Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Government order: Telecom companies keep records of people’s calling for two years, it is necessary for security

Tech Desk, Amar Ujala, New Delhi

Published by: Pradeep Pandey
Updated Fri, 24 Dec 2021 11:10 AM IST

Summary

The Department of Telecom, through a notification dated December 21, has asked that all call detail records, exchange details records and network communication IP records be saved for two years.

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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended the Unified License Agreement and given a major mandate to telecom and internet service providers as well as all other telecom licensees. The department has ordered telecom companies to keep data of call records of people for two years. According to sources, this additional time has been extended following requests from several security agencies. At present the call record data is saved for 18 months.

The DoT, through a notification dated December 21, has asked that all call detail records, exchange details records and network communication IP records be saved for two years. This is appropriate from a security point of view. The notification states that Internet service providers will also have to maintain “internet telephony” details in addition to the normal IP details records for a period of two years.

A senior department official said, “It is a procedural order. Several security agencies told us that they still need the data even after a year, as investigations go on for a long time in most cases. We have held a meeting with all the service providers for this order.

On this order, a telecom company official said that whenever such data is eliminated, before that information is given to both the office and the officer concerned with that data. The data is deleted after the next 45 days of providing the information.

Another telecom company official said that keeping this data for two years will not cost extra, as this data is stored in text form, so not much space is required. Most of this data contains information about who made the call and what was the duration of the call.

Scope

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended the Unified License Agreement and given a major mandate to telecom and internet service providers as well as all other telecom licensees. The department has ordered telecom companies to keep data of call records of people for two years. According to sources, this additional time has been extended following requests from several security agencies. At present the call record data is saved for 18 months.

The DoT, through a notification dated December 21, has asked that all call detail records, exchange details records and network communication IP records be saved for two years. This is appropriate from a security point of view. The notification states that Internet service providers will also have to maintain “internet telephony” details in addition to the normal IP details records for a period of two years.

A senior department official said, “It is a procedural order. Several security agencies told us that they still need the data even after a year, as investigations go on for a long time in most cases. We have held a meeting with all the service providers for this order.

On this order, a telecom company official said that whenever such data is eliminated, before that information is given to both the office and the officer concerned with that data. The data is deleted after the next 45 days of providing the information.

Another telecom company official said that keeping this data for two years will not cost extra, as this data is stored in text form, so not much space is required. Most of this data contains information about who made the call and what was the duration of the call.

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