Apr 262010
 
 April 26, 2010  Featured News, Non-U.S., Surveillance

Mumtaz Alam Falahi reports:

Patna: Muslim community leaders are furious over phone tapping by intelligence agencies in Muslim dominated areas in Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad, and have demanded the government to make the agencies accountable. The disclosure about the tapping was made in the latest issue of English weekly Outlook. The magazine has also said that phone calls of some top political leaders from different parties were also tapped and taped.

[…]

The magazine says: “The most intrusive of these systems are the off-the-air GSM/CDMA monitoring devices procured by various central and state intelligence organisations across the country. Sources estimate 90 such systems to have been bought so far, enabling intelligence agents to track, hear and record cellphone conversations at will without even approaching the telecom companies.”

These devices have been often used in Muslim areas.

“These systems are frequently deployed in Muslim-dominated areas of cities like Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad. The systems, mounted inside cars, are sent on “fishing expeditions”, randomly tuning into conversations of citizens in a bid to track down terrorists. Unfortunately, though, such expeditions more often end up violating the privacy of individuals than in catching extremists. “We have deployed the system in places like Seelampur or Jamia in Delhi or the old city of Hyderabad on a few occasions, in the hope that we might pick up critical conversations,” says an intelligence official. “But most of the time, we end up getting private calls or lovers speaking to each other,” the Outlook says.

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