Phone Tapping to be legal in Nepal soon

What is Phone or Call Tapping?

Telephone tapping is known as wiretapping and phone interception. This is the activity of watching telephone communication and Internet-based talks by a third party in an undercover way. Call tapping with the legal authority by the government is called Lawful Interception.

There are some countries such as Ukraine and Canada, where phone or call tapping is lawful under certain terms and conditions. It means these countries accept phone or call tapping only by government or law enforcement, only under distinct laws. whereas call tapping is not yet legal in Nepal but a bill is passed to the president for the implementation of call tapping

Is it technically feasible?

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) allows the telecoms to adopt the required technology and equipment for a lawful interference and call details of VoIP calls (Should not be confused with illegal call bypass), as found in their VoIP regulation document of NTA as:

Though NTA had long before envisioned Centralized Lawful Interception and Monitoring System (CLIMS), we do not know if it has been formulated in any regulations. So, it seems no solution has been devised for such centralized tapping of mobile and IP calls.

For a traditional copper-based PSTN landline phone, the tapping could be done just by clipping a phone to the wire wherever they can. But for the purpose of lawful interference of IP telephony and Mobile based services, The Telco requires to put additional system and equipment. Such interference of calls and data usage details through IP is even more complex as there is no fixed route and has multiple layers of authentication to bypass.

Nepal constitution Act of privacy (Right to privacy)

Article 28 of the present Constitution of Nepal, 2017 has declared the right to privacy and protection of information as a fundamental right. The new Civil Code and Criminal Code introduced in 2017 are counted as a milestone in the legal system of Nepal.

The Privacy Act 2018, tries to ensure the right to privacy of the body, property, residence, data, documents, information, and communication. It also states how the personal information available in public entities should be utilized.

Here the fact is the Muluki Criminal (Code) Act 2017 criminalizes some conduct such as unauthorized tapping of a voice conversation, taking and editing photos of a person without consent, breach of confidentiality, and breach of privacy of information in electronic media will be a punishable act.

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