The current tension between India and Pakistan, and subsequent military escalations can cause mobile calls to be intercepted and monitored.
We will discuss the legality of this case and whether the telecommunications companies will inform the user of this.
Long-distance call monitoring: a possibility?
According to the Economic Times report, leading telecom operators in India are preparing for a possibility, in which they may be asked to make monitored calls, especially long distance calls from India to other countries.
If this happens, it would be a secret, and in addition to some entities, nobody will know.
This has been confirmed by Rajan Mathews, CEO of the Association of Cellular Operators of India (COAI), which represents telecommunications operators such as Vodafone-Idea, Airtel and Jio.
According to Rajan, if such a request from the Indian government. comes, then it would be highly confidential, and only the designated nodal officer would be informed of this decision.
He said: “The nodal officer is bound by strict confidentiality requirements, therefore, it can not be confirmed if the operators have received any request.”
Call monitoring and monitoring request can be done
According to several sections of the Telegraph Law, 1885, Indian Government. You can order telecommunications companies to monitor calls, and even request surveillance equipment to monitor calls.
Section 5 (2) of the Telegraph Law clearly states that the Government. You can change to a surveillance mode “in case of any public emergency, or in the interest of public safety”.
The clause also states that the government. does not have the obligation to inform or update users about said call monitoring.
In addition, India’s monitoring report indicates that the government. You can order telecommunications operators to provide surveillance equipment to monitor up to 480 calls at the same time.
10 designated security agencies must be able to monitor 30 calls each, in case of such an emergency, and telecommunications providers are required to comply with this order.
What are those 10 designated security agencies, is not mentioned in the report.
Rule 419A of the Telegraph Rules of India, 1951 also gives absolute power to the Indian government. to take advantage of and monitor any telephone in India, in case “all other reasonable means of acquiring the information have been ruled out”.
The telecommunications operators have not commented or reacted to this news. However, one of the chief executives of telecom operator Big 3 said that “the company is fully committed to providing all possible support to the government and the armed forces.”
Ram Narain, former DDG (Security) in the telecommunications department, said that in case of military escalation, internet closures can also be imposed on selected sensitive areas.