The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) today announced the launch of the Trusted Telecom Portal for the implementation of the National Security Directive on the telecommunication sector. The portal launch signals the coming into effect of the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector (NSDRS) with telecom service providers now mandatorily required to connect their networks to only those new devices which are designated as ‘Trusted Products’ from ‘Trusted Sources‘.
DoT had earlier this year made all the necessary amendments in the license conditions for the provision of telecommunications services by the TSPs. The portal has been developed and implemented by CDoT, an R&D unit of the Government.
The task was completed on schedule depsite the debilitating effect over the course of the pandemic on the development team of CDoT, the hosting provider RailTel, dedicated staff of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and the supporting stakeholder representatives from the TSPs and equipment vendors.
The Union Cabinet had on 16th December 2020 approved the National Security Directive on Telecom Sector which was to come into effect from 180 days of the date of approval.
Trusted Products include products whose critical components and the products themselves are sourced from Trusted Sources. The TSPs will be provide access to the Trusted Telecom Portal and indicate the telecom products and the vendor from whom they intend to procure the products.
The details of the vendors, products, their critical components and their sources are then populated into the portal by the TSPs and respective vendors who will also be provided access to the portal.
“An assessment is made of the vendors and the sources of the components to determine Trusted Sources and Trusted products which are then intimated to the vendor concerned and the applicant TSPs to make their procurements,” said NSCS in a briefing.
The present National Security Directive doesn’t envisage mandatory replacement of the exisiting equipment already inducted in the networks of the TSPs and further doesn’t affect any ongoing Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC) or updates to existing equipment already inducted in the network as on date of effect of the Directive. The present networks will face no disruption due to the Directive.
“The National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) is the Designated Authority (DA) for the determination of inclusion of a vendor as a Trusted Source, of a Telecom product as a Trusted Product and the methodology for the said inclusion. The Designated Authority makes its determination based on approval of a committee called ‘National Security Committee on Telecom (NSCT) headed by Deputy NSA. The committee consists of members from relevant departments/ministries and also has two members from industry and an independent expert.”