Central Monitoring System (CMS)


Any idea if the Central Monitoring System is still active? Last I heard was that it was active in Delhi and Mumbai back in 2016. Wasn’t the government planning to extend it to the rest of the country?

Also, why does noone ever talk about It? There’s very less info on the subject online…


Hey Arjun, some information that may be helpful-

The Central Monitoring System and the National Intelligence Grid are initiatives by the Indian Government which show an inclination towards mass surveillance with inadequate safeguards. The CMS was included within operating licenses of some service providers as well. Regarding its operational status, it was revealed that CMS was being introduced in a phased manner since 2016.

In 2019. the Telecom Minister had stated in a reply to the Rajya Sabha that the hub of CMS is in Delhi and in all 21 regional monitoring centres were operational across the country. However there is very limited information about the systems in question and most are through replies in the Parliament.

I believe IFF has a pending case on the legality of S.69 of the IT Act in the Supreme Court, may we know the status and why it isn’t being pushed for immediately? Does it have to do with the wait for a common data protection law?

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1/ Yes, thank you the overall status of this case can be tracked on the, “our legal work” tab on our website. The specific case docket is Writ Petition 44/2019 in which @Raman is a co-petitioner alongwith IFF. You can find linked blogposts and pleadings. Right now we are working on a complete website re-design which will make navigation easier for all of you. https://internetfreedom.in/legal/

2/ Our larger ask on surveillance reform is not limited to litigation. “The Indian Privacy Code” is a model law which we have drafted that will prevent mass survelliance programs such as the CMS and also bring much needed legislative reform. It is hosted on the SaveOurPrivacy website and this model law was filed in the Lok Sabha as private members bill by Shri Ravikumar (DMK). Regular updates are provided in the Blog Section of the website. https://saveourprivacy.in/


That’s great. I wasn’t aware of this, will check it out. Thank you, Apar!


Hey thanks a lot… You probably are one of the very few people who seem to follow the issue… Shall take a look