The Indian government said Tuesday that new rules allowing it to access personal information available with Internet companies have inherent checks and balances against misuse.
The rules under section 43A of the Information Technology Act were enacted last month and reflect the government’s perception that security threats to the country can be countered by better access to online information.
The country is, for example, locked in a dispute with Research In Motion, demanding access to e-mails and other communications on RIM’s corporate service, called BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Privacy groups and lawyers have described the rules as draconian and said they infringe Indians’ fundamental rights. “These are arbitrary powers that are being given to government, without any checks and balances,” said Pavan Dugga, a cyberlaw consultant and advocate in India’s Supreme Court.
The rules place controls on the gathering and use of personal data by Internet companies, including requiring permission from the provider of information for sharing such data. But the rules cite the government as an exception in this regard.
This article first appeared on The PC World