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9,000 phones, 500 emails intercepted each month under UPA, reveals RTI

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New Delhi, Dec 22: Amid a furore over the Modi government giving "snooping powers" to investigative agencies, a RTI reply reveals that around 7,500-9,000 phones and 300-500 email accounts were intercepted every month under the then UPA government.

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"On an average, between 7,500 to 9,000 orders for interception of telephones are issued by Central Government per month. On an average, between 300 to 500 orders for interception of emails are issued by Central Government per month," news agency ANI reported quoting the 2013 RTI.

In today's world of cyber terror, why the snoop order on computers is the need of the hour

The reply also discloses the list of ten central and state agencies that are authorised for lawful interception, which include Intelligence Bureau (IB), (ED), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), (NIA), Cabinet Secretariat (RAW) and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi.

The RTI application was received in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on July 12, 2013.

It may be noted that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the authorisation was given under 2009 rules and dismissed opposition's charge of snooping.

Opposition slams MHA order on intercepting all computers, Govt defends move

Responding to the charge, Jaitley said it would have been better if the Opposition had obtained all information before raising this issue. He told the House that the rules under which agencies will be authorised to intercept information were framed in 2009 when the Congress-led UPA was in power.

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.

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