Laws on Communication Surveillance in India

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Laws on Communication Surveillance in India

Laws on Communication Surveillance in India

Communication surveillance in India is mainly done under two laws:

  • Indian Telegraph Act,1885
  • Information Technology Act, 2000

Under both the above laws, only the government is allowed to conduct surveillance in certain circumstances and not private agents.

  • Under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the government can intercept calls only in certain situations such as in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or to prevent any offense from taking place. .
  • These are the same restrictions that are imposed on freedom of expression under Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
  • Under the IT (Procedures and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules framed in 2009, framed in 2009, under the Information Technology Act, 2009, only the competent authority can issue orders.
  • The competent authority is the Union Home Secretary or the Secretary of State in charge of the Home Departments.
  • Earlier, in Public Union for Civil Liberties v Union of India Case (1998), the Supreme Court had pointed out the lack of procedural safeguards in the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and laid down certain guidelines for interception.

Source: The Hindu

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