Indian government has recently had its ball rolling against the significant concerns over the US snooping program PRISM and the recently revealed US monitoring tool, according to which India is among the top 5 hot spots from where US has generated maximum data in its ongoing data scrutiny.
On the lines of PRISM, and under the banner of saving secret data information, National Cyber Coordination Center (NCCC), a multi-national agency body of Indian government would carry out “real-time assessment of cyber security threats” and “generate actionable reports/alerts for proactive actions” by law enforcement agencies. All top government agencies will be part of the NCCC. The approximate setup cost would for it is estimated around INR 1,000 crore. This will too involve live monitoring all emails, file transfers and more.
Indian government begun to mull over the establishment of NCCC to assess cyber security threat by monitoring of Internet traffic few months back, as Indian government witnessed growing cases of its computer networks/departments coming under cyber attacks including the recent activity of hackers to gather secret information from the CBI and Indian Railway’s website.
The idea was to establish a multi-agency for real time assessment of cyber security threat in the country and generation of an actionable report or alerts for proactive actions.
Also right after the secret mission by US govt was uncovered, thanks to a few whistle-blowers, ISP association (Internet Service Providers Association of India) advised Indian government to get companies like Google, Facebook to setup local servers, The association had also written to several other economies to take right measure for the same.
Though with NCCC, Indian government won’t be able to look into our Facebook or Twitter accounts as and when required, the setting up of this agency will give government bodies direct access to all Internet accounts, including e-mails, blogs and other web file transfers. The agency would also involve Internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure a 24*7 monitoring of the Internet making it India’s first cyber threat monitoring project where government and private service providers would work as one single body.
Now the point of concern is, with having NCCC monitoring our each and every moment on internet, how safe is it for us to share personal/private files over internet, or maybe manage our bank accounts online. How government would ensure strict safeguards and procedures to govern such high level of surveillance. Especially in a society where corruption and misuse of power is a common story everyday.
Just like US govt’s PRISM, Human Rights Watch, an international NGO has even criticised Indian Centralized Monitoring System (CMS) for its “its reckless and irresponsible use of the sedition and Internet laws”, under which government can monitor all phone and internet communication activities in the country without any consent of private telecom operators leaving no room for privacy.