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Govt taps about 5,000 people`s phones on average

Last Updated: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 21:47

New Delhi: Telephone calls of about 5,000 people are being recorded by central security agencies daily as part of security and preventive measures.

Government sources said on an average telephones of about 5,000 people are being kept under surveillance by intelligence agencies suspecting their linkages with terror activities,
hawala operators and members of banned organisations.

Telephones of a number of people involved in various economic offences are also being monitored.

Sources said that conversations of terrorists and insurgent outfits in Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast and the banned CPI (Maoist) are mostly under the scanner of
intelligence agencies.

"A lot of times the phone tapping is done for only sixty days. But when it involves persons who are facing any criminal case or are under the scanner of investigating agencies, their phones are kept under surveillance for a longer period," a
senior Home Ministry official said.

As per official procedures, the phone tapping by intelligence agencies is done with the consent of the Union Home Secretary. The government can authorise tapping for 60
days which can be extended again as per needs.

The sources said that emails are also being monitored by government agencies after getting the consent of the service providers.

Sources said that tapping of telephone conversations of leading corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, whose name has cropped up in the 2G Spectrum row, with several influential persons were authorised by the government.


Baghdad: Lawyers for Tariq Aziz are asking
Iraq`s president to pardon the former Saddam Hussein ally, who
faces execution for the persecution of Shiite Muslims.

Aziz was the international face of Saddam`s regime and
the only Christian in his inner circle, serving as both
foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

His attorney, Giovanni Di Stefano, said today he was
confident the pardon would be granted, given the amnesty
appeals from several European nations and the Vatican as well
as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani`s refusal to sign the death

But it`s unclear if Talabani can pardon Aziz. His
pardon authority under Iraq`s constitution must follow a
recommendation by the prime minister, who is a Shiite.


First Published: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 21:47
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