The government’s electronic intelligence monitoring system , the Central Monitoring System (CMS), will become operational by March 2016, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
“Government has decided to set up the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) to automate the process of lawful interception and monitoring of telecommunications,” Mr. Prasad said. He added that technology development and pilot trials have been completed and the system is anticipated to be progressively operationalised from the end of the financial year.
The Cabinet Committee on Security has also approved the CMS project with government funding of Rs.400 crore.
By using CMS, security agencies will be able to lawfully intercept phone numbers without manual intervention from service providers. At present, security agencies are required to approach the telecom operators for intercepting calls or messages of suspected anti-national and anti-social elements.
The Minister said that to take care of the privacy of citizens, there is oversight mechanism in the form of review committee under chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary at central government level and Chief Secretary at the state government level.