National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre


NTMC involved in making digital map to track coronavirus cases and the contamination areas

"The government has initiated a process to draw a digital map to track coronavirus cases and find out areas susceptible to contamination by using mobile users' information—a move that may help portray the real picture of a possible outbreak. The operators will share the data with a national monitoring centre and the Access to Information (a2i) project under the ICT Division every six hours, and the two will then develop the map," according to a report by The Daily Star on March 29. There are points to ponder.

The National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre (NTMC), an agency under the home ministry, is the only legal entity to analyse mobile user's data. The workforce of NTMC is composed of individuals from all security outfits. Ironically, it lacks functional coordination with those organisations from where its personnel come. It is largely reminiscent of the pre-9/11 America where intelligence agencies happily lived within respective walled gardens. The consequence was disastrous and interagency coordination is now central to the US national security blueprint.
Resource-constrained Bangladesh cannot afford to repeat the resourceful America's mistake. The archipelago of extrapolating mobile users' data should be exclusive to NTMC while other security agencies will have unfettered access to it. The non-security outfits like health, transport, local government, social welfare, etc. will receive customised data according to respective need.

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  • 02 April 2020