Centre to set up special units to monitor calls in each state

New Delhi: To monitor and intercept "suspicious" telephonic conversations, a special unit under the police department will soon be set up in every state capital across the country.

"The Intelligence Bureau has taken up a scheme of modernisation of the Special Branches in the states. One of the requirements is the setting up of a Telephone Call Interception System (TCIS) in each service provider, which has been licensed for the state to legally monitor the calls as and when required.

"The TCIS is needed in 30 locations all over India, in each state and UT headquarters," a senior Home Ministry official, quoting the draft proposal in this regard said.

It is proposed to set up a communications monitoring facility in all state capitals with facilities to monitor Voice Calls, SMS and MMS, GPRS and fax communications on landlines, CDMA and GSM networks.

The system across all the states needs to be compatible and inter-operable. The selected vendor is expected to supply, install, test and commission the communications monitoring facility in all the state capitals, on turn-key basis, the proposal said.

According to sources, the interoperability clause has been added by the Home Ministry while asking for the new interception platform, as it can then be shared by various Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the states and various special units like the Anti-Terrorist Squads (ATS) and Special Task Forces (STFs) of the states, which are mandated to undertake specific anti-terrorist and intelligence gathering targets.

The exercise is being taken under the police modernisation scheme of the Home Ministry in which the central ministry assists and funds new projects of various states.

The new interception platform, which is expected to be set up in six months after technical bids are approved, boasts of some very high-end snoop techniques for the investigators monitoring suspicious communications.

The system should have integrated voice separation and recognition system to identify suspect callers on the fly by matching against suspect database and raising a flag on suspect calls (both online and offline), one of the high-end and specific requirements of the proposal said.

The (proposed) system should be capable of real time monitoring and analysis of intercepted data of the target subscribers and it should also be able to intercept all GPRS (online Internet) transactions made from the target phones, it said.

The system should be capable to intercept all 3G calls in real-time made from the target phones, the proposal added.