India Government is looking to track in real-time details of all mobile phone users in the country. As per amendments made by Govt on operators’ licences, beginning May 31, telecom operators need to provide real-time details of users’ locations in latitudes and longitudes. The planned increase in mobile phone surveillance comes as the DoT sets up a centralized monitoring system (CMS) to tap mobile phones instantly.
According to an exclusive licence term documents obtained by The Indian Express show that, details shall initially be provided for mobile numbers specified by the government. Within three years, service providers will have to provide information on locations of all users. The information may not be accurate it will have some margin of error at first. But by 2013, it is accepted that at least 60 per cent of the calls in urban areas would have to be accurately tracked when made 100 metres away from the nearest cell tower. By 2014, the government will seek to increase the proportion to 75 per cent in cities and 50 per cent in suburban and rural areas. For calls made 300 metres from the nearest cell tower, accurate coordinates will be required for 95 per cent in cities and 60 per cent in towns and villages at the end of two years.
Sachin Pilot, MoS, Communications and IT, told Parliament recently that “In the existing system, secrecy can be easily compromised due to manual intervention while in CMS these functions will be performed on secured electronic links,”
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