Govt targets phone interception with new ‘real time’ policy

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The Centre is mulling a new setup including legal provisions to enable law enforcement agencies to seek real-time information of telecommunication exchanges along with tracking of users.

The telecom department has proposed a new set of security guidelines for the sector which advocate creating a conducive environment for the law enforcement agencies and allowing them to access real-time information of exchange of messages, data and calls made by users as well track their location “in the case of need”.
The draft guidelines have been sent to the Home Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office and NSA for further consideration and exchange of views, sources said.
The document, however, says that while best efforts would be made to extend communication assistance to security agencies for law enforcement it would be kept in view that privacy of the user is not transgressed without valid reasons and developmental needs of the country are not hampered.
The Telecom Department also proposed to extend all technical help, in accordance with the law, acts and regulations, for deciphering the information received through interception of telecom networks.The newly proposed guidelines offer use of latest technologies and and systems to security agencies, with checks and balances to stop the misuse and maintain privacy of users, to cut down on delays, leakages of information and enhance the data deciphering capacities of the security agencies.
 
The new guidelines also propose to make the telecom network robust enough to withstand any terrorist attack and other natural and man-made disaster by setting new parameters and standards.
It proposes to create accredited Telecom Security Assurance and Testing labs across the country for security related testing and certification of telecom equipment used by individual user as well as by the companies.