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News updated at 5:32 PM IST

Odisha tapped 4,620 phones in four years

Bhubaneswar, Nov 24, 2012 (IANS) 13:26 IST
A total of 4,620 landline and mobile telephones were tapped in Odisha from 2008-12, the government said Saturday in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query.

The state home department said the government tapped the telephones from Dec 29, 2008 to Sep 15, lawyer and RTI applicant Biswapriya Kanungo told IANS. "I am surprised what prompted the government to tap such a large number of phones during last four years when there was no visible public emergency," he said.

Citing information he obtained from the government by filing an RTI application in 2008, Kanungo said the state had tapped 417 phones in eight years from 2000-08. While a state home department official declined to comment, Kanungo said a phone could be tapped only when there was a public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

"I don't think there was any such emergency during the period (2008-12). I believe phones were tapped for political interest even though the Supreme Court guideline clearly says it amounts to an invasion of privacy, and violation of human rights," he pointed out.

Kanungo said he had sought the information by filing an RTI application in September but the information was provided only Saturday.

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