ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday October 7, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 19

CLIR to be disconnected; only for VIPs, Ministers

By Madhushala Senaratne

Public can avail themselves of the Caller Line Identification Restriction (CLIR) facility, only at the discretion of the Defence Ministry and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), Media Center for National Security Director General Lakshman Hulugalle said yesterday.

CLIR facility allows a phone user to keep his number secret as it would not appear on a phone with Caller Line Identification (CLI) facility when he or she makes a call. When a CLIR subscriber makes a call, phrases such as ‘private number’ or ‘anonymous’ appear on the screen of the receiving phone.

“A decision has been taken to restrict the CLIR facility to VIPs only. Therefore it is unlikely that any other person apart from VIPs such as cabinet ministers will have access to CLIR,” he said.

TRC Director General Kanchana Ratwatte said the decision to confine the facility only to VIPs was taken after the Defence Ministry cited ‘security concerns’. Accordingly mobile service providers were asked to disconnect the CLIR facility of ordinary citizens.

“The security threat is not limited to terrorists. Even ordinary citizens can receive threatening calls. If the number does not appear on the phone, there is no way one could identify the caller”, Mr. Ratwatte said. The country’s largest mobile service provider Dialogue Telekom said the CLIR facility would be disabled from tomorrow.

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