Feeds

India's spooks prepare to peer through their own PRISM

'NETRA' will monitor internet traffic and VoIP

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The Indian government is gearing up to switch on "NETRA", a large scale internet surveillance system that will allow its spy agencies to monitor suspicious online communications in order to detect certain keywords.

The Network Traffic Analysis system, to give NETRA its full name, will scan tweets, status updates, emails, IMs, blogs and forums, for words like “attack”, “bomb” and “kill”, according to a telecom department note seen by Indian newspaper Economic Times.

The paper claimed NETRA can also capture voice traffic containing suspicious keywords on services like Skype and Google Talk, although there was no detail on exactly how.

The system was apparently developed for the defence ministry by the Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR), a lab under India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

Presumably in a bid to limit the kind of wide-ranging information grab that has harmed the NSA’s global reputation, the Indian government has apparently set a 300GB limit on storage for intercepted comms for three of its security agencies, rising to 400GB for the rest.

It’s unclear from the report where Netra fits with New Delhi’s much-criticised Rs.4 billion (£47.8m) Central Monitoring System (CMS), which has been hit by several operational delays.

However, it’s unlikely to help the country climb back up the charts in the online freedom stakes.

Back in October, India recorded the biggest drop in online freedom of any country according to Freedom House’s latest annual Freedom on the Net report.

Reports emerged in September that in addition to the CMS, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) had deployed a secret intercept system located at the international gateways of several large ISPs, in a move which violated the government’s own privacy laws.

According to ET, NETRA, and presumably these other intercept systems, will eventually feed into a national internet scanning and co-ordination centre. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.