Soon agencies to intercept email, chats in real time NEW DELHI: Security agencies will soon be equipped to intercept emails and cyber chats in real time through the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS). The high-tech CMS, expected to be operational in a year, will be set up in 30 locations across the country, including Delhi and state capitals. CMS will enhance capacity of security agencies to monitor over 1,500 gbps of traffic through international gateways. Currently, about 25-30% traffic can be tracked by Indian agencies. It will allow decryption of voice-over internet protocol ( VOIP) like Skype, mails and cyber chats in real time. CMS will allow voice matching during a mobile phone call with reference to a sample in the database and zero in on the phone's location. The data can then be integrated on a digital map. At present, security agencies can locate a person within a 500m radius after intercepting mobile phone conversation. CMS will reduce the radius to 50m enabling security agencies to zero in on the target faster. Security officials are not too confident about voice matching though. "It has about 60-70% success in countries which use the technique," said a senior official. The Rs 450 crore CMS will have facilities to monitor voice calls, SMS, MMS, GPRS and fax communications on landlines, CDMA and GSM networks. The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) are working together to put in place CMS. The software will be developed by C-DOT. For the hardware, a tender was floated by the home ministry last week. Besides companies in the US, Israel, China and Russia, there are a couple of indigenous manufacturers of some hardware components. With terrorists becoming tech-savvy and using latest communication technology, India's security establishment has long felt the need to upgrade its technical capability. In a series of attacks carried out by Indian Mujahideen, emails were sent soon after a blast claiming responsibility for the carnage. The proxy server through which the email was routed was often located in another country. "Precious time was lost in closing in on the terrorists or their cronies," said an official. The proposal for CMS has been gathering dust since 2006. "The department of telecom (DoT) is primarily responsible for the delay. Despite constant push by the IB, DoT wasn't interested. Incompetence and lack of focus of its officers are also to be blamed," said a senior official. Service providers also tried to stall it as it meant investment for them, he said. With CMS, a more stringent monitoring system is being put in place to avoid leak of intercepts as happened with the Niira Radia tapes. Ratan Tata had moved Supreme Court against the leak of the tapes. "The new system will have more stringent checks and balances to avoid leak of content of intercepts," said a senior official associated with the project. In the revamped system, security agencies will submit the name of the person/s they want to track to the home secretary. Using his discretion, the home secretary will approve the proposal. The home secretary's order will be sent to DoT which will intercept the target and give its content to security agencies. This will be reviewed by the home secretary after three months. A committee headed by the cabinet secretary will review orders of the home secretary. The new system excludes service providers from tracking and interception. Earlier, security agencies asked private service providers to intercept a target's phone conversation following approval by the home secretary. DoT's Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cell will monitor to prevent unauthorized interception or access to records and violation of norms.