India Going All-In On Scanning Civillian Communication
India is working on a self produced computer system with which it becomes possible to scan all the communication activities of its civilians. Aside scanning Internet traffic the system is also able to scan text messages and phone communication.
The Times of India reported yesterday that the Indian Government launched the Central Monitoring System which will be used by the Indian tax authority and its National Investigation Agency among others. The system would be used for security purposes only.
The Indian government said that the control system will operate under Indian law, though it remains unclear which specific communication activities it will monitor and under which circumstances the Central Monitoring System will be scanning a telephone conversation, text message or online activity of a civilian.
In total the development of the system would have costed 5,6 million euro, which has been in development since 2009. The system should be implemented across India by 2014. Last month the first tests of the system were successful.
The Central Monitoring System is most likely meant for anti-terrorism activities. India’s poor reputation on Internet freedom does worry some. So did the Indian government made more than 2500 request to Google last year in obtaining personal information on civilians, the Indian government also requested for the removal of several websites in Google’s search engine.
Hacker collective Anonymous is critical about the Central Monitoring System. According to the hachtivists the Indian government is consistently spying on its civilians without content, making the Central Monitoring System an excuse to intensify these practices even further.
With more than 100 million Internet users today India has become one of the largest and fastest growing Internet markets in the world.