It’s time to learn some basics from GS-IV paper as its Internal security part is significant to score. We will cover series of articles on Internal security with some contemporary topics.
What’s the NATGRID?
The National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID is the integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies of the Government of India to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies.
Why do we need NATGRID ?
- 26/11 attacks on Mumbai led to the exposure of several weaknesses in India’s intelligence gathering and action networks.
- “NATGRID” data transfer system unveiled by Home Minister P. Chidambaram in December 2009 and operational now.
How does it work?
NATGRID will integrate 21 categories of data from agencies like
- Railways and airlines,
- Income tax department,
- Credit card companies etc.
- Visa and immigration
- This combined data will be made available to 11 central agencies including the R&AW, the National Investigation Agency(NIA), the CBI, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Intelligence Bureau(IB), the Narcotics Control Bureau(NCB) and the Enforcement Directorate(ED) to help them prevent terrorist attacks and criminal activities.
Is there any Privacy and misuse issue?
- Some people are concerned about the protection of individual privacy and misuse of information by law enforcement agencies.
- 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.
- It has strong information protection technology and external audits 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.
- It will not “store” any personal data, but only facilitate transfer.
Will it be a concerning thing as Wikileaks does?
- 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.
Published with inputs from Arun