The government is setting up an internet scanning agency – National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) to monitor all web traffic passing through internet service providers in the country. This agency will issue ‘actionable alerts’ to government departments in cases of perceived security threats.
The move comes as the government has been unable to prevent many terror attacks, in the absence of a credible internet scanning system.
According to the minutes of a meeting held on February 3, 2012, at the National Security Council Secretariat under the PMO, the NCCC will ‘scan whole cyber traffic flowing at the point of entry and exit at India’s international internet gateways’. The web scanning centre will provide ‘actionable alerts for proactive actions’ to be taken by government departments.
All government departments will now talk to the Internet Service Providers such as Bharti Airtel, RCOM, BSNL, MTNL and Tata Communications through NCCC for real time information and data on threats.
According to sources, government is planning to invest about .`800 crore in the setup. “The coordination centre will be the first layer of threat monitoring in the country. It would always be in virtual contact with the control room of the Internet Service Providers,” the Deputy National Security Advisor Vijay Latha Reddy said, as per minutes of the meeting.
The government is collating manpower requirements for the centre currently. “At present, the monitoring of web traffic is done by Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) which has installed its equipments at the premises of ISPs and gateways,” informs Rajesh Chharia, president at Association of Internet Service Providers.
All tweets, messages, emails, status updates and even email drafts will now pass through the new scanning centre. The centre may probe further into any email or social media account if it finds a perceived threat.
India’s National Security Council Secretariat (NCSC) has asked various departments to assess their needs for officials, who will coordinate with the scanning agency. The National Security Council handles the political, nuclear, energy and strategic security concerns of the country.
As per the minutes seen by ET, Defence Research and Development Organisation officials were of the view that there is no perfect system.