Monday, July 25, 2011

CMS Would Tap Phones In Real Time In India

Till now it is clear that the central monitoring system project of India would be launched in all probabilities. Initially, an Indian centre for communication security research and monitoring (CCSRM) was proposed by the Union Cabinet. However, department of telecommunication came up with its own pet project of CMS and now DoT is trying its level best to make it operational.

In the past phone companies of India used private individuals who tapped phones even without an authorisation order in this regard by Indian government. Further, there is a considerable delay on the part of phone companies while arranging phone tapping on government requests.

Thus, Indian government has decided to bypass them and enable themselves with real time phone tapping capabilities. The government is planning to spend Rs. 500 crores to establish CMS in India.

With this system, Indian government and its agencies would be abled to tap any call, real-time chat and data without help from the telecom operators. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved the funding for CMS and a testing facility at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

The first meeting on CMS was held last week. It was attended by officials from DoT and the National Technical Research Organisation, among others. DoT is also looking at all encryption-based services, divided into 14 categories, to see if it is possible to provide an interception solution to security agencies. The services include different kinds of mail and messaging services, network mobile email, VPN tunneling and various proprietary services.

A committee of officials from DoT, the department of information technology, service providers and security agencies has been set up for this.


  1. It seems like the OpenPGP era will be coming back very soon where Technically skilled people will be using either IRCs for chatting and communicating or would be sharing their communication via a very strong encryption mechanism, say 4096 bits! In that case, forget the Govt. of India even US Govt. can't intercept it! ;)

    Neelabh Rai
    CYBER COPS India

  2. Well said Neelabh.

    I would like to add that:

    (1) Self defence in Indian cyberspace would be the norm in future-

    (2) Proactive self defense is the need of the hour-

    Government is ignorant when it thinks e-surveillance is a substitute for developing cyber skills.

    Sooner or later govt would face usage of high encryption oriented services that it cannot monitor at all.

    Thanks to the faulty approach of Indian govt that is just blindly following US model.