India to launch 'Netra' for online surveillance of keywords

Summary:In another measure against possible terrorist attacks, the Indian government is launching an Internet spy system capable of detecting words in a matter of seconds across social media and online messages.

Netra, the Defense Ministry's spy system, will be capable of detecting keywords such as "attack", "blast", "bomb", or "kil"l, to name a few. These keywords will be detected within seconds from sources such as chats, blogs, forums, status updates, and tweets, reports Economic Times. Furthermore, Netra will also be able to capture any voice traffic passing through Google Talk or Skype.

The system is currently being tested and will soon be deployed by all security agencies. Netra is being developed by the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), a lab under the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Now comes the issue of people having to become more careful about what they are saying online. Some of the keywords can easily be used in the wrong context; can Netra detect the difference? As Netra is currently in testing, chances are that there are methods to determine and distinguish between the two.

But then again, could joking around using keywords in a completely innocent context land someone in jail? Remember, in the past people have been detained and arrested for comments posted on Facebook , and those were simply against other politicians, not against national security. 

Topics: Security, Government, India


Originally from Canada, Nitin has been residing and working in India since 2009. He has worked in different ICT industries in countries such as India, Canada, and Tanzania. He is an avid follower and application developer within the growing mobile phone sector in India.

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.