What is NATGRID? Examine its significance for India’s internal security?

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Question – What is NATGRID? Examine its significance for India’s internal security? – 14 August 2021

Answer

National Intelligence Grid

  1. NATGRID is a program to prevent terrorist activities.
  2. The lack of information collection came to the fore during the 26/11 terrorist attacks in India.
  3. David Headley, the mastermind of this attack, visited India several times between 2006 and 2009 to materialize the plans of the attack, but no information on his movement could be analyzed.
  4. After 26/11, NATGRID was established at the national level to prevent such incidents.
  5. It assists various intelligence and enforcement agencies in tracking down suspected terrorists and preventing terrorist attacks.
  6. Large amount of data is studied and analyzed by NATGRID using technologies like Big Data and Analytics.
  7. It develops a legal framework as well as co-ordination of organizations and users providing data at various stages
  8. Law enforcement agencies investigate suspicious activities through information obtained by NATGRID.

Key points:

  • NATGRID will help develop a secure platform to collect and access information from security and intelligence agencies through ‘One-Stop Destination’ and ensure access to banking and telephone details.
  • The agreement is to provide NATGRID access to the database through the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), a platform that links around 14,000 police stations.
  • It will be mandatory for all state police stations to file First Information Reports (FIRs) with the Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS).
  • Through this agreement, NAT-GRID will be able to obtain information about the details of the suspect such as father’s name, telephone number and other details.
  • NAT-GRID will act as a link between intelligence and investigative agencies.

Reasons for criticism of NATGRID:

  • In fact, according to some people, NATGRID is against the right to privacy, in which the government can misuse the personal information of the common people.
  • Secondly, the state police will not get access to NATGRID, due to which immediate action will not be possible on any suspicious incident because the local police is considered as the first responder.
  • Thirdly, it will be a big responsibility to protect such infrastructure as terrorists nowadays have become adept at carrying out cyber attacks.

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