November 30, 2009
Next June, India will have a centralized monitoring system on all mobile phones, landlines, and internet communications in the country.
The CMS will have central and regional databases to help central and state-level enforcement agencies intercept and monitor communications, the government said. It will also have direct electronic provisioning of target numbers by government agencies without any intervention from telecom service providers, it added. It will also feature analysis of call data records and data mining of these records to identify call details, location details, and other information of the target numbers.
The current system used by the government for call monitoring can be easily compromised because of the requirement of manual intervention at many stages, the minister said. Interception using the new system will also be instant, he added.
The government brought into force earlier this year the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008, an amendment to an earlier law, which broadened the government’s powers to intercept and monitor communications.
Some experts have argued that the government should set up an organization like an ombudsman to ensure that information collected during surveillance is not misused.
As the law stands now, there will be a lot of abuse to this system. The current system isn’t secure and the government ministers have admitted that it probably won’t be any safer next June. This is yet another law that has been put in place to, supposedly, counter terrorism when all it does is suppress those that haven’t done anything wrong.