The central counter-terrorism agency NIA wants a direct connectivity with the much-awaited Central Monitoring System (CMS) that will provide access to phone lines without routing through telecom service operator.
A letter written by Inspector General (Intelligence and Operation) Loknath Behera to Deputy Director General (Security) Ram Narian requested for installation of the CMS facility for the organisation once it is fully functional.
The CMS, prepared by the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TREM), along with the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), is expected to be fully operational by next year for lawful interception and monitoring, which will enable the electronic provisioning of the targets as required by the law enforcement agencies.
The CMS platform for two service providers in Delhi MTNL and ILD-Tata Telecom is complete and it has been offered to the Intelligence Bureau and the Directorate of Revenue for conducting pilot trial.
“The NIA is keen to get connection of the CMS project once it is fully functional. We have been advised by the C-DoT to get an approval from the Department of Telecom... It is, therefore, requested that approval for connection of the CMS project may be accorded in favour of the NIA,” said the Behera letter.
At present, the NIA is monitoring eight out of 10,000 telephone lines legally under surveillance by various agencies. If connected with the CMS, the NIA will also get access to scan e-mails and various other social media platforms. All the interception platforms, including the PSTN,GSM and the CDMA technology, will be easily intercepted as the CMS would provide convergence of all the intercepted lines at one location. The centralised system will help the government prevent leaks of intercepted calls.
By next year, the government is hopeful of creating a platform that will include all the service providers in Delhi, Haryana and Karnataka circles. It has already completed the installation of services at four private telecom service providers’ end.