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India To Have Automatic Communications Monitoring 96

angry tapir writes "India plans to set up a centralized system to monitor communications on mobile phones, landlines and the Internet in the country, a minister has told the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament. Indian laws allow the interception and monitoring of communications under certain conditions, including to counter terrorism. A pilot of the new Centralized Monitoring System (CMS) is to be started by June next year, subject to clearances by other government agencies."
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India To Have Automatic Communications Monitoring

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  • by brindafella ( 702231 ) <brindafella@gCOF ... m minus caffeine> on Friday November 27, 2009 @02:54AM (#30243198) Homepage
    At least we know that there will be a system like this. In many countries it is suspected, there's a "wink and a nod", someone says there's such a system, etc, but there's no proof. In India, there will be no doubt.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @02:55AM (#30243202)

    For a country of 1 billion people where even the remotest of villages are obsessed with mobile phones, it is highly unrealistic to expect complete mobile monitoring. The money probably is much better spent in other more deserving development efforts. Add to that 26 official languages and thousands of regional dialects for which speech to text hasn't been properly researched yet, it is completely unresonable.

    Also, finding loopholes in such a huge system, I think wouldn't present a problem. A simple word substitution would do the trick?

    Plus the lack of privacy would probably mean the corruption in the government _will_ work against the idea. (Maybe high level politicos can wriggle out of it, but the rest?)

  • Priorities (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @02:55AM (#30243204) Homepage Journal
    So they want to spend the money and effort to roll this out while people are pissing and shitting on the streets in holes, and showering with buckets?!
  • Should stop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:15AM (#30243288) Journal
    The humans rights workers who expose things like this: []
    Burning thousands of bodies in double funeral pyres.
    With the help of big telcos their work and contacts can be found.
    A chat about national security and all is fine again :)
  • Re:Priorities (Score:3, Insightful)

    by E IS mC(Square) ( 721736 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:21AM (#30243314) Journal
    True, but what's new here?! You are saying this as if other countries and governments are working with correct priorities. We don't have to go too far to see that.
  • Re:Priorities (Score:2, Insightful)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:24AM (#30243322)

    That hardly characterizes the majority of India.

  • Re:Priorities (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:45AM (#30243422)

    Exactly how many people do you need shitting in holes and sleeping on bicycles on highway dividers until it becomes an attention worthy problem? You're probably right - this doesn't characterize the "majority" of people in india - only maybe 200m or so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:53AM (#30243444)
    Why do you leave the third obvious country out of your list?
    One that builds nuclear weapons.
    One that wastes money on the race into outer space, while being in the deepest debt in the history of mankind.
    One that is nationalistic to a fault.
    One that sends spies to India and China.
    One that kills fetuses and adults all around the middle east.
    One that monitors private internet and phone communication inside and outside its territory.
  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Friday November 27, 2009 @04:46AM (#30243690) Homepage

    If they were worried about their business being intercepted they'd not hire 100 foreign nationals to carry out their business on foreign soil.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @04:48AM (#30243700)

    * Why not spend it on setting up a totally new energy infrastructure?

    Ok, have you had time to take your meds yet?

    The amount of money required for India to set up a monitoring structure is in no way adequate to the task of setting up a totally new energy infrastructure.

    Nor was India involved in any way in a $900 billion bailout.

    If you won't read the article, and you won't read the summary, at LEAST read the TITLE where you will find the first word is INDIA.

  • by Alex Belits ( 437 ) * on Friday November 27, 2009 @04:59AM (#30243754) Homepage

    World's largest democracy!
    World's largest democracy!
    World's largest democracy!

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @05:17AM (#30243830) Homepage Journal

    Outsources are mostly not governments. If you are a private sector business, there is not particular reason to think foreign nationals are less trustworthy than your own.

    A lot of outsources are multinationals, so the idea of foreign nationals is not necessarily important anyway. If a company is officially head-quartered in Ireland for tax purposes, but most of the operations are in the UK, and the biggest shareholders lives in Monaco (also for tax reasons), what does nationality mean?

  • by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @06:16AM (#30244136) Homepage Journal

    The Research & Analysis wing in India has always had significant electronic intelligence hardware and has always been looking for more funding & more engineers to work for them. I know in some sense that they are indeed working their things to let me live my life in some sort of passive ignorance. The thing that pisses me off about this is the day and time they decided to announce this.

    I haven't touched yesterday's copy of my paper (the hindu []), because it is very likely that the mass hysteria about the last year's terror attacks in Mumbai will overcome any real news that they have to say. I feel sad for the victims of the attack, but in the fight between the government and the terrorists (well, militants for the 90s people), the rights that really being eaten away are mine.

    So, pushing this legislature yesterday was an act of emotional blackmail on an entire country. To do this while they're still feeling vulnerable and to ensure that anyone opposing it will get vilified in the press.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:11AM (#30244774)

    I really hope your companies make a big fuss about this, though I don't have much hope.
    The response from 90% of indians will be "Good". There's no concept of privacy here. Probably comes from rubbing elbows with people each time you go out and being around prying family from birth. A lot of people didn't know what the big deal was when batman could see everything in Dark Knight.

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:13AM (#30244784) Homepage

    Considering how, supposedly, the ratio of SMS to voice traffic is much higher in India and other developing economies, this isn't that far-fetched as it seems.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)