today rocked the Rajya Sabha, with Union Minister Arun Jaitley saying the opposition was creating a mountain out of a molehill as the authorisation was given under old rules.

Congress leader Anand Sharma raised the issue of the MHA authorising 10 central agencies to intercept any information on computers.

Replying to him, Jaitley said it would have been better if the Opposition had obtained all information before raising this issue.

“The Opposition is making a mountain out of a molehill where even a molehill does not exist,” he said.

“When senior members from Opposition raise an issue every word spoken by them has precious value and therefore they must know facts,” Jaitley told the House amid the din.

He said the rules under which agencies have been authorised to intercept were framed in 2009 when the Congress-led UPA was in power.

The authorisation has been issued under the same rules. Since the Act has been in place these orders of authorisation are repeated from time to time, he said.

The order authorises 10 Central agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to intercept, monitor, and decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer. PTI