Spy Agencies Put Spanner in Proposed Privacy Law

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), November 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

Spy Agencies Put Spanner in Proposed Privacy Law


New Delhi, Nov. 2 -- The country's intelligence agencies are out to scuttle a law that's being drafted to protect your privacy.

The Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing have told the government to water down the proposed law that makes it a crime to leak sensitive personal information collected by government departments and the private sector.

The agencies conveyed their views to national security adviser Shivshankar Menon at a recent meeting at the prime minister's office. With home secretary Anil Goswami backing the spooks, even arguing that "the very need for such a bill" should be reviewed, Menon has called for revisiting the provisions the agencies have objected to.

The Right to Privacy Bill 2013 lays down privacy principles and standards, and stipulates jail terms and fines for leak of sensitive personal data.

"If such a bill was to be considered, intelligence agencies should be exempted from its purview," Goswami argued at the meeting.

The intelligence agencies also spoke about how the bill would "adversely affect or compromise" the functioning of many agencies and projects, such as the Central Monitoring System that is used to intercept phone calls and internet communication, and the National Intelligence Grid that would give law enforcement agencies access to information combat terror threats. …

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