cr> tapping cell phones


Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>

The Economic Times of March 21, 1996, carries news that I find
very disturbing under the front-page headline "Metro cellular
operators told to instal tapping equipment" by Manoj Gairola:

"DOT officials had recently called a meeting of all the cellular
operators to discuss the modalities for providing sophisticated
monitoring equipment."
"DOT is alarmed. The extensive use of mobile telephony played an
important role in Karachi violence. Last year, Pakistani
authorities suspended all cellular and paging services as gunmen
were using these facilities to coordinate terrorist attacks."
"The government is also very careful in awarding frequency
clearances for the cellular services. It proposed security
clearance on case-to-case basis as a precondition for issue of
wireless licences to prospective cellular operators.

This has created apprehension among the cellular licence-holders
as a security clearance on case-to-case basis is likely to delay
the process of allocation of frequencies. The process of
setting up the cellular infrastructure will, in turn, be delayed
as the equipment cannot be ordered without knowing the specified
frequencies that are allocated. And the tele-tapping rider will
cost dear as any delay in providing services will result in huge
losses for the companies due to a prolonged gestation period."

So, higher cost, and delay. What else is new?

Does anyone have further info on what happened in Karachi?

Apparently, phone tapping requires only a "special request" from
the investigating agencies, I don't think that means a court

Arun Mehta B-69, Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24, India. Phone +91-11-6841172
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dreary desert sands of dead habit;.. Into that heaven of freedom, my
father, let my country awake! -- Rabindranath Tagore

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