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The New Telecom Act Do you want unlimited messages and talk time?

The New Telecom Act Do you want unlimited messages and talk time?

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  Reconsider: Are you thinking about having unlimited messaging and talk time? The world has changed. Prime Minister Modi has recently made an emergency-like decision while speaking against emergency powers. In his third term, he is prepared to carry out another regulation that shortens individual flexibility. Yes, as in emergency situations, the new Telecom Act will make every piece of information on your phone accessible to the government. What exactly is the new Telecom Act, then? Can the government see all of our messages? Can they hear every phone call? Why the sudden call? Focus now.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hat trick victory, the NDA government took power for the third time, creating a new political scene reminiscent of the Emergency of 1975. The constitution dominated the discussion during the general elections in 2024. Modi was criticized by the opposition Congress, which asserted that if he came to power for the third time, he would alter the constitution. The constitution became a major political issue once Modi regained power. Modi harshly criticized Indira Gandhi’s Emergency on his first day in the 18th Lok Sabha. He pledged to stop such an incident from occurring again in India. He clarified that nobody would set out to rehash what was completed quite a while back. He vowed to satisfy the fantasies of normal individuals as framed in the Indian Constitution. And this took place.

On June 26, several provisions of the Telecommunications Act-2023 went into effect. The Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act of 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act of 1950 have all been replaced by this new law. This law has made significant changes to keep up with the latest technological developments in the telecommunications industry. It focuses on public safety, shopper security, and the modernization of broadcast communications framework. On the other hand, there are parts of the law that look like emergency measures. As per the new regulation, focal and state legislatures can catch messages from any telephone and briefly hold onto telecom networks for public wellbeing or crisis circumstances. It additionally increments privileges over telecom foundation and forces punishments for SIM card possession infringement.

During times of national security, friendly relations with other nations, or war, the government has full authority to control and manage any telecommunications services or networks. In order to safeguard the stability and security of the nation, this is seen as an essential step. On June 27, this law’s sections 1, 2, 10, 30, 42, 44, 46, 47, 50, 58, 61, and 62, which were approved by Parliament in December, went into effect. Notably, the law’s Section 20(2) gives the government the authority to obstruct the transmission of any message intended for public safety or an emergency.

A sensitive telecom dispute resolution procedure, mandatory biometric verification for telecom users, and administrative allocation of satellite spectrum are all included in the law. It has been long anticipated and is now in place, allowing more government agencies to intercept messages. Telephone conversations can currently be intercepted by ten central agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Intelligence Bureau (IB). This is allowed by the new law. Any telecommunications, including signals, text, images, sounds, videos, data streams, or any intelligence transmitted via telecommunications, can be intercepted and accessed by means of the law as well. This includes communications transmitted through wires, radio, optical, or other electromagnetic systems. This law applies to encrypted messages sent through internet-based messaging services like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. However, the then-Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav stated when the law was approved in Parliament that OTT services would not be covered by it. Until the government provides additional clarification, messaging OTTs will remain a murky area. The law permits message capture to keep up with cordial relations with outside nations, public request, or forestall wrongdoing.

In addition, the law establishes new restrictions on the maximum number of SIM cards an individual may possess. As per the law, an individual can enroll a limit of nine SIM cards in their name. However, not all states are affected by this. Six SIM cards are allowed to residents of Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states. Heavy fines result from breaking these restrictions: Rs. 50,000 for the principal infringement and Rs. 2.25 lakh per second. Moreover, utilizing another person’s recognizable proof to get a SIM card can bring about as long as three years in prison, a fine of up to Rs. 50 lakh or both, as required by law.

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