The legal implications of secret information gathering with modern technology needs to be examined with reference to two legal systems. Firstly, the internal legal systems of states which regulate activities occurring within their respective territories specifically deal with espionage and related activities under their criminal laws. Secondly, the international legal system which regulates activities of nation-states can also be invoked. However, it would be fallacious to bring all information gathering process under one banner to examine their legal implications. Therefore, in the first instance they must be divided into territorial and extraterritorial reconnaissance. In India the offence of spying is dealt with by the Official Secrets Act 1923 as amended from time to lime. The offence of spying is committed by approaching, entering or inspecting a prohibited area or place or by making sketches or notes, or by obtaining or communicating secret codes, plans, models, documents, etc. which might be useful to an enemy or which relates to a matter, the disclosure of which is likely to affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security or state or friendly relations with foreign states? The only commendable feature of changing nature of espionage is the possibility of use of modern espionage technology for dealing with some serious international problems like terrorism, drug trafficking, spread of weapons of mass destruction, etc. However it is almost certain that very little use of the technology will be made for such beneficial objectives and most of the technology will be exploited to subserve national self-interests by the states possessing it.
Kadam, Dr. U.V
"Espionage with Modern Technology- The Legal Implications,"
National Law School Journal: Vol. 7:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://repository.nls.ac.in/nlsj/vol7/iss1/3