A government-run system for monitoring every piece of citizens’ telecommunications, including online activity, text messages, and phone calls, has been launching in India over the past month. The government’s Central Monitoring System is meant to be used for enforcing “reasonable security practices and procedures” within the country, according to The Times of India.
While the government has committed to remaining within the law, it reportedly hasn’t yet detailed what types of conversations it intends to monitor and under what circumstances it would monitor them.
India’s government is spending just short of $74 million to build the service, which has been in the works since around 2009. The country’s government hasn’t been shy about web censorship in the past, requesting that content be removed and prescreened by major companies such as Google. And though the Central Monitoring System will ostensibly be used for fighting terrorism, the threat of constant monitoring doesn’t bode well for continued internet and telecom freedoms.The Times of India reported previously that the program is expected to be running in a preliminary state right now, and ultimately should be fully in place by August of 2014.
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