The Indian government’s Central Monitoring System, which launched last month, can monitor all kinds of stuff including sent and received text messages, phone calls, and even a person's online activity.
According to The Times of India, the CMS is meant to be used to implement "reasonable security practices and procedures" in the Indian nation’s territory. The agency was apparently built in an effort to fight terrorism by pre-empting attacks through monitoring telecommunications.
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However, no information has been given in respect to the details of the CMS’ operations. The agency hasn’t announced what conversations it intends to monitor and under what circumstances it would keep track of citizens’ telecommunications.
The Indian government has reportedly spent almost $74 million to build the agency. The Central Monitoring System has been in development since 2009 and is expected to be fully operational by August of 2014. As of now, it operates in a preliminary state.
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India’s government has a history of implementing web censorship in the country. It has asked major Internet companies like Google to prescreen content. In some cases, the government has even requested removal of content it does not approve of. Likewise, the Central Monitoring System does not seem to be an auspicious omen for continued internet and telecommunication freedom in the country.