Intelligence Bureau (IB) has instructed communications ministry to block all VoIP calls (to and fro) until DoT figures out mechanism to track net telephony calls.
“In the absence of Caller Line Identification (CLI) parameters of calls landing from abroad, it’s next to impossible to identify the country of location of the caller. The calls passing through the VoIP/IP route contain inadequate parameters rendering it impossible to trace the actual callers. As DoT had conveyed that it is not possible to mandate transmission of CLI from abroad, we had approached DoT to block such calls till a technical solution is found” – source
As per TRAI’s latest numbers, over 130 million minutes of internet telephony conversation happened in the Q1 of 2009 and there are 34 ISPs who provide net telephony service in India (legally).
Of course, these directives stems from terrorist attack threats (and govt’s inability to track these conversations) – the bigger question that arises is how correct is government in blocking technology play in the disguise of national security? (remember Blackberry case?)
And this isn’t the first time, govt. has mulled over such ‘technically-challenged’ decision (read: Indian Govt. wants Google/Yahoo/Microsoft to Host Indian Email accounts ending with .in, servers in India) – we just hope government invests in upgrading it’s archaic infrastructure and saves us from such t(ech)aliban-like decisions.
Also see: Jaxtr India Numbers shutdown (illegal usage) | 88% of Mumbai Wireless Networks are open for hackers