After Social Media, Indian Government Wants To Access Your Mobile Data Too

The Indian govt plans to put in place systems and regulations that will allow it to trace cellular phone users and provide access to targeted communications



If you thought being online is not safe and your privacy is at risk then we have some more bad news for you. After social media monitoring, the Indian government wants to keep an eye on your mobile activities. According to ET, based on the draft guidelines of the country’s telecom security policy, the government plans to put in place systems and regulations that will allow law enforcement agencies to trace cellular phone users and provide access to targeted communication, text messages, information data and even value added services on a real-time basis.

ET got hold of a copy of the draft guidelines that have been proposed by the telecom department (DoT) which addresses national security concerns. Besides addressing challenges for law enforcement agencies from complex encryption techniques, an overall telecom policy will factor in implications on other aspects related to the telecom security. Ability to analyse information quicker will be enhanced by making latest technology and systems available which will cut down delays and minimize information leakage.

The Telecom Security Directorate (TSD) has been proposed for implementing and updating this policy. Subsequently a security certification centre for testing telecom equipment, centralised monitoring system for interception and monitoring and emergency response team (Cert) for detecting and analyzing cyber attacks will also be created.

The government which will largely depend on telecom companies in the country to execute the instructions will also share the cost with the government. The draft also states that while the telecom operators in the country will be building robust systems it will also share information on attacks on their networks, intrusion and frauds with government agencies, including telecom sectoral Cert, the national Cert and the National Cyber Coordination Centre.

The draft norm also states that security agencies will uphold privacy rights of Indian citizens. But, how would that be possible when the country has no privacy law?

The Indian government has been working on the same since 2013, when the DoT in the month of June had raised a directive which stated that all telecom service providers in the country should make location details, a mandatory part of call data records (CDR) for all mobile users in the country, starting mid 2014.

The blanket monitoring of people on their location details finds its genesis in a DoT order issued in May 2011. Then it was told that its effect on the ground should be visible from mid- 2014. With the latest news, we can’t doubt the efficiency of the government when it comes to tracking and regulating whether it be social media or mobile phones.

Image Credit: Livemint