The Ministry of Home Affairs, on Thursday, empowered ten security and intelligence agencies, including the tax authorities Central Board of Direct Taxes ( CBDT ), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau and National Investigation Agency (NIA) to intercept and monitor information on computer devices.
According to the order, the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will be bound to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies. Failing to do so will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (1) of section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000) read with rule 4 of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009, the Competent Authority hereby authorises the following security and Intelligence agencies for the purposes of Interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under the said act,” a notification released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) read. It further listed the following agencies:
- Intelligence Bureau
- Narcotics Control Bureau
- Enforcement Directorate
- Central Board of Direct Taxes
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
- Central Bureau of Investigation
- National Investigation Agency
- Cabinet Secretariat (RAW)
- Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Assam only)
- Commissioner of Police, Delhi
The move would have a great impact on the measures taken by the tax department on tax evasion.