In a move to ensure safe custody of tapped telephone conversations, government has amended an agreement with telecom operators under which they will have to be connected to Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) being set up for interception of all telecom and Internet services.
In the aftermath of leaking of tapped conversations of lobbyist Niira Radia with politicians, corporate honchos and journalists, government had decided on the concept of CMS so that lawful interceptions of telephone and Internet services was a closely-guarded secret. Amending 41.10 condition of Unified Access Services with telecom operators, government has said the move was being taken in public interest and security of the nation.
For implementation of the same, a telecom operator's Interception System needs to be connected to the CMS at Regional Monitoring Centre (RMC) through interception Store and Forward (ISF) server placed in their premises. Under the amended condition, the telecom operators shall provide the connectivity upto the nearest point of presence of Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network of CMS "at its own cost" in the form of dark optical fibre with redundancy.
"If the dark optical fibre connectivity is not readily available, the connectivity on optical fibre media may be extended in the form of 10 Mbps bandwidth or higher. "However, licensee (telecom operator) shall endeavour to establish connectivity by dark optical fibre at the earliest," the amendment said, adding that "from the point of presence of MPLS network of CMS onwards traffic will be handled by the government at its own cost."
At present, ten designated security agencies are authorised to monitor the telephone calls.