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Privacy

Submission + - Indian government to track locations of all cell phone users (indianexpress.com) 1

asto21 writes: As per amendments made to operators’ licences, beginning May 31, operators would have to provide the Department of Telecommunications real-time details of users’ locations in latitudes and longitudes.

Documents obtained by The Indian Express show that details shall initially be provided for mobile numbers specified by the government. Within three years, service providers will have to provide information on locations of all users.

The information will have some margin of error at first. But by 2013, at least 60 per cent of the calls in urban areas would have to be accurately tracked when made 100 metres away from the nearest cell tower. By 2014, the government will seek to increase the proportion to 75 per cent in cities and 50 per cent in suburban and rural areas.

Blackberry

Submission + - Indian govt. set to gain 'back-door' access to corporate email (livemint.com)

asto21 writes: In a move that may raise serious questions regarding the privacy of corporate emails exchanged between individuals and employees, the Indian government is all set to gain “back-door” access to emails sent and received over Research In Motion Ltd’s (RIM) BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) within the next two-three months.

“There are about 5,000 enterprises using BES in India,” the note said. “These are communications between the employees of the enterprise only and therefore are not of high concern for security or intelligence agencies.”
However, the capability of using the key to access the communications when needed is still being developed.

Meanwhile, the government is just a step away from gaining access to RIM’s widely used BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service.

Submission + - Beating SMS spam with intelligent pricing rather t (arunbalan.in) 3

asto21 writes: So the situation as it stands now – in order to reduce spam, normal consumers are allowed to send only 100 SMSes per day but certain businesses are allowed to send as many as they want!

How about we start pricing SMSes incrementally? Each SMS will have a price xn where n is the nth SMS of the day, and x is a modifier of TRAI's choosing. For example, if the modifier is 1, the first SMS of the day will cost Rs 1, the second Rs 2 and the third Rs 3 and so on. The total cost for the 3 messages will be 6.

Submission + - Dear Department of Telecom, Govt of India (arunbalan.in)

asto21 writes: It has come to my notice that you would like access to encrypted channels of communication used by services such as Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and that if they do not comply, you will ban them. While this is definitely a step in the right direction towards achieving a peaceful society that has no avenues left to propogate terror, I have grave news for you.
Piracy

Submission + - File Sharing Sites Blocked by Govt Of India (ndtv.com)

asto21 writes: Popular file sharing sites including Rapidshare, Mediafire, Megaupload and Filesonic were blocked by major ISP's in India following an order by the Department Of Telecom, Government of India in the run-up to the release of a Bollywood movie, Singham. The Movie Producers (Reliance Big Pictures) obtained a John Doe order to prevent piracy from a high court allowing for such a blanket ban. This move of course left many of the millions of internet users in India fuming, some of whom were even paid users of the sites in question.

Submission + - File/Video Sharing Sites Blocked by Govt Of India (ndtv.com)

asto21 writes: All popular file sharing and video streaming sites including Rapidshare, Mediafire, Megaupload and Filesonic were blocked by major ISP's in India following an order by the Department Of Telecom, Government of India in the run-up to the release of a Bollywood movie, Singham. The Movie Producers (Reliance Big Pictures) obtained a John Doe order to prevent piracy from a high court allowing for such a blanket ban. This move of course left many of the millions of internet users in India fuming, some of whom were even paid users of the sites in question.
Microsoft

Submission + - Indian Unique ID program locked into Windows (hindu.com)

asto21 writes: From the article: In its technology statement, Aadhaar, the massive Government of India project that seeks to enrol citizens, puts on record its commitment to using open technological standards. However, the government of Kerala — the only State that mandates the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in governance — recently found that the client enrolment software used is only compatible with Windows, the proprietary operating system owned by Microsoft.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) mandates that all ‘middleware' used in Aaadhaar must be vendor neutral. However, by using software that is only Windows-compliant, UID applications have already established a clear vendor lock-in. In Kerala, which has embraced open platforms, this is a vexatious issue because Virtual Device Managers – that provide an interface for applications to devices such as biometric devices – are not Linux-compatible.

Government

Submission + - Indian Govt. to develop it's own OS (indiatimes.com)

asto21 writes: The government has set in motion an ambitious plan to develop its own software and end the reliance on foreign operating systems and anti-virus products after growing worries over the spurt in cyber attacks on Indian establishments.
The overwhelming belief among government bosses is that an indigenous low-grade, but clean, software could nix the chances of foreign states infiltrating the computers of key Indian establishments and compromising the country’s security. “A sanitised, lower level operating system and application software may be preferred to the advanced versions, which necessarily require access to internet for upgrades,” the official said. The new software could be deployed in key departments that have been under constant cyber attacks. The taskforce also includes officials of the Prime Minister’s Office as well as defence, home and telecom & IT ministries.

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