The Asian Age

Call data records row echoes in RS


Raising the telecom department’s order seeking bulk call data records in several cities, including the national capital, many Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday claimed that it has raised “bona fide concerns about India being converted into a surveillan­ce state” and is also a serious breach of privacy of citizens.

Raising the issue in the Upper House during Zero Hour, Congress’s Anand Sharma, whose notice under rule 267 on the issue was earlier rejected by the Chair, said under the new guidelines framed by the previous UPA government, after clearance from the home secretary, officers of the rank of superinten­dent of police (SP) and above alone were authorised to seek such details from telecom operators. In addition to this, SPs are required to give a mandatory declaratio­n to district magistrate­s (DMs) about the CDRs obtained every month. But there are no rules to permit any government office to seek call CDR on a regular monthly basis, he said.

He wanted the government to place on record the Home Secretary's order giving permission for seeking CDR and which magistrate were the issue reported to.

Responding to the issue, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said with approval and cooperatio­n of telecom operators, CDR had been sought to deal with call drop issue.

“I want to assure that there is no surveillan­ce, no phone tapping, no call recording,” he said, adding there is no invasion of privacy

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