The Intelligence Bureau wants internet service providers, or ISPs, to keep a record of all online activities of customers for a minimum of six months, a move that can add to operational costs for companies and pose privacy concerns.
IB, in a communication to the department of telecom, or DoT , has sought that addresses of websites visited with date and time and financial transactions of all customers be stored by internet operators for six months.
Currently, mobile phone companies and internet service providers do not keep online logs that track the web usage pattern of their customers. They selectively monitor online activities of only those customers as required by intelligence and security agencies, explained an executive with a telecom company.
“At present, we only keep a log of all our customers’ Internet Protocol address, which is the digital address of a customer’s internet connection. We are not aware of the IB proposal, but such a move will pose huge logistical challenge for ISPs and increase costs,” said Rajesh Chharia, president of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of India
This is just one of the IB’s proposals related to surveillance and privacy. As readers know, the government has also demanded businesses provide encryption keys: Blackberry agreed [SEE CORRECTION BELOW], while Google said no. Another proposal, also mentioned in the article, would create UIDs for internet users so that no matter how/where they logged on in the country, they could be identified. Praveen Dalal has discussed some of the recent interception developments in India.
[CORRECTION: Research in Motion did not agree to provide the encryption key to corporate email accounts. Rather, it will be complying with lawful requests. See the coverage in the Guardian.]