The Indian federal agency responsible for counter-terrorism, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has set up a dedicated cell to monitor online content and communication. The purpose of this cell is to generate its own intelligence for its investigations. The technology for this purpose has been imported from the USA. This will allow the NIA to monitor web traffic for specific patterns and keywords that could identify suspected malicious activity. Up until now, only the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had the ability to monitor online activity.
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According to the Indian media, the agency has been demanding for such capabilities for quite some time so that they can carry out more effective investigations. An NIA official said that unless they improve their cyber monitoring capabilities, they would always be a step behind the terrorists, who they think are using the internet not just for recruitment and radicalization, but also for making plans for terror plots.
Another NIA official emphasized the importance of the analysts and personnel who would be using these systems. It is critical that information regarding such activities is obtained before the incidents happen. With encrypted communication and the fact that most online services are hosted in the US and cannot be forced to share information in a timely manner, the job doesn’t get any easier. Although the agency is currently short on man power for this endeavour, its idea is to expand this single cell across the country in the future.
Source: Times of India