Microsoft India Hack

The Government of India is planning to set up the ‘Indian Cyber Coordination Centre’ (I-4C), which will help in monitoring and capacity building against cyber crimes, as well as help law enforcement agencies in curbing these crimes. The announcement was made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the Ground Zero Summit held last month.

According to a Times of India report, the budget for I-4C is estimated to be around Rs 500 crore, with the agency not requiring a separate cabinet approval if set up under an existing agency of the home ministry. The agency will monitor offences such as child pornography, cyber bullying and development of forensic cyber labs and link it with state police through the Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network System (CCTNS).

The minister also suggested the creation of a Nation Cyber Registry as a repository of IT professionals, to help in identification of talent. However, it is not clear how this platform will work. He also said the Government would work against online radicalization of people especially in remote areas. Note that the Government already has a cyber security policy (pdf), which was released back in 2013. It also has an India Cybercrime Centre, established with the aim to coordinating efforts with law enforcement for cybercrime prevention and regulation.

Rise in Cybercrimes: Cybercrimes have been on a rise in India, with India’s Cyber Security agency CERT-IN receiving as many as 96,383 complaints between January and September 2014. During the same nine month period, 14,151 sites were reportedly hacked in the country. It was estimated that the number of complaints would rise to over 3,00,000 for the year 2015, although the ministry is yet to release official numbers.

This data suggests increasing pressure on the Indian government to address and prevent cyber crime, which perhaps explains the apparent focus of the ministry on trying to increase regulation of the Internet (read this, this and this), wants servers in India to enhance monitoring (read this, this and this) and censorship of what may be deemed as libelous or unlawful content, monitor the movement of citizens. What none of this explains, is the lack of transparency and the institution of a fair process in dealing with cyber crime.

Also read:
Draft National Encryption Policy paper withdrawn, says telecom minister R S Prasad
India & Singapore Governments to exchange cyber security information