The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to direct service providers to stop the operation of all third generation (3G) mobile services across the country, “particularly in Jammu & Kashmir”, till the infrastructure to enable full tapping of lines is put in place.
BSNL had launched 3G services in Jammu last month and was planning to expand it. 3G mobile services allow mobile users to access the internet and download data at a much faster pace than second generation (2G) mobile services. 3G support services such as emails, chats, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype, besides video calls, the MHA letter noted.
“The feasibility of blocking all such services for which there is no demonstrated monitoring capability to provide lawful interception may be explored by DoT. Till a solution is arrived, all telecom service providers may be directed not to provide 3G services, particularly in Jammu & Kashmir,” the MHA said in a communication to Telecom Secretary P J Thomas.
This issue had come up last year, too, when DoT had asked BSNL and MTNL to have call monitoring facilities to enable security agencies to intercept the calls in 3G mobile services.