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Govt mulls import curbs on spyware
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Surveillance equipment to be moved from ‘open’ to restricted list.

Stung by the growing evidence of unauthorised interception of mobile phone conversations by various investigating agencies as well as private players, the government has decided to move the import of equipment used for this purpose from the “open general licence” list (OGL) to the restricted list.

The move, according to experts, will help the government in ensuring that unauthorised interception of mobile phones by investigating agencies as well as by companies and individuals keeping a watch on their rivals will now come under strict scrutiny.

The Committee of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary, the country’s senior-most bureaucrat, took this decision this week. Under the new policy, the import of all such equipment will be allowed only after permission is granted by the Home Ministry as well as the Defence Ministry.

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