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India To Ask ISPs, Telcos To Link To CMS; Who’ll Sue The Indian Government?

The department of telecommunications will send a letter to all telecom operators, asking them to connect their Lawful Interception System (LIS) to the Indian government's Centralised Monitoring System (CMS), Mint reports, citing documents they have access to. Telecom minister Kapil Sibal has apparently approved changes in existing rules, and had clauses inserted in mobile licenses for enabling this surveillance. Telco's will have to connect at a regional monitoring centre through "an interception, store and forward (ISF) server placed in the licensee’s premises”, according to the documents." This will allow the government to monitor all traffic within the country, including snoop on website access, phone calls, text messages, GPRS usage, emails, and get information on an individual's location, among several other things. This is a key component of a series of initiatives by the Indian government over the last few years, for identification (Aadhaar and NPR), monitoring (CMS and more) and blocking (IT Rules). Interestingly, in a response to Mint, the DoT is points towards the CMS as a safeguard against illegal provisioning by a telecom operator, something with Milind Deora, Minister of State for Telecom had also said during his interaction with me last month. The Department of Telecom has told Mint that there will be a different interception provisioning agency, a different for for requisitioning and monitoring, and a non-erasable command log will be maintained by the system, which can be examined for misuse. In our opinion, these internal checks and balances do not work because they are going…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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