India mulls mandatory surveillance law

Dylan Bushell-Embling
17 Dec 2010

India is considering introducing a law that would force operators and vendors to ensure networks real-time monitoring by security agencies.

The proposed law, based on the US Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), would require operators to allow lawful interception of voice, emails, internet data and VoIP communications, the Times of Indiasaid.

Indian telcos must already enable state surveillance by license agreement, but there is nothing that forces them to modify their networks to allow it.

The Indian government hopes to be able to pass the law as early as 2011, Live Mintquotes government sources as saying. The DoT is reportedly in talks with US authorities to help better understand how CALEA works.

The legislative changes may be accompanied by the establishment of a new telecom security commission, which would be responsible for making security decisions based on input from both intelligence agencies and the industry.

Indian authorities have been pressuring RIM for months to allow surveillance of encrypted messages sent over its corporate email service.

While India's Home ministry has revealed it is still in talks with RIM over developing a voluntary technical solution, the proposed new rules would force the BlackBerry maker's hand.


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