An Israeli cyber intelligence company is soon set to sign a deal with the Indian government to provide it with interception tools for tracking encrypted communication services, according to a report.
Verint Systems, the cyber intelligence solution provider, will provide the government with tools to intercept communication services including Gmail, Yahoo mail, BlackBerry services, Microsoft Skype and others. Communications minister Kapil Sibal recently met with company leadership in Israel. (Source)
“Verint is willing to work with the Indian government to address the issue of intercepting encrypted communications like Gmail, Yahoo-. mail and others. It will shortly co-ordinate with DoT’s security wing and CERT-In teams to implement a customised interception solution,” the minister said in an internal telecom department note, the source has access to.
The Government had recently released it’s first national cyber security policy, which also supposed to help strengthen the CERT-In.
This new move from the Government comes at a time when it is being heavily criticised for implementing the Centralised Monitoring System(CMS) project to spy on its citizens, in the name of national security. Once the controversial CMS is implemented, the government agencies will be able to track all communication traffic without involving third parties like service providers.
Mobile device manufacturer BlackBerry, known for its secure communication services, had to recently agreed to open up access to all consumer emails for the Indian Government. BlackBerry also agreed to share data pertaining to the IP address of the Blackberry Enterprise Server, Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of its consumer devices for security agencies to track.
In the past the Government has clamped down on many other communication service companies in the name of national security. The popular internet based text and voice messaging app WeChat was under the security scanner because of its Chinese origins. Also the market regulator SEBI felt that applications like WhatsApp and BBM were being used to spread sensitive information about their target stocks.
Verint in India
Verint Infosystems has been in India for many years now. It provides probes and software that is installed at the Internet Service Providers end to monitor targeted Internet users and help law enforcement agencies. The probes installed at each service provider can track Internet traffic as well as call information.