India to propose Indo-American Alert, Watch and Warn Network to combat cyber-crime

India to propose Indo-American Alert, Watch and Warn Network to combat cyber-crime
With growing reluctance of service providers to furnish real time information in cyber-crime cases, India will seek active cooperation from the US for setting a joint mechanism to overcome such difficulties.

As the two countries plan to meet at the India-US Homeland Security dialogue in New Delhi on December 4, the difficulties faced by Indian security agencies in cyber-crime related cases top the agenda.

The two-day meet will be inaugurated by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and attended by US Assistant Secretary for Policy (Homeland Security) David Heyman and US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell among others.

In the agenda papers it was stated that India, which ranks fifth in the world in the incidence of cyber-crime, has seen hacking of 9,000 websites in three years thus posing a serious threat to the government.

"Cyber-criminals are now moving beyond computers and attacking mobile hand held devices such as smart phones and tablets," it said.

Highlighting the difficulties faced by Indian security agencies, the papers said most of the prominent service providers like Hotmail, Google, Facebook, Twitter are based in the US, and a general request takes anywhere between 15 and 80 days.

"Further there is no guarantee that the required information would be provided at all.

"... however, despite urgent requests, there have never been provided by any of the service providers even in single case," it was stated.

To start with, an Indo-American Alert, Watch and Warn Network of participating Law Enforcement Agencies of both the countries should be set up to rapidly disseminate cyber-crime information and to manage response to crises, incidents and threats.

The agenda paper said expert groups should be set up to promote legal mechanism that encourages cooperation in cyber-crime matters and to facilitate the creation of training materials and other things.

It also highlighted that in certain cases, some of the service providers did not even remove hate speeches that were considered illegal content in India.

"In many instances, hate speech on various social media sites have resulted in communal violence within the country.

Even in such important matters, the service providers have refused to remove content from their servers," it said.

The agenda paper also deliberated on social chatting sites including WhatsApp, BBM and We Chat besides Internet-based videos sites.

"The availability of their web servers in India is required for lawful interception of the communications in real time or near real time manner for timely action by the security and intelligence agencies," it said.

"The technology in use by the US agencies may be an area of cooperation," it added.


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