[Polity] National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID): Meaning, Use, Controversy

MrunalZ-Miscellaneous

“l“
  1. NATGRID
  2. Concerns
  3. Privacy and misuse
  4. Wikileaks like situation

NATGRID

  • 26/11 attacks on Mumbai led to the exposure of several weaknesses in India’s intelligence gathering and action networks. So, Chindu came up with the idea of National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
  • NATGRID will integrate 21 categories of data from agencies like
  1. Banks,
  2. Railways and airlines,
  3. Income tax department,
  4. Credit card companies etc.
  5. Visa and immigration
  • This combined data will be made available to 11 central agencies including the R&AW, the National Investigation Agency, the CBI, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Intelligence Bureau, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate to help them prevent terrorist attacks and criminal activities.
  • NATGRID Will become fully operational in 2013-14

Concerns

Privacy and misuse

Some people are concerned about the protection of individual privacy and misuse of information by law enforcement agencies. However, The Government has tried to calm down the fears by assuring that

  1. NATGRID is only the technical interface for intelligence agencies and not an organization in itself. If the agency initiating the inquiry is not authorized to get that information, it cannot get it.
  2. NATGRID has strong information protection technology and external audits
  3. Security and intelligence agencies will not be able to use the NATGRID system to access information for any purpose other than that of countering terror.
  4. NATGRID will not “store” any personal data, but only facilitate transfer.

Wikileaks like situation

  • SIPRNET is a computer network connecting US Defense and State Departments (similar to our NATGRID)
  • One Soldier Bradly Mannins, accessed the SIPRNET, copied all the US diplomatic documents and sent them to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
  • Similar fiasco could happen with India’s NATGRID.
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