Centre takes steps to check illegal phone tapping | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Centre takes steps to check illegal phone tapping

delhi Updated: Jun 01, 2011 00:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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To check illegal phone tapping the Centre has asked states to make available lists of authorised interceptions every month. These would be tallied with the records given by the service providers to the Department of Telecom of all phone interceptions in the country to detect any misuse.

The Centre on Tuesday shared revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) for phone tapping with states to check illegal interception of phone conversations and plug leakage of sensitive information. The meeting-- chaired by home secretary GK Pillai-- was attended by the chief secretaries and DGPs of all states.

But the home ministry has witnessed opposition to its move asking the states to destroy call records within 48 hours if the competent authority does not give permission within 72 hours. According to norms, in emergency situations, a phone can be tapped for 72 hours even without the sanction of competent authority.

Government sources said some state police chiefs and officers belonging to the intelligence wings objected to the suggestion arguing that in many cases, there was a need to preserve some phone conversations or keep a phone on surveillance even when the required clearances do not reach them within the stipulated period or at times are not given by the competent authority.

But MHA hopes that the states will come around.

The Centre is also putting in place a software, which will enable mapping of "digital footprints" to track the offenders in cases of leakage of data related to wire tapping. It is expected to be prepared within a month and would help agencies detect who leaked the records.

The Centre also asked the states to curb the use of passive interception or off-the-air tapping system by private sector.