Telecom equipments and their import into India and other parts of the world has become a contentious issue. Many countries, including India, have shown their serious concerns over cyber security and telecom security issues.
Among all these issues the issue of telecom equipments having inherent and imbedded malware and backdoors has received utmost attention of both Indian and US governments.
For instance, Huawei and ZTE are in telecom security tangle of India. Reacting seriously to these telecom security threats, Indian government has declared in the past that telecom equipments must be certified by TEC before they are allowed to be used in India.
A proposal to store call data records has also been mooted. The norms for import of telecom equipments in India would also be formulated very soon. Even the national telecom policy of India 2012 (NTP 2012) has raised concerns regarding telecom and network security in India.
Indian government has given few proposals in this regard. For instance there is a proposal that a national telecom network security coordination board (NTNSCB) of India must be established so that telecom security in India can be strengthened. A telecom equipments security framework of India would also be suggested by Indian government.
A telecom security policy of India is required that can incorporate all these pressing requirements of telecom security of India. The proposed policy must also take care of encryption norms and regulations in India.
As per media reports Huawei is working really hard to solve the challenges and problems it has been facing in the United States after US labelled it a telecom security threat last year. Huawei has been maintaining that it is no security threat to any nation including India and US.
It is very difficult to say whether the concern of various nations is genuine or paranoid but none can doubt the fact that telecom equipments form essential part of critical infrastructure of any nation. Of late, critical infrastructure protection in India is taken very seriously. Even a national critical information infrastructure protection centre (NCIPC) of India has been proposed by Indian government.
The coming time would be very challenging for telecom giants like ZTE and Huawei. Let us see how these companies would and national governments would react to this situation in the near future.