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Centre to amend rules to make CDR access tougher

Amendments in telegraph rules will aim to tighten the law for state police and specialised units

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi |
June 13, 2013 2:09:53 am

Concerned over the rising number of phone-tapping requests from central agencies like Intelligence Bureau,RAW,NTRO and Military Intelligence,the government is bringing amendments to the Indian telegraph rules to tighten provisions for seeking call details records (CDR).

Currently,there is no specific rule for central agencies if they wanted to obtain only CDRs. So,they request the Home Ministry for phone-tapping of suspects during which they can also access the CDRs,said officials.

The amendments will aim to tighten the law for state police and specialised units,who till now are able to obtain CDRs from the service provider easily citing Section 92 of CrPC. The provision entitles the court or Superintendent of Police to produce the CDRs. Home Ministry officials said the new law will propose that the CDRs can only be obtained after taking permission from the Home Secretary in case of central agencies while for state police,the sanctioning authority will be the Chief Secretary.

The proposal is being expedited in the wake of the recent case in which a Delhi Police constable was caught while trying to access Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley’s CDRs.

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The changes are being proposed in consultation with the Department of Telecommunication. “This will help bring down the number of phone-tapping requests as in the absence of CDR option,the agencies press for phone-tapping,” said a senior Home Ministry official.

Officials said it would also protect the privacy of persons who are put under surveillance on suspicion but later come out clean.

“The earlier practice followed by the agencies involved the breach of privacy as they can easily eavesdrop in the conversation legally but this limited access of CDRs through tightened measures will help to bring down complaints of harassment,” added an official. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde during his statement to the Rajya Sabha on March 1 had brought to the notice of the MPs the difference between “phone-tapping” and “access of CDR”.

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“The interception of the telephone or telephone-tapping refers to looking at the content of the conversation whereas the CDRs pertain to the data regarding the numbers which were called or received,” Shinde had said.

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First published on: 13-06-2013 at 02:09:53 am

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