What is Section 69A in The Information Technology Act,2000?
The Information Technology Act, 2000 was enacted by Parliament of India on 9 June 2000 and it is in force since 17 October 2000. This bill was Introduced by Pramod Mahajan and it has been amended in 2008.
Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 empowers the central government to block the online content and arrest the culprit. This is the primary law that deals with cyber-crime and electronic commerce in India.
Section 69A of the Information Technology Act has given many power to the central government. Read sections of the act;
1. Issue direction to remove objectionable content on social media and any other website. The Home Ministry had issued an order on 20 December 2018, empowering ten central agencies to monitor, intercept, and decrypt any information generated, received transmitted or stored in any computer.
To block the online content in the wake of sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, defence of India, friendly relations with foreign States.
2. The procedure and safeguards subject to which such blocking for access by the public may be carried out shall be such as may be prescribed.
3. The concerned authorities failing to comply with the direction (sub-section 1) issued might be punished with imprisonment for a term up to to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
Some political parties had challenged this act on the basis of violation of the fundamental right to privacy but the Supreme Court had rejected the allegation in the decision given in 2015.
The apex court said that the Centre can exercise its power to issue directions to block an internet site, saying there are adequate procedural safeguards. The court also said that national security is above individual privacy.
As we know that the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 allows the central government to tap phones. The Supreme Court had given a verdict in 1996 and said that the government can tap phones only in case of a "public emergency". But in the case of Section 69 of the IT Act, no such restriction is imposed by the Supreme Court.
Recently the government of India had banned many Chinese apps citing the provisions of Section 69A of the information technology act,2000.
So the Section 69A of the information technology act, 2000 is very crucial in maintaining the dignity of the country as well as other constitutional institutions of the country.