Feeds

India's spooks prepare to peer through their own PRISM

'NETRA' will monitor internet traffic and VoIP

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.