A typical "Big Brother is watching" situation is emerging in India, yet again: On the 15th of October India's Department of Telecommunications published a notice on its website directing telecom operators to implement an online authentication of their Internet subscriber base. All Internet and Broadband subscribers using WiFi are required to get themselves registered with their telecom service providers within 60 days, according to that notice. India has around 7 million broadband connections. The growth of Internet usage in the country has also been hindered by strict norms around cybercafe usage and harassment of cybercafe owners by law enforcement agencies. The present issue clearly is the presence of open and unprotected WiFi connections that may be used by terrorists to send or receive messages. Telecom operators are required to follow strict 'Know Your Customer' norms as far as mobile connections are concerned; government agencies can lawfully intercept calls for specific anti-terror tracking, though there is room for misuse of this privilege. Guidelines Issued In February Restricted Simultaneous Logins While going through guidelines issued to telecom operators on February 23rd 2009 year (a copy here at Tata Communications), a couple of points caught my attention: I.a.iii: Licencee (Telco) shall ensure that unique user IDs and Passwords do not have provisions for simultaneous multiple logins. Licencee may give more than one use ID and Password to a single subscriber for multiple for his Internet account I.a.iv: Licencee shall put a clause in Subscriber Agreement of new subscribers that any WiFi connectivity deployed by…
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