Friday, April 8, 2011

The New National Telecom Policy Of India 2011

The first National Telecom Policy of India was written in 1994. It was subsequently reformulated as the New Telecom Policy in 1999 and was also amended in 2004. Now proposals have been given to formulate National Telecom Policy of India 2011.

The Telecom Policy of India has been in controversies like 2G scam in the past. The present Telecom Policy of India is anti common man. It is going against the interests of telecom consumers of India. India needs consumer friendly telecom policy to break the vicious circle that has engulfed the telecom sector of India, says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of Perry4Law and leading techno legal telecom expert of India.

Similarly, in the name of national security and cyber security, companies like Gmail, Skype and BlackBerry have been troubled a lot in India. The biggest problem creator is the encryption issues that are not acceptable o the intelligence agencies of India.

Encryption is an unresolved enigma in India. We have no encryption laws in India and despite the suggestions of many experts’ encryption laws and regulations in India are still missing. Encryption has also become essential due to faulty electronic sniffing and e-surveillance approach of India.

Of late, India is pressurising Research in Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry for providing unencrypted e-mail and telecom communications in India. By threatening to ban Blackberry services in India, the government has already obtained access to Blackberry’s messenger services. Now India is forcing the telecom service providers of India to drop Blackberry’s services if it does not provide free and unencrypted access to its services in India.

In this entire quandary, Indian government has not paid attention to the real issues. Issues like Consumer Friendly National Telecom policy of India, Telecom Security of India, establishment of Telecom Security Council of India, establishment of Telecom Security Regulatory Authority of India (TSRAI), etc must be considered by Indian Government in general and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) in particular on a “priority basis”, suggests Praveen Dalal. Further, Telecom Security Policy of India must also be formulated as soon as possible as India has already taken more than enough time in this regard, suggests Dalal.

We have no telecom security policy in India. There is no mechanism in India through which telecom hardware and software can be analysed for backdoors and malware. In these circumstances, formulating an Indian telecom security policy is urgently required.

The new telecom policy of India 2011 must incorporate all these suggestions in order to be effective. If we need to eradicate corruption that is marring the present telecom sector of India, we must take bold and immediate steps in this regard.