Under terror threats, govt to monitor phone calls

Last Updated: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 15:55

New Delhi: The government, in the wake
terror threats, is planning to set up a centralised system to
monitor communications on mobile phones, landlines and the
internet.

The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), a
telecom research and development organisation, is working on
the Telecom Security project, which will help the government
to monitor both calls in the country through a centralised
system.

Talking about the project, C-DoT executive director PV
Acharya said, "It is viewed as a national project... Basically, it is about monitoring certain messages or conversations so that we can ensure security of the country.

Essentially, our technology would provide an interface to
operator of any service or technology and it will give them
access to the messages traversing through their network," he
said.

The present system of surveillance is managed by
individual operators, and a phone is tapped and call details
are given when law enforcement agencies ask for them.

The government has a Signal Intelligence Agency, a joint
service organisation manned by personnel from the Army, Navy
and Air Force, which monitors military links (wireless) of
other countries.

However, it does not have a centralised monitoring system
for voice calls on the mobile, landlines and internet.

The government has not yet decided on how the
surveillance system will work.

"We will just provide an opportunity to this ... but how
this would be done depends on the agreement between the
operators and the government," Acharya said.

Declining to share technical details of the project,
Acharya said the first phase of the project will cost Rs 400
crore. It will end next year.

The need for lawful intervention is being felt more after
the terror attacks in November last year, when the terrorists
were in contact with their instructors on the phone.

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 15:55

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