Friday, February 4, 2011

TRAI Let Down Indian Mobile Users Again

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has once again let down Indian mobile users by extending the date of telemarketing regulations till 1st March, 2011. It seems the telemarketing lobby would never allow regulation of telemarketing calls and messages in India.

TRAI first adopted the defective do not call registry instead of do call registry. Now it is shying away from imposing a ban upon telemarketing industry, which is not at all welcomed by frustrated mobile users in India.

Telemarketing is a clear violation of right to privacy but who cares about privacy in India. Indian government has openly declared its intentions to violate privacy rights of Indians by projects like Aadhar, Natgrid, CCTNS, etc. Telemarketing nuisance is just another feather in the privacy violating policy of India.

However, the matter does not end here. There is also a related and much more dangerous situation developing in India. Indian cyber law is a weak piece of law when it comes to punishing cyber criminals. Realising the potential of making quick buck, cyber criminals have now started using messages/SMS to perpetuate their favourite Nigerian scam.

Instead of an e-mail now cyber criminals are sending SMSs to unwary victims and duping them of lakhs of money in India. Since there is no scrutiny and regulations for such fraudulent and telemarketing calls and SMSs, many are getting fooled by the same.

However, Indian government in general and department of telecommunication (DoT) India and TRAI in particular are well committed to allow these nefarious activities to the detriment of common man. Mobile users must be wary of such frauds and must develop their own methods to prevent loss to themselves. The best option seems to be aware of such frauds and never reply back to them.