Modi’s BJP government enacted sweeping new powers to spy on the population. A move that critics say has turned India into a dangerous surveillance state and showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be an insecure dictator. Privacy advocates argue that mass surveillance of this kind will have a chilling effect on democratic debate and dissent.
Analysts say they will be used to crack down on critics, rights campaigners and political opponents before the general election early next year.
The order authorizes 10 central agencies to monitor, intercept and decrypt information stored, transmitted and generated on any computer in the country.
The interception of calls was already allowed for some federal agencies under India’s Telecom Act, but this would make data collection of critics and political opponents easier. In its scope and scale it is similar to the US PRISM spy program.