India mulls Web monitoring agency creation

Indian government considering decision to create national agency to scan Web traffic in country and assess cybersecurity threats in real time, report states.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

India's government is considering setting up a national agency to monitor Internet traffic as well as assess cybersecurity threats on a real-time basis.

The Times of India reported Monday that the proposal for a National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) was discussed at a "recent" meeting called by the country's National Security Council Secretariat. Officials from India's Intelligence Bureau (IB), external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Home Ministry, and army, were in attendance, it said.

The multi-agency NCCC is intended for "real-time assessment of cybersecurity threat in the country" and to generate "actionable report or alerts for proactive actions" according to minutes taken during the meeting. Acting as the first layer to monitor cybersecurity threats, the NCCC will scan traffic within India, "flowing at the point of entry and exit, including international gateway", it added.

The proposed NCCC body will likely be in contact with the control rooms of Internet service providers (ISPs), and all communication between the government and these private service providers will be via the NCCC, the report noted.

India's Web censorship plans have been making the news headlines recently. Last month, the government announced that Web mail providers could be asked to route all e-mail messages sent from abroad but accessed in India through local servers.

Earlier in January, Milind Deora, the Indian Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, refuted claims that the government was attempting to carry out online censorship in the country. He said in the report that the government was only trying to ensure Indians would seek to remove Web content deemed to run afoul of Indian laws governing defamation, obscenity or other types of objectionable material.

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