Thursday, June 20, 2013

Central Monitoring System Of India Launched Without Any Parliamentary Oversight And Legal Framework

The dangerous central monitoring system (CMS) of India has been finally launched as per various media reports. However, till now no confirmed and official report has been provided by Indian government in this regard.

The CMS is an e-surveillance and law enforcement tool in the hand of Indian government and its agencies. However, the entire concept of e-surveillance and projects like CMS is full of controversies. India has no constitutionally sound lawful interception legal framework.

Both phone tapping and e-surveillance are done in India without any judicial intervention and purely at the executive level. Even the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of India are not governed by constitutionally sound legal frameworks.

It is only now that the group of ministers has been constituted to draft law for central bureau of investigation (CBI) to make it autonomous and insulate from executive interference.

This is an alarming situation especially when governments around the world are engaging in limitless and unregulated e-surveillance. This has forced even the United Nations to raise its voice against civil liberties violations by various national governments.

India has been playing with the propose privacy bill for long and there seems to be no intention on the part of Indian government to enact the same. Till Indian government respects the privacy rights and civil liberties of Indian citizens, we must use self defence measures to protect the same.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Central Monitoring System Of India Is Extremely Dangerous And Violates Civil Liberties

This is the Guest Post of Mr. Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based ICT law firm Perry4Law. The post outlines how the Central Monitoring System of India works and why it is dangerous for civil liberties in India.

Much has been discussed about the Central Monitoring System of India. For those who are still wondering what it is all about, the central Monitoring System (CMS) of India is a Big Brother Project of Indian Government without any Legal Framework, Procedural Safeguards and Parliamentary Oversight.

In short, beware as the big Brother is Listening. However, the Big Brother is not only listening but the Big Brother has Exceeded its Limits as well. The “Blanket Implementation” of the central Monitoring System (CMS) Project of India is violation of Civil Liberties in Cyberspace. The CMS Project would be “Illegal and Unconstitutional” if implemented in its “Current Form”.

But the crucial question is how would the CMS Project achieve its task of E-Surveillance in India? The CMS project could eavesdrop on all incoming, outgoing and ISD calls, text, messages, etc and the same can be monitored “At Will and at All Times”.

This would be achieved by passing all forms of Digital Communications through the Centralised System. Consider it to be “Refined Form of Men in the Middle (MITM) Attack” that is capable of knowing everything leaving your Mobile or Computer.

As you have to connect “Through the ISP” for gaining Internet access, you are passing through the MITM System of Indian Government that has been Illegally and Unconstitutionally Established.

ISPs would have no option in this regard as their Telecom Infrastructure would be passing through the CMS System and there would be no need to take their assistance every time the Indian Government wishes to do E-Surveillance or Eavesdropping.

In India there is no requirement to obtain a Court Warrant to engage in E-Surveillance and Eavesdropping. Even the lawful Interception Law in India is also missing. Both the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Indian Information technology Act, 2000 carries many “Unconstitutional Provisions” and “Both Deserve to be Repealed”.

In short, the CMS System is an Illegal and Unconstitutional MITM System that does not require any Court Warrant or Permission to engage in E-Surveillance. CMS Project is another Unconstitutional Project like Aadhaar that has been imposed upon Indian Citizens. The Aadhaar Project has already been questioned in many Indian Courts and CMS Project would be next in line.

India is not only using the FinFisher Malware but the command and Control Servers of FinFisher are also Established in India. Spyware and Malware can be implanted upon the “Targeted Machines” with great ease and with the CMS in place this would be a child’s play. Wake up and fight for your Civil Liberties because if Rights Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Rights in India.