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No proposal for dedicated cyber surveillance agency: Govt

The government said there is no proposal to set up a dedicated cyber surveillance agency for monitoring "malicious content" on the web and social media networks.

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said there is no proposal to set up a dedicated cyber surveillance agency for monitoring "malicious content" on the web and social media networks.

"There is no proposal with the Government...The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 has adequate provisions to deal with such situations," Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

He was responding to a specific query on whether the government is proposing to monitor web and social media content which have implications of law and order etc. In the country.

The government has held several rounds of discussions with stakeholders, including the social media to address the issue of proper implementation of the provisions of the Act, he added.

Deora said all stakeholders would work together to "minimise the unintended consequences and evolve the processes through clarification and guidelines as necessary".

Further, he informed that there have been no requests from the Ministry of Home Affairs to authorise Intelligence Bureau to monitor the web and social media services for malicious content.

Responding to another query, Deora said there has been an increase in incidents involving revealing of personal information such as passwords and credit card details through phishing attacks.

"According to Reserve Bank of India and CERT-In, a total number of 1,618, 2,124 and 2,853 phishing incidents were reported to them in the year 2010,2011 and 2012 (till October), respectively," he said.

Deora added that CERT-In is working very closely with RBI and other banks in the country towards taking immediate steps to curb phishing attacks, adopting multi-factor authentication and technological solutions for early detection and take down of phishing attempts.

"Section 43A of the IT Act, 2000 and rules notified thereunder establishes a legal framework for data privacy protection in India. It mandates body corporates to implement reasonable security practices, framework for mode of collection, transfer and disclosure of sensitive personal data or information," he said.

Further, Section 66 C and 72 A of the IT Act, 2000 provides for punishment and penalty for identity theft and breach of confidentiality and privacy, respectively.


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