Indian government to launch internet spy system 'Netra' soon

Sunday, 5 January 2014 - 5:17pm IST | Agency: PTI

Beware! Use of words like 'attack', 'bomb', 'blast' or 'kill' in tweets, status updates, emails or blogs may bring you under surveillance of security agencies as the government will soon launch 'Netra', an internet spy system capable of detecting malafide messages.

The Home Ministry is giving finishing touches to 'Netra', which will be deployed by all security agencies to capture any dubious voice traffic passing through software like Skype or Google Talk, besides write-ups in tweets, status updates, emails, instant messaging transcripts, internet calls, blogs and forums.

The 'Netra' internet spy system has been developed by Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), a lab under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

"The specifications of the 'Netra' system can be taken as frozen following tests by the Intelligence Bureau and Cabinet Secretariat, and can be considered for providing multiple user access to security agencies," a Home Ministry note on Netra says.

An inter-ministerial group, comprising officials of the Cabinet Secretariat, Home Ministry, DRDO, CAIR, Intelligence Bureau, C-DoT and Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) recently have discussed the deployment strategy of 'Netra'.

The group also chalked-out a strategy on how to deal with computer security incidents, track system vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices across the country.

"When Netra is operationalised, security agencies will get a big handle on monitoring activities of dubious people and organisations which use internet to carry out their nefarious designs," a government official said.

The inter-ministerial group favoured allocation of 300 GB of storage space to a maximum of three security agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau and Cabinet Secretariat, for intercepted internet traffic and an extra 100 GB would be assigned to the remaining law enforcement agencies. 


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