Thursday, February 9, 2012

National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIPC) Of India

In the recent times, there is an increasing stress upon cyber security at the international level. This is so because cyber attacks are happening at the international level and all the countries are facing this threat.

Countries are trying to coordinate cyber security initiatives at national and international levels. However, cyber security in India is still not up to the mark. India is increasingly facing cyber attacks and cyber threats from foreign nationals.

The cyber laws and cyber security trends of India 2011 by Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) has clearly showed the cyber security vulnerabilities of India. The cyber law trends of India 2012 have also projected an increased rate of cyber crimes in India and cyber attacks against India in the year 2012.

For instance, cyber terrorism against India, cyber warfare against India, cyber espionage against India and cyber attacks against India have increased a lot. Presently, we do not have a strong cyber law to deter cyber attacks and cyber crimes. Further, we have no cyber security laws in India as well.

Cyber security is also crucial to protect critical infrastructure protection of India. Critical infrastructure protection in India requires a well formulated policy. Presently we have no critical infrastructure protection policy of India. Even critical ICT infrastructure protection in India is required.

A national critical information infrastructure protection centre (NCIPC) of India has been proposed. It intends to ensure critical infrastructure protection and critical ICT infrastructure protection in India.

There are few prerequisites that can make the NCIPC of India successful. Firstly, there must be a centralised ICT command centre of India that can coordinate various cyber security issues. Secondly, specialised agencies and authorities must be constituted for critical infrastructure areas like power, telecom, defense, etc. These agencies and authorities must coordinate with the centralised command centre for cyber security related issues.

Ministry of communication and information technology (MCIT) has already taken certain initiatives in this regard. For instance, a central monitoring system (CMS) project of India has been launched by MCIT to monitor and intercept electronic communications, messages and information. Further, a national telecom network security coordination board (NTNSCB) of India has also been proposed to strengthen the national telecom security of India.

Similarly, the home ministry of India has also launched national intelligence grid (Natgrid) project of India, crime and criminal tracking networks and systems (CCTNS) project of India, national counter terrorism centre (NCTC) of India, etc. These projects intend to strengthen the intelligence gathering and counter terrorism capabilities of India.

However, there is a big problem in the successful implementation of all the abovementioned projects and initiatives as well as the NCIPC of India. Indian government has been avoiding parliamentary oversight of these projects. This is a bad precedent that needs to be urgently taken care of. We need urgent parliamentary oversight for e-surveillance in India, Internet censorship in India, intelligence gathering in India, intelligence authorities of India, central bureau of Investigation, law enforcement agencies of India, Aadhar project of India, etc.

Even privacy laws in India, data security laws in India, data protection laws in India, etc are urgently required to be formulated. The cyber law of India must be suitably amended, perhaps repealed, to make a more robust and stringent cyber law of India. We need dedicated cyber security legal framework in India and cyber forensics laws in India.

For too long Indian parliament has been ignoring its crucial legislative business and it is high time for Indian parliament to do the needful in this regard. Contemporary techno legal issues cannot be left at the mercy and indifference of Indian parliament and Indian government as that may have serious adverse effects upon Indian economy and national security of India.

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