Telecom Operators Warns Mass-Surveillance After Government Seeks Call Records Of All Users

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Telecom Operators Warns 'Mass-Surveillance' After Government Seeks Call Records Of All Users

The telcos have been receiving similar requests from the authorities for some time, however, there was a surge in requests in January and February just before the Delhi elections.

The telecom operators in India have raised concerns over the central government seeking call data records (CDRs) of all mobile subscribers across several pockets of the country for specific days, over the past few months.

The requests for the call records have been made through the local units of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT reported The Indian Express.

The telcos have been receiving similar requests from the authorities for a while now, however, in January and February, there has been a surge in requests, a senior executive from a telecom operator told the Indian Express.

The units sought the call records for consumers in the circles of Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab.

It is important to note that this was the time when Delhi was gearing up for the elections and political parties were engaged in campaigns.

The executive also cautioned regarding the violations of the standard operating procedure because the authorities are not asking for one particular person's data. Requests for everybody's data on this day in this region is being asked without a probable cause to seek access.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the industry body representing all major telecom operators, on February 12, had written to Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications raising concerns over mass-surveillance and violation of user privacy guidelines.

The COAI letter also talked about the local units of DoT asking for CDRs on a monthly basis specifying dates: Andhra Pradesh (1st and 5th days of the month), Delhi (18th day), Haryana (21st day), Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir (last day of the previous month), Kerala and Odisha (15th day), and Madhya Pradesh and Punjab (last day of the previous month and the first day of current month).

"CDRs sought for specific routes/areas may lead to allegations of surveillance, especially in a state like Delhi having numerous VVIP zones having offices and residences of ministers, MPs, Judges, etc," the COAI said in its note to Prakash.

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Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh
By : The Logical Indian Crew

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