Govt to check illegal phone tapping; seeks equip registration

In a public notice, the Telecom Department has said if the companies fail to register themselves in the next two months, they will attract severe punishment of up to three years in prison and a fine.

Unauthorised phone tapping has become common, especially with some detective agencies and among business rivals, raising ethical concerns. Besides, earlier this year, there was an uproar in the political circles over reports alleging that the government tapped the phones of top politicians.

"It has come to the notice that some persons, companies including PSUs, private vendors and private detective agencies are establishing or operating unauthorised communications network for monitoring, intercepting and surveillance of communications...Such type of acts violate Indian Telegraph Acts," the notice said.

It added, "Under the law, no equipment can be used for unauthorised communication network, monitoring, intercepting and surveillance of communications." Government is also independently compiling a list of persons and companies who have imported or procured or assemble such devices.

"If the person who will not be filing information with the government suppressing facts will render him liable for prosecution under law, which provides for imprisonment which may extend to three years and for imposition of fines," the notice said.

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