Why India must become a ‘cyber success society’ » Bhajpa Ki Baat
The impact of cyber attacks are constantly evolving. Moreover, terrorism and radicalism are finding havens in cyber space. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Cyber security is no longer limited to the digital world. It has become a matter of national security.”
The world has witnessed significant technological transformations over the last few decades. The increased use of digital platforms has made life simpler and faster. But the benefits come with serious risks to cyber security. Due to the borderless nature of cyberspace, the threat landscape, sophistication of the methods and tools of cyber criminals, the impact of cyber attacks are constantly evolving. Moreover, terrorism and radicalism are finding havens in cyber space. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Cyber security is no longer limited to the digital world. It has become a matter of national security.” Cyberspace has become the new realm of warfare.
Before 2014, it was assumed access to digital services was exclusively for urban and affluent households. In a revolutionary shift from status quoist thinking, the Modi government in 2015 introduced Digital India as an umbrella concept to create ‘digital infrastructure as a fundamental service’ for every citizen. With 65 crore internet
With 65 crore internet users, 114 crore mobile users, broadband infrastructure reaching more than 6 lakh villages, and the number of digital transactions of more than Rs 9,000 crore, BJP government successfully transformed what was the prerogative of the privileged into a rights-based access for all
users, 114 crore mobile users, broadband infrastructure reaching more than 6 lakh villages, and the number of digital transactions of more than Rs 9,000 crore, BJP government successfully transformed what was the prerogative of the privileged into a rights-based access for all. The foundational idea behind the expansion of Digital Public Infrastructure was that if the poor can’t reach technology, then technology must reach them.
Humane application of technological advancement has always been a priority for Prime Minister Modi. He has consistently emphasised working on the “internet of things”, while keeping in mind the “emotions of things”, to ensure compassion and sensitivity in the use of technology.
For nine years, our government has developed a strong digital ecosystem for procurements, transfer of welfare benefits, and financial inclusion. These efforts and initiatives of the Modi government have laid the groundwork for Amrit Kaal – India will become a $5 trillion economy soon and a developed country by2047.
But government is also alive to the threats that come with rapid expansion of access and is committed to protect citizens. To ensure safe use of the digital ecosystem and combat cybercrime, the ministry of home affairs has taken several significant steps. A project to develop technology infrastructure to combat cyber crime stands accomplished to the level of police constables. In keeping with Modi’s approach, coordination among central-state agencies has vastly improved, building on the framework of a uniform cyber strategy, real-time reporting of cybercrimes, capacity-building of law enforcement agencies, development of analytical tools, setting up of a national network of forensic laboratories, ensuring cyber hygiene, and making citizens cyber-aware.
The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) has now been integrated in all 16,447 police stations of the country. In 99.9% of police stations, 100% of FIRs are registered immediately in the CCTNS. The Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) has been initiated to expedite justice by exchanging data across courts, police, prosecution, prisons, and forensic labs.
Recently, the government approved Phase-II of ICJS which is based on the principle of ‘one data, one entry’ and would be made available through a dedicated and secure cloud-based infrastructure with high-speed connectivity.
The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), under which seven platforms operate like a reporting portal, a cyber-threat analytical unit, a cybercrime investigation task force and a research centre, works in coordination with each other. So far, more than 20 lakh cybercrime complaints have been registered on the portal, with 40,000 converted into FIRs. Fifteen crore people have used this portal.
A fingerprint data system ‘NAFIS’ has been launched with storage capacity of 300 crore fingerprint data along with a ‘1930’ helpline. More than 250 banks and financial intermediaries are on boarded on this platform, which helps in real-time actions like blocking and lien marking of defrauded money. The quick reporting system and action by the task force resulted in the recovery of over Rs 235 crore embezzled by cyber criminals from over 1.33 lakh citizens so far.
The ITSSO (Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences)portal was launched in 2019 for real-time monitoring and management of cases of sexual assault and
The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) has now been integrated in all 16,447 police stations of the country. In 99.9% of police stations, 100% of FIRs are registered immediately in the CCTNS
cases under POCSO. The Safe City project that aims to create a safe, secure, and empowering environment for women in public places has been introduced in eight selected cities.
MHA is also working to promote cyber sanitation and hygiene to safeguard the most vulnerable. Our government has always adhered to the responsibility of an enabler with a ‘preventive and proactive approach’ – a grant-in-aid of about Rs 100 crore has been provided to states/UTs to set up forensic-training laboratories for the cyber world.
Cyber security is a collective responsibility of both the Union and state governments. Several measures are in place to support states to enhance their cyber security capabilities. A massive open online courses’ platform (MOOCs) called the ‘CyTrain’ portal has been developed under I4C, while cell personnel have also been provided training on crypto currency, the dark web, anonymisation networks, deep fakes etc.
Challenges of cyber security are evolving, and we must continue to “innovate, adopt and implement” new approaches to stay ahead of the threats. Society is evolving in the direction of a technology-driven lifestyle. We must understand this long-term transition at the micro scale to determine appropriate policy – our goal is to create a ‘cyber success society’ and not a ‘cyber failure society’.
We are presented with an opportunity to fulfill our commitment towards the twin objectives of ‘using technology with sensitivity’ and ‘ensuring public safety and security’. However, this task cannot be handled by governments alone. I appeal to citizens for commitment to awareness and alertness to ensure online safety and security. Cyber security is a shared responsibility and we must work together to ensure that our digital world is safe and secure for everyone.
(The writer is the Union Home & Cooperation Minister, GOI)
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Bhajpa Ki Baat staff and is published from a BJP KS feed.)