Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring

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Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM)
Agency overview
Formed October 2004 (2004-10)
Type Telecommunications vigilance and monitoring
Jurisdiction Government of India
Minister responsible Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology
Parent department Department of Telecommunications (DoT)

Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM), formerly known as Vigilance Telecom Monitoring (VTM), is the vigilance and monitoring wing of the Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT).[1] TERM is made up of 34 Cells in India's 24 telecom circles and 10 large telecom districts,[2] each headed by a Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level officer, termed as Deputy Director General (DDG).[3] The main functions of TERM Cells are vigilance, monitoring and security of the network.[4][5] Apart from this, TERM Cells also operate the Central Monitoring System (CMS), a clandestine mass electronic surveillance program, and carry out other functions. The TERM Cells function as the subordinate offices of the DoT in the field. These Cells represent the Telegraph Authority and the Licensor.[6]

History[edit]

Vigilance Telecom Monitoring Cells (VTM) were created by the Government to control illegal/clandestine telecom operations. Three VTM Cells were set up in October 2004 at Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, and a fourth cell was created at Chennai the following month. Cells were added at Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (East), and West Bengal in August 2006, and at Andaman and Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, North East-I, North East-II, Orissa, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh (West) in January 2007.[7] Cells were added in March 2007 for Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Pune, taking the total number of VTM Cells to 34.[6]

VTM Cells were renamed to Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells, with effect from 5 August 2008. The Government felt that the new name reflected "the entire gamut of functions assigned to the Cells" and "distinguished their role vis-vis staff-vigilance activities".[4][5]

Functions[edit]

TERM Cells analyze and resolve complaints received through the Public Grievance (PG) portal or from other sources. TERM Cells were given the task of checking the compliance of EMF radiation norms, as prescribed by Government, in 2010. TERM Cells collect a fee from operators for carrying out EMF testing.[3] Other functions of TERM Cells are checking mobile spectrum utilization and investigation of complaints regarding telecom and Internet services.[8]

Registration of OSPs[edit]

Due to the growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in India, the DoT decided to decentralize the registration of Other Service Providers (OSPs), which was being done by the DoT, HQ. The job of registering OSPs and telemarketers was given to TERM Cells. The task of registering telemarketers was later given to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). OSP registrations are done using software developed with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).[3]

Service testing[edit]

TERM Cells were given the task of service testing of licensed TSPs in the licensed service area and checking their roll-out obligations as per the license conditions. As per the license agreement, all the TSPs are required to roll out their services within prescribed time periods, which means they have to offer their services in the districts selected by them by a fixed date. This then crosschecked for quality, coverage and other parameters by the DoT which is termed as Service Testing. TERM Cells also issue Service Test Result Certificates (STRCs) against the cases tested by them. Apart from this TERM Cells also send compiled data pertaining to roll out obligation for imposing Liquidated Damage (LD) charges on the TSPs do not comply with roll-out obligation conditions. TERM Cells collect a fee from operators for carrying out testing.[3]

Central Monitoring System[edit]

The Central Monitoring System (CMS) is a clandestine mass electronic surveillance program installed by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), an Indian Government owned telecommunications technology development centre,[9] and operated by TERM Cells.[3] The CMS gives India's security agencies and income tax officials centralized access to India's telecommunications network[10] and the ability to listen in on and record mobile, landline and satellite[11] calls and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and read private emails, SMS and MMS, geolocate people using Mobile phone tracking,[12] all in real time.[13] It can also monitor posts on social media and Google searches, without any parliamentary or judicial oversight.[14]

List of TERM Cells[edit]

There are currently 34 TERM Cells in India's 24 telecom circles and 10 large telecom districts.[2] Each cell is headed by a Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level officer, termed as Deputy Director General (DDG).[3]

S. No. TERM Cell Location[15] Area of Jurisdiction[4][5] Created
1 Ahmedabad Khanpur, Ahmedabad Ahmedabad Telecom District March 2007
2 Andaman & Nicobar Port Blair, Andaman district Andaman and Nicobar Islands January 2007
3 Andhra Pradesh Mogalrajpuram, Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh (Telecom Circle), excluding Hyderabad Telecom District January 2007
4 Assam Pan Bazar, Guwahati Assam (Telecom Circle) January 2007
5 Bangalore Palace Road, Bangalore Bangalore Telecom District March 2007
6 Bihar Patna Bihar January 2007
7 Chennai Kellys Road, Chennai Chennai (Metro district), Pondicherry (Telecom Districts) November 2004
8 Chhattisgarh Jaistambh Chowk, Raipur Chhattisgarh January 2007
9 Delhi Nehru Place, New Delhi Delhi, including Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon October 2004
10 Gujarat Khanpur, Ahmedabad Gujarat, excluding Ahmedabad Telecom District August 2006
11 Haryana Ambala Haryana, excluding Faridabad and Gurgaon January 2007
12 Himachal Pradesh Shimla Himachal Pradesh January 2007
13 Hyderabad Hyderabad Hyderabad (Telecom District) October 2004
14 Jaipur Jhalana Institutional Area, Jaipur Jaipur Telecom District March 2007
15 Jammu & Kashmir Trikuta Nagar, Jammu Jammu and Kashmir January 2007
16 Jharkhand Neori, Ranchi Jharkhand January 2007
17 Karnataka Jayanagar, Bangalore Karnataka, excluding Bangalore Telecom District August 2006
18 Kerala Gandhi Nagar, Kochi Kerala and Lakshadweep August 2006
19 Kolkata Salt Lake City, Kolkata Kolkata Telecom District March 2007
20 Lucknow Gomti Nagar, Lucknow Lucknow Telecom District March 2007
21 Madhya Pradesh Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal Madhya Pradesh January 2007
22 Maharashtra Nagpur Maharashtra, excluding Pune Telecom District August 2006
23 Mumbai Andheri (East), Mumbai Mumbai (Metro District) October 2004
24 North East-I Shillong North East-I (Telecom Circle) January 2007
25 North East-II Dimapur North East-II (Telecom Circle) January 2007
26 Orissa Bhubaneswar Orissa January 2007
27 Pune Church Road, Pune Camp, Pune Pune Telecom District March 2007
28 Punjab Mohali, Chandigarh Punjab, including Chandigarh August 2006
29 Rajasthan Jhalana Institutional Area, Jaipur Rajasthan, excluding Jaipur Telecom District August 2006
30 Tamil Nadu Bharthi Park Road-II, Coimbatore Tamil Nadu August 2006
31 Uttar Pradesh (East) Gomti Nagar, Lucknow UP(E) (Telecom Circle) excluding Lucknow Telecom District August 2006
32 Uttar Pradesh (West) Meerut UP(W) (Circle) excluding Ghaziabad and Noida January 2007
33 Uttaranchal Rajpur Road, Dehradun Uttarakhand January 2007
34 West Bengal Kolkata West Bengal, excluding Kolkata (Telecom Circle), and Sikkim August 2006

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas K. Thomas (2012-07-30). "Radiation: DoT’s monitoring wing to inspect tower sites". Business Line. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b "Annual Report 2007-2008" (PDF). Department of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2013-07-17.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2012-13" (PDF). Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Retrieved 2013-07-14.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ a b c "TERM/ Security : Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells.". Department of Telecommunications. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  5. ^ a b c "TERM Cells". Department of Telecommunications. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  6. ^ a b "Annual Report 2008-2009" (PDF). Department of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2013-07-17.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ "Annual Report 2006-2007" (PDF). Department of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2013-07-17.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ "Annual Report 2009-10" (PDF). Department of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2013-07-17.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. ^ "Annual Report 2011-12" (PDF). Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Retrieved 2013-07-14.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ "Indian monitoring system threatens rights: rights body". Tech2.in.com. 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  11. ^ Joji Thomas Philip (2013-06-21). "Central monitoring system put off till December, telecom test lab to October". Articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  12. ^ "Government can now snoop on your SMSs, online chats". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  13. ^ "India: Privacy in peril". Frontline.in. 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  14. ^ "India Ignores NSA Prism Fears and Launches Cyber Surveillance Project". Ibtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-12-10. 
  15. ^ "TERM Cell Contact Details" (PDF). Department of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2013-07-17.