India Joins The Super-Snooper's Club (No Legality Required)
from the anything-you-can-do dept
One of the many benefits of Edward Snowden's leaks about NSA spying is that it is flushing out similar activity around the world. Tim Cushing wrote recently about Sweden's illegal snooping, and now The Hindu reveals that India is doing something very similar:
the Internet activities of India's roughly 160 million users are already being subjected to wide-ranging surveillance and monitoring, much of which is in violation of the government’s own rules and notifications for ensuring "privacy of communications".
Here are some details:
unlike mobile call interception safeguards, where only a pre-specified, duly authorized mobile number is put under "targeted surveillance", to prohibit misuse, in the case of Internet traffic, the government’s monitoring system, which is installed between the ISPs Internet Edge Router (PE) and the core network, has an "always live" link to the entire traffic. The LIM [Lawful Intercept and Monitoring] system, in effect, has access to 100% of all Internet activity, with broad surveillance capability, based not just on IP or email addresses, URLs, fttps, https, telenet, or webmail, but even through a broad and blind search across all traffic in the Internet pipe using "key words" and "key phrases".
As that makes clear, the safeguards that exist for mobile interception are absent when it comes to the Internet, where pretty much anything goes. Moreover, like the UK's Tempora system, the Indian government is spying on all kinds of Internet traffic, all the time, and is able to carry out arbitrary keyword searches on it.
It's been a few months since Snowden made his first disturbing revelations, so we ought, perhaps, to be inured by now to news about the trampling of people's privacy online. But it's nonetheless depressing to come across yet another example of government contempt for the rights of its citizens.