India wants special monitoring access for Twitter, Facebook
- 08 August, 2011 20:33
India's communications ministry has been asked by the home ministry to monitor social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook amid fears that the services are being used by terrorists to plan attacks.
The request suggests that the Indian government is trying to broaden the scope of its online surveillance for national security.
Telecommunications service providers in India provide facilities for lawful interception and monitoring of communications on their network, including communications from social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, in accordance with their license agreements, Milind Deora, the minister of state for communications and IT, told Parliament, according to the country's Press Information Bureau.
But there are certain communications which are encrypted, Deora said Friday.
The government did not provide details of what encrypted data they would like to have access to. A spokesman for the home ministry said on Monday that additional information can only be provided in Parliament while it is in session.
Under new rules to the country's IT Act that came into force earlier this year, websites and service providers are required to provide government security agencies with information on private accounts, including passwords, on request without a court order.
Most companies, however, are not willing to share information with law enforcement agencies unless they have a court order.
Twitter states in its guidelines for law enforcement that "non-public information about Twitter users is not released unless we have received a subpoena, court order, or other valid legal process document."
Facebook has a similar policy, saying that U.S. federal law prohibits the disclosure of the contents of an account such as messages, wall posts and photos except in response to a civil subpoena or court order, the company said on its website.
Twitter and Facebook, which both rank in the top 10 most popular websites in India according to web statistics company Alexa, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Indian government has said it has asked other companies to provide ways to allow security agencies to monitor traffic on their networks, including Skype and Google, although those companies said they have not heard from the government.
India continues to press other companies for access to communications data. The government has asked Research in Motion, maker of BlackBerry devices, to provide access to e-mails and other communications on its corporate service, Blackberry Enterprise Server.
RIM has said that it is technically impossible for it to provide security agencies with access to encrypted e-mails, as the keys used to scramble the messages are in the hands of its customers.
Last week, a Parliament Standing Committee criticized the government for extending the deadlines for RIM to provide access to the communications. The committee recommended that the matter "should be taken up strongly with BlackBerry."
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Why change management doesn’t work
Larry Page wants to see your medical records
Dual-Persona Smartphones Not a BYOD Panacea
After two-year hiatus, EFF accepts bitcoin donations again
CIOs struggle to deliver timely mobile business apps: survey
Advanced Persistent Threats and Real-Time Threat Management
Businesses face a constantly evolving threat landscape. One of the greatest challenges is presented by advanced persistent threats (APTs), which are sophisticated, multi‐faceted attacks targeting a particular organisation. Mitigating the risk of APTs requires advances beyond traditional layered security to include real‐time threat management. This whitepaper describes the nature of APTs, the risks they pose to businesses, and techniques for blocking, detecting, and containing APTs and other emerging threats. Read now.
Implementing A Security Analytics Architecture
According to the 2012 Verizon Data Breach Investigations report, 99% of breaches led to data compromise within “days” or less, whereas 85% of breaches took “weeks” or more to discover. This presents a significant challenge to security teams as it grants attackers extended periods of time within a victim’s environment. More “free time” leads to more stolen data and more digital damage. Principally, this is because today’s security measures aren’t designed to counter today’s more advanced threats. Read on.
Russian Underground 101
This research paper intends to provide a brief summary of the cybercriminal underground and shed light on the basic types of hacker activity in Russia. It discusses fundamental concepts that Russian hackers follow and the information they share with their peers. It also examines prices charged for various types of services, along with how prevalent the given services are in advertisements. The primary features of each type of activity and examples of associated service offerings are discussed as well. Read this paper.