Summary: Spy agency RAW gets green signal to tap anyone’s communication while DoT and CBI in talks with Interpol on cyber security.
India’s ambitions to intercept communication over channels like RIM’s BlackBerry continues into 2012; the bureaucrats are not giving up. The Department of Telecommunication is still finding ways to get access to electronic communication over Skype, BlackBerry and similar services. Towards the end of December 2011, India’s independent intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) was granted unfettered access to intercept anyone’s interaction through electronic mediums. The move as reported by DNA, brings R&AW at par with the powers granted to international spy agencies in other countries. To quote the DNA story:
R&AW can now post its communication interception equipment at international gateways to spy on all forms of data, be it international telephony emanating from India, or any form of electronic data including e-mails.
According to The Economic Times, the DoT has asked the Interpol to help them gain access to encrypted electronic communication. Members from the DoT discussed with Ronald K Noble, Interpol Secretary-General, possibilities of technical and regulatory support in being able to tap into Skype, BlackBerry etc. Since the Home Ministry and Department of Telecommunication (DoT) are in talks with foreign companies on getting access to communication over their services, either R&AW doesn’t have the technical capabilities to decrypt secure communication or the Home Ministry and DoT need to work with R&AW to bypass RIM, Google, Microsoft.
India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also spoke with Noble and reached an understanding on working together against cyber crime. The partnership is expected to reduce the bureaucratic nightmare while dealing with other countries.