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Private talk? Don't use a wireless phone


Jaimon Joseph,CNN-IBN
Apr 28, 2010 at 05:07pm IST

New Delhi: After the big phone-tapping controversy took the Parliament by storm, CNN-IBN finds out how private our private phone conversations really are.

The Outlook report which exposed the alleged phone tapping of four senior leaders including one Union Minister and a Chief Minister, has snowballed into a major controversy, causing huge uproar in the Parliament. The Opposition has demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into it which was promptly rejected by the Prime Minister. CNN-IBN finds out how the technology helps in tapping phone conversations.

Our phones convert voices into radio waves, and send them to nearby cell phone towers. Computers with the right technology can tune into and listen to those radio waves. Originally developed for war, they're now used in counter intelligence and anti-terror operations as well, often proving invaluable.

R S Bedi, former Chairman of the National Technical Research Organisation, NTRO said: "Such technology helped us listen to Musharaff instructing his field generals during the Kargil war."

Again during the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai, we were able to listen to terrorists speaking to their handlers. Globally too, such methods are used to prevent terror strikes. The US, UK and their allies together, monitor the whole world's phone, fax and web data.

K Subrahmanyam, former Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, says: "The Americans, Israelis, Chinese can all hear your phone conversations. If your conversations are so private, then don't use anything that requires a wireless mode of communication."

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