More mobile phones to come under govt lens

More mobile phones to come under govt lens

Now, around eight government agencies, including the police, Intelligence Bureau, Income-Tax departments and Enforcement Directorate can conduct lawful tapping of around 1,000 phones in each telecom company.

However, with the number of mobile connections growing, the government wants to intercept around 1 per cent of the total phone connection (approximately 70 lakh mobiles) soon and it may increase it to 5 per cent (3.5 crore) in future. The country now has around 70 crore mobile phone connections.

Though the government agencies have set up equipment to intercept, the telephone service providers need to upgrade their technology to enable tapping. Tapping more telephones means the private companies have to install enhanced machinery.

The DoT had written to all telephone service providers and sought their reply by December 16 itself.

The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved a project of around Rs 300 crore to upgrade the telephone tapping systems to the Home Ministry in the interest of national security.  The Centre has taken a tough stand on lawful interception as it had asked all service providers to set up their servers in India.