India’s Intelligence Bureau has directed all telecom service providers to improve their interception infrastructure and monitoring system software to better intercept web 2.0 websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube among others, reports The Economic Times.
Citing a note from the Intelligence Bureau, the report states that the telecom service providers currently do not possess competent interception facilities which can fully reconstruct web intercepts for various web 2.0 websites and the current quality of reconstruction through captured data is not good enough.
Quoting a government official, the report states that the intention behind this announcement was to monitor the web and social networks for malicious content and warn the security agencies and the state police in advance to allow them take preventive measures. The report also added that this announcement was triggered by the recent North East exodus due to the circulation of morphed pictures and videos, following which the Indian government had blocked 245 webpages with inflammatory and hateful content.
Similar Developments: In April 2011, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs was looking to set up a Communications Monitoring facility for interception of all telephonic and mobile data communication, for which it had invited tenders. The ministry’s proposal had indicated that the solution will be deployed across 30 locations all over India, in each state and Union Territory and it should be capable of recording Voice Calls, Video calls, SMS & MMS, GPRS and FAX communications on Landlines (PSTN), CDMA and GSM networks.
Following this, the Indian government had asked ISPs and telcos to install indigenously developed monitoring equipment in October 2011, in a bid to increase the Internet surveillance. The ISPs were also apparently asked to prepare logs of their customers for services they use, for a period of six months and it was indicated that the interception devices will be installed at 71 different locations and will enable the government to monitor about 90% of the country’s internet traffic.
In December 2011, the Delhi Police had floated a similar Internet interception system tender, through which it wanted to intercept emails, chats and social networking messages posted by suspects via their computers as well as through mobile phones, directly without approaching the ISPs. However, it was later revealed that the Police would need the approval of the Home Secretary mentioning the reasons for interception before monitoring a particular ID.
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