India agency petitions for monitoring system

India's National Investigation Agency is hoping to install a central monitoring system, which helps intercept calls and monitor social networks without help from telcos.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) is hoping to install its central monitoring system, which would help it intercept phone calls and monitor social networking sites without the cooperation of telcos.

The Times of India reported Monday that a formal request has been sent from the NIA to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) requesting permission to install the system once it is fully functional. The NIA is the agency set up in the aftermath of the deadly Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008.

The NIA has been communicating with the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT)--the organization which has been tasked by the Indian government to build the monitoring platform--and some of its officials have already been taught how to use the system, it noted.

The central monitoring system provides call interception, monitoring, analysis of social networking, and securing public sector agencies' workflow, which are the requirements of law enforcement agencies to address threats and unlawful activities, the report added.

"NIA is keen to get connection of the central monitoring system project once it is fully functional. We have been advised by the C-DoT to get an approval from DoT," the NIA letter stated.

The Indian government has been actively looking into the idea of monitoring communications, and in March, the country's National Security Council Secretariat had proposed the setting up of the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) intended for a real-time assessment of cybersecurity threat in the country.

The NCCC would act as the first layer of security to monitor online threats by scanning traffic within India, the report noted.

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