News: Reecently, the government in its recent official order has exempted the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) from the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

What is CERT-In?
• CERT-In, or the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, is a government-approved organization for upholding information technology (IT) security.
• It was formed in 2004 by the Government of India under provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
• Nodal Ministry - Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)

• Prevention of cyber-attacks that target the country’s cyber space.
• Responding to cyber-attacks to minimize damage and reducing recovery time to ultimately minimize the national vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
• Enhancing the level of cyber awareness among citizens.
• It has overlapping responsibilities with other agencies such as National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) which is under the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) of Prime Minister’s Office and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), which is under Ministry of Home Affairs.

What are the criteria to get exclusion from RTI’s ambit?
Section 8(1) of RTI Act, lists all of the exemptions:
• Information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India;
• information which may constitute contempt of court;
• information that would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
• information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
• information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
• information received in confidence from foreign government;
• information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person;
• information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
• cabinet papers including records of deliberations, which come under the specified exemptions;
• Information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has not relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy.

Which are the other organisations being exempted from the RTI law?
• The Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Aviation Research Centre and Enforcement Directorate, among others.

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