Govt purchasing more tools for surveillance
The government will purchase modern equipment for the National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre (NTMC) to step up mobile phone, email and social network surveillance.
The cabinet committee on purchase chaired by Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu yesterday approved the home ministry proposal that would cost Tk 236 crore.
More modern equipment is required to assume more control over obstructing or recording users' telephonic or online communications so that intelligence activities could be conducted more smoothly, said a home ministry official.
According to the proposal, the NTMC, which has been working under the home ministry since February 2014, conducts Lawful Interception (LI) to help intelligence and law enforcement agencies ensure state security.
LI means obtaining communications network data in line with lawful authority for the purpose of analysis or acquiring evidence. Such data generally consists of signalling or network management information or, in fewer instances, the content of the communications.
The official said various LI equipment would be bought from international firms. It also says the present NTMC monitoring system is old and lacks the capacity to control the modern information technology.
In this context, the home ministry official said they would purchase the equipment from different foreign firms, which are expert in manufacturing such equipment.
The equipment and solutions would help law enforcers anticipate crime and decide on actions to be taken and help them prosecute criminals. The companies would help analyse data traffic and sniff calls, emails, YouTube videos and even identify potential threats, the official said.
The home ministry had earlier taken approval from the cabinet committee on economic affairs for direct purchase of the equipment, the official added.