Press Trust of India

Union Minister defends snooping order

Union Minister defends snooping order
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New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit out at the Congress, which along with other opposition parties attacked the government for “snooping on citizens” through its order authorising investigative agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt information stored in any computer.
The minister also lauded the National Investigation Agency (NAI) for cracking an ISIS terror module in New Delhi.
“Were the maximum intercepts done during the UPA Government? Surely George Orwell was not born in May 2014,” he said in a tweet.
He was responding to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s attack on the government saying, “If anybody is going to monitor the computer, including your computer, that is the Orwellian state. George Orwell is around the corner. It is condemnable”.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi too had attacked the order saying, “It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians what an insecure dictator you really are”.
The order, Jaitley had last week stated, was under a 2009 rule and the opposition was “making a mountain where even a molehill doesn’t exist”.
“National security and sovereignty are paramount. Life and personal liberty will survive only in a strong democratic nation not in a terrorist dominated state,” Jaitley said Thursday.
He also lauded the NIA for busting an alleged Islamic terror plot, saying it would not have been possible without interception of electronic communication, which is the centrepiece of a controversial government order issued last week.
“Well done NIA for cracking the dangerous terrorist module,” he tweeted. “Would this crackdown of the terrorist module by NIA have been possible without interception of electronic communications?”
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Wednesday arrested 10 persons after raids at 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi for allegedly being part of a module of the IS.
The NIA Wednesday said the group self-appointed and financed was in an “advanced stage of carrying out a series of blasts” across the country and had “vital installations and important personalities, including politicians” on their target.
Meanwhile, the NIA produced before a Delhi court 10 people arrested on suspicion of being members of an ISIS-inspired group who were planning suicide attacks and serial blasts, targeting politicians as also government installations, in Delhi and other parts of north India.
They were produced before the court amidst tight security and with covered faces before Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey who ordered in-camera proceedings in the case.
NIA sought 15-day custodial interrogation of the 10 accused who were arrested from various parts of the national capital and Uttar Pradesh. (PTI)

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