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Call 112 for emergencies; TRAI recommends all purpose helpline number to government

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed an all purpose emergency helpline for India. The number 112 will serve similar purposes like USA’s 911 or UK’s 999.

The proposal suggested emergency numbers like 100 (police), 101 (fire), 102 (ambulance) and 108 (disaster management) to be included under the new national emergency number 112, a news report said.

The number was chosen for some practical reasons. 112 is an inbuilt emergency number on GSM phones. Plus numbers like 100 wasn’t considered due to the stigma attached to it as a police emergency number, the Times of India reported.

But TRAI officials have said the implementation of the proposal will be a mammoth task. Inadequate infrastructure and police being a state list subject can be hurdles in achieving the goal.

‘There are many issues that fall under the ambit of the state governments and thus it will be better to implement this in a phased manner through coordinated action between various establishments.’ TRAI secretary Sudhir Gupta said.

TRAI has made its formal recommendations to the government which take a decision soon.

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New Australia Bill Gives Police Power to Spy on WhatsApp Messages

The spying powers are limited to only "serious offences" such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported

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WhatsApp
New Australia bill gives police power to spy on WhatsApp messages.

Australia is mulling a strict law that gives enforcement agencies power to track messages on platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram that offer end-to-end encryption and also to force users to open their smartphones when demanded, a media report said.

The controversial encryption bill comes at a time amid allegations of encrypted platforms facilitating spread of rumours, hate speech and even criminal activities like child trafficking and drugs businesses.

In countries like India messages circulated in WhatsApp have been linked to several lynching cases, forcing the government to ask platform to take suitable preventive action.

But the new Australia bill also raises privacy concerns as under the proposed legislation, the Australian government agencies could compel companies to build spyware.

The proposed laws could force companies to remove electronic protections, assist government agencies in accessing material from a suspect’s device, and in getting technical information such as design specifications to help in an investigation, News.com.au reported on Wednesday.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Critics have slammed the bill for being broad in scope, vague and potentially damaging to the security of the global digital economy, the report said, adding that a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has been scrutinising the bill.

The laws will help security agencies nab terrorists, child sex offenders and other serious criminals, Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter was quoted as saying.

Also Read- Rahul Gandhi Accuses Narendra Modi of Questioning Patel’s Vision

About 95 per cent of people currently being surveilled by security agencies are using encrypted messages, he added.

The spying powers are limited to only “serious offences” such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported. (IANS)