Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cyberspace Crisis Management Plan Of India

Crisis Management is an important aspect of planning and management of any project or eventuality. If we have a proper Crisis Management Plan, losses of lives and property is minimised to a great extent. We have Crisis Management Plans in India against floods, earthquakes and other natural calamities. However, are we prepared for Cyber Crises in Indian Cyberspace?

India has formulated a Crisis Management Plan for its Cyberspace. However, like other Policies and Strategies in India, it has not been implemented in true letter and spirit. Even the basic level Cyber Security Preparedness in India is not up to the mark.

There are many aspects of a Cyber Crisis Management Plan. For instance, Cyber Security, Cyber Law, Cyber Forensics, Anti Cyber Terrorism Plans, Anti Cyber Espionage Plans, Anti Cyber Warfare Plans, Human Rights Protection in Cyberspace, Critical ICT Infrastructure Protection, etc are some of the “Components” of a Cyber Crisis Management Plan.

Theoretically, India has a Cyber Law in the form of Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000), Cyber Security in the form of Government Guidelines, Cyber Forensics Practices in Governmental Laboratories alone and so on.

However, practically we have no Cyber Crimes Laws in India as the Cyber Law of India has made almost all the Cyber Crimes “Bailable”. We may have a Cyber Law but India has no Cyber Crimes Law. So Legal Framework for preventing Cyber Crimes is “practically missing” in India.

As far as Cyber Security is concerned, we have no Cyber Security Laws in India and no Cyber Security Policy in India. The Governmental Guidelines are meant for Government Departments alone and even these Government Departments do not follow the same. Government Websites are the most frequently defaced websites in India. Similarly, Government Computers are the “most successfully breached” Computers in India. Computers of Defense Forces, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Home affairs, etc have been successfully breached without even notice by these Ministries/Offices.

As far as other components of Cyber Crisis Management Plan of India are concerned, even they do not exist in India. We have no Cyber Forensics Laws in India, no Cyber Terrorism Policy in India, no Cyber Warfare Policy in India, no Critical ICT Infrastructure Protection Policy in India and no Human Rights Protection in Cyberspace in India.

In fact, Projects like Aadhar, NATGRID, CCTNS, Central Monitoring System (CMS) of India, etc are openly violating the Human Rights of Indians. These Projects are operating without any Legal Framework, Parliamentary Oversight and Judicial Scrutiny.

Even the basic Privacy Rights in India are missing. It is only now the Law Ministry of India has proposed the Right to Privacy Bill 2011 of India. Further, Data Protection Law in India is urgently required. We also need a Data Security Policy of India so that sensitive information and data of projects like Aadhar, NATGRID, CMS, etc is not “misused” once it falls in the wrong hands.

India cannot have a robust and effective Cyber Crisis Management Plan till it considers these aspects and actually starts working in the direction of achieving these components.

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