Cyber security has never been a priority for Indian government. The cyber security trends and developments in India 2013 (PDF) have depicted this sad position of India cyber security. At this stage when the national cyber security issues are ignored by India it is very difficult to manage international legal issues of cyber attacks. The conflict of laws in cyberspace has added their own techno legal complicities to this situation. As a result India is considered to be a soft target and sitting duck in cyberspace.
Now there are some positive reports that cyber security in India would be strengthened. Cyber security has been made part and parcel of a larger initiative known as “Digital India”. In the past, a National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) of India was proposed by Indian government. However, it remained on books alone as it was never constituted till now.
In January 2014 the Congress Government decided to launch the NCCC. However, NCCC never saw the light of the day. Now BJP Government is planning to launch the NCCC very soon. We at Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) welcome this move of Narendra Modi Government. There would be inter-ministerial discussions, before sending the proposal to the Cabinet. The Government is expected to send the proposal to the Cabinet in the next 15 days.
The NCCC proposal is a significant development as both NCCC and the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIPC) of India have failed to function properly so far. This has severely impacted the critical Infrastructure Protection in India (PDF). Perhaps, this is a good time to formulate Critical ICT Infrastructure Protection Policy of India as well. As an interim measure, it has been decided in the past that NTRO would protect the Critical ICT Infrastructures of India. A Tri Service Cyber Command for Armed Forces of India is also in pipeline.
Some policy decisions in the field of cyber security have already been taken by Congress Government. These include constitution of NCCC and NCIPC, formulation of a National Cyber Security Policy of India 2013 (NCSP 2013) and National Infrastructure Protection Plan in Thermal Power Sector of India, etc. The BJP Government is not doing anything new but making the efforts to implement exiting projects of Congress Government.
Of course, BJP Government can formulate and implement a working Cyber Attacks Crisis Management Plan of India, Cyber Warfare Policy of India (PDF), etc. Internet is full of unprotected and unsafe devices, SCADA Systems and computers and India has her own share of such unprotected devices. Cross border cyber crimes are also difficult to trace and resolve. The proposed NCCC and NCIPC would come handy in many cyber situations and we welcome the move and efforts of Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology in this regard.