Govt to set up centre to monitor mobile phone calls

Written by Agencies | New Delhi, April 21: | Updated: Apr 21 2008, 18:23pm hrs
Stepping up surveillance on mobile phone networks, the government on Monday said it plans to set up a Centre for Communication Security Research and Monitoring to help security agencies intercept and analyse call details.

Government proposes to set up such a centre and intends to keep a copy of select Call Data Records (CDRs) for its use, Minister of State for IT and Communication Jyotiraditya Scindia informed Lok Sabha in a written reply.

"The Centre will provide mandatory access to Law Enforcement agencies for intercepting, monitoring and analysing the activities of required customers and their social networking, both proactively online and through post analysis of information like CDRs."

Complete CDRs are already being maintained by the operators for one year as part of license conditions. Security agencies have been expressing concern over the data sent through the BlackBerry wireless service, as it cannot be intercepted since it is routed through servers in Canada.

The solution for the issue is being worked out as the government is understood to be thinking of asking the BlackBerry servers to be shifted to India or copy the data and store them for at least a year for any eventuality.

BlackBerry services are offered by all top carriers Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, BPL and Reliance Communications. Government is already believed to have asked operators not to provide certain BlackBerry services until adequate monitoring systems are put in place.