New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has asked the Department of Telecom to initiate "strict" action and levy fine on two telecom companies for allegedly failing to provide exact details of people using Internet.
   
In an internal communication to DoT Secretary R Chandrashekar, a Joint Director of a central security agency, working under the Home Ministry, said Internet Protocol addresses were provided along with exact dates and timings to some telecom service providers.
   
However, the two firms -- a private telecom company and a foreign company – providing Internet solution in India, were "unable to provide us with exact details and actual user in case of communication" used through mobiles phones.
   
"As a result, we have been unable to trace our targets. Lack of timely and precise input from the telecom service provider hampers operational effectiveness of the data sought which results in operational ineffectiveness and failure of the ongoing operation, thus undermining the importance of national security," the note said.
   
Listing out the cases, it said that a request had been made to one of the largest private telecom companies of India on May 7 and May 9 with date and exact time for resolving two IP addresses related to internet activity concerning national security.
   
"But the service provider could not locate the actual user who accessed the internet during the given time," it said.
   
Another request was made to a foreign company on May 10 with all required details. However, it also failed in providing the details.
   
The note cited the communication of Ministry of Communication and Information Technology issued on February 6, 2012, asking all telecom service providers to put in place a suitable mechanism for interception.

"But nothing at the Internet Service Provider or Telecom Service Provider has apparently taken shape so far.
   
"It is requested that DoT may direct these service providers for redressing our concerns and may initiate some strict action like levying some fine or penalty for their failure to adhere to the conditions in the licence agreement," the note to the DoT Secretary said.
   
It also pointed out that the service providers were in breach of Clauses 33.4, 33.6, 34.8 and 34.12 of the agreement.
   
Under Clause 33.4, the service provider is obliged to provide, without any delay, all the tracing facilities to trace nuisance, obnoxious or malicious calls, messages or communications transported through its equipment and network and any damages arising on account of service provider's failure in this regard shall be payable by the licensee.
   
Under Clause 33.6, the service provider shall ensure that objectionable, obscene, unauthorised or any other content, messages or communications infringing copyright, intellectual property right and international and domestic cyber laws, in any form or inconsistent with the laws of India, are not carried in its network.
   
Any damages arising out of default on the part of licensee in this respect shall be sole responsibility of the licensee.
   
Under Clause 34.8, each service provider must maintain a log of all users connected and the service they are using. The ISPs must also log every outward login or telnet through their computers. These logs, as well as copies of all the packets originating from the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) of the ISP, must be available in real time to Telecom Authority.
   
Under Clause 34.12, a complete list of subscribers shall be made available by the service provider on their website (having password controlled access), so that authorized intelligence agencies are able to obtain the subscriber list at any time, as per their convenience with the help of the password.

(Agencies)

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