Five Ways You Could Be Snooped On In 2014
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Five Ways You Could Be Snooped On In 2014

Tuesday, 31 December 2013, 10:51 Hrs
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Bangalore: The United States National Security Agency, Prism, its clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program and whistleblower Edward Joseph Snowden. Back home, the Amit Shah tapes and the Central Monitoring System. You'd think, 2013 was the year of government-sponsored snooping. But you ain't seen nothing yet.



India - still years behind the U.S. in this arena - is desperately trying to catch up in 2014. Here're five ways you'll probably get snooped on electronically, in India.



CALL DATA RECORDS



This is the most likely way a Government department can snoop on you. By asking your phone company for your "call data records" (CDR). Those are the details of your phone calls: who you spoke to, how frequently and for how long, and the mobile locations for both parties, among others.



There are nearly a dozen Indian organizations (such as the Income Tax Department), apart from the police, who are allowed to do this.



So you think you have "nothing to hide"? And they're not listening to what you're actually saying? But most people do have things to hide - not all of them illegal.



One government officer got the call records for a man being investigated for tax issues, but misused the data - which showed frequent calls to a married lady - for some blackmail.



Let's say you're in India and you make a friend in Pakistan over Facebook. And you call her a few times from your phone. What you discuss is irrelevant: the government snoops will just flag the pattern: several calls to one Pakistan number. If they were actually listening to the call, they'd know that your chat is innocuous, but they're not, so they'll assume the worst.



What do you do? Use Internet-based systems like Skype for frequent long-distance calls. They're much more difficult to intercept, and usually cheaper.
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Source: IANS
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