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FBI-style phone tapping

Delhi Police have bought a system that allows to intercept all sorts of communications, reports Sobhana K.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 13:39 IST
Sobhana K
Sobhana K
None

In a move that will save them from the kind of embarrassment they faced in the Amar Singh phone-tapping episode, the Delhi Police have purchased a system that would allow them to "intercept lawfully" all sorts of communications, including SMS and those sent via the Internet.

The equipment, manufactured by an Indian public sector company, cost the city police over Rs 6 crore.

For this, three inspectors have also been appointed, whose sole job will be to deliver request letters for interception to service providers, who have been provided with their photographs. This is to ensure the providers don't accept such letters from anyone else.

"Lawful interception" will give the city police a technological edge over criminals. "The system is cost-effective, it can be upgraded to intercept any communication using any technology," said a police officer.

It will also make the police less dependent on service providers. In the tapping techniques employed now to locate the position of a criminal, Delhi Police officers get in touch with the service provider. "This process usually take a few hours. So by the time the service provider gets back to us with the information, the criminal normally is found to have left the place," the officer said.

With "lawful interception", the position of the person whose phone is being tapped will be flashed immediately. Moreover, the system will ensure the police can tap unlimited number of phone lines. "Earlier we would re-route the interception to phone lines. But at any given time, only limited numbers of interceptions could be heard depending on the number of phone lines the unit has," added the officer.

With the new system, however, the number of phone being tapped can be unlimited and no interception will be missed. The new system will be centralised. All interceptions will be heard on a central server, which will be kept in the police headquarters. The interception will then be directed to the concerned units. All interceptions will be monitored by senior police officers.

First Published: Apr 13, 2006 02:16 IST