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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Central Monitoring System : Another step in the Wrong Direction ?


1.    The month of "May" has become started with a "Will" from Indian Government.Now after so many still unresolved issues on Facebook posts and similar things in respect of issues of privacy,it has come up now with Central Monitoring System(CMS).The concept was placed in parliament  some time in December 2012 by the then information technology minister Milind Deora on which the government plans to spend Rs 400 crore and this would "lawfully intercept internet and telephone services"

2.  Now this means that everything we say or text over the phone, write, post or browse over the Internet will be centrally monitored by Indian authorities.Every byte of what is being exchanged by you over the net would be monitored.....but is it actually required?I have doubts per-se owing to the amount of further investment it would require.At a time when Big Data analytics is still maturing,investing so much on monitoring and storing some portion of it pan India would be a herculean task.The key points that I found interesting are dotted below :

- With the lack of privacy laws to protect Indian citizens against potential abuse,this would set another example of wrong feather in the cap.

- CMS has been prepared by the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TREM) and the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and is being manned by the Intelligence Bureau. 

- Without any manual intervention from telecom service providers, CMS will equip government agencies with Direct Electronic Provisioning, filter and provide Call Data Records (CDR) analysis and data mining to identify the personal information and provide alerts of the target numbers.

- The estimated cost of CMS is Rs. 4 billion. It will be connected with the Telephone Call Interception System (TCIS) which will help monitor voice calls, SMS and MMS, fax communications on landlines, CDMA, video calls, GSM and 3G networks. Is their any thing on Mother India Earth left to monitor?

3. Now I fail to understand that how Government expects to monitor cyber criminals by this CMS? Does government actually intend to find out the actual potent and dangerous Cyber Criminals or are they only interested in finding love affairs of local boys and girls!!!coz if the intention is former,would the cyber gang do it without tricks?...without encryption?...without spoofing?...when things like stegnography,TOR,Anonymous etc are still to be deciphered....the cyber crime would go on as it is.The focus should have been on analyzing of what is floating around rather then monitoring open text and messages.

4.  For example if a person with malicious intent,uses Whonix or anonymous kind of OS from a local cyber cafe and then places his message vide a steganographed image that is encrypted,is their any way that this can be deciphered?....technology does not exist today to decipher all this quickly ..still time is there when we reach such a stage....few months back in Dec 2012 when torrent was apparently blocked on directives from Govt Of India,anonymous group had given a open letter shared at http://www.geektech.in/archives/9924.

5. Well it is very clear that the decision makers in such moves are unclear on technological reality but also provisions for a scenario like WAR within....each step in such a direction has to be taken carefully because these are really critical.Additionally,outsourcing such moves to unreliable or may be foreign firms may become a serious threat.....

6.  Well at the end of the day,it is just my view per-sewhich no body is bothered...but the repercussions are serious to be avoided and ignored

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