Beware! Over 10,500 phones tapped; More to come under surveillance
New Delhi: Indian intelligence and securities are heavily relying on phone tapping email screening to get useful information about security threat. The monitoring of emails by various security agencies saw a 36 percent jump in September while tapping of telephones during the month came marginally down.
According to an official note, the number of emails being screened rose to 1,601 as on September 30 from 1,174 at the end of August--an increase of 36.4 percent.
The note said 10,490 phones across the country were monitored by various security agencies. The number of phones tapped in August stood at 10,648.
A high-level committee which confirmed the snooping orders issued by the Union Home Secretary for telephones saw 1,915 fresh requests being made from Intelligence Bureau, 11 from the Enforcement Directorate and 492 from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
The interception under the Indian Telegraph Act is ordered by various intelligence agencies, police forces and Army which is later confirmed by a Committee comprising Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar and Law Secretary B A Agarwal.
The Committee, which met here recently and confirmed the orders passed by the Home Secretary, cleared a fresh request for monitoring 876 emails by Intelligence Bureau and Army's Signal Intelligence, the note said. During September, 449 emails were no more being monitored.
Already, 725 emails were being monitored by the two agencies.
IB topped the chart monitoring nearly 5,500 phones out of which over 1,915 requests were made in September alone and was followed by Andhra Pradesh Police which made 549 requests in the month besides keeping under surveillance 755 others, sources said.
The number of phones monitored by the Army's Signal Intelligence came down sharply from 1,100 phones to 286 of which 100 requests were made in September, the sources said.
The Committee, however, rejected six requests made by intelligence agencies and demanded more clarifications on the issue of public emergency or public safety in respect of orders passed for fresh interception and continuing it, the sources said. (with PTI inputs)