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PMO tells DoT to examine telecom source code issue
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With many telecom equipment vendors raising concerns on sharing their source code in order to address the security issues raised by the Centre, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has asked department of telecommunications (DoT) to examine the matter.

The PMO has given DoT two months to examine if an alternative mechanism in line with international best practices can be adopted to address the concerns raised by the telecom equipment manufacturers and vendors.

The PMO has also asked the DoT to work closely with the home ministry to see whether there was merit in any of the concerns raised by the telecom service providers and vendors of equipment, product and services, sources said.

Meanwhile, the PMO has suggested that both the earlier security-vetting regime and the new agreement-based regime may be operated concurrently.

"The telecom service providers will be free to adopt either options," a source said.

In December 2009, DoT had issued an order mandating the operators to procure telecom equipment from outside the country only after giving self certification with respect to the compliance of security.

Based on this order, DoT allowed procurement of equipment from countries other than China and Israel.


However, last month DoT issued another order mandating a template to be signed by the vendors and the operators for the procurement of equipment.

This template prescribed sharing of source code and imposition of a penalty of Rs 50 crore per purchase order over and above the value of the purchase order.

However, several telecom operators have objected to the department of telecommunication's latest order stating that DoT was still allowing procurement on self-certification basis without taking into account sharing of source code and the penalty.

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