Friday 24 February 2012

Intelligence Bureau asks telcos to keep a tab on mobile Internet traffic.

The Intelligence Bureau now demands that the telecom ministry must ask phone companies to implement mechanisms to track Internet usage on mobile phones. The EconomicTimes has reviewed a copy of the IB communication with the telecom department, according to which Internet usage on PCs, which is through Internet Service Providers can be tracked, but there is no provision of tracking Internet data accessed using phones. It further said when it provided telcos with Internet Protocol addresses, they failed to track the customer who accessed the website.

The government has been taking measures to monitor Internet usage, so that it meets the required standards. Recently, we saw RIM’s long standoff with the government come to a halt, when the company agreed to set up its servers in Mumbai. Moreover, the government further plans to ask other e-mail services like Yahoo!, Gmail and Microsoft to take a similar route and build servers here for all emails to be accessed in India. As per ET, Nokia has also been asked by the government to allow security agents to track down its push e-mail, legally. Reportedly, in a recent meeting, the Department of Information Technology was asked to take up the matter of setting up local servers with providers of services, such as Gmail, Windows Mobile Active Email, Nokia Intellisync Email, Yahoo! mail and others.

Furthermore, an India-centric Skype, which will address national security concerns is also expected. This is said to be used by government officials to communicate with one another. DoT was quick enough to act on the demands of the Intelligence Bureau. Apparently, DoT has asked phone companies to start implementing and put in place the required mechanisms to track individual subscribers using IP addresses provided by law enforcement agencies. DoT is said to have formed a core committee to finalize Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) for Internet and GPRS service and standards that mobile phone companies have to follow.

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