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NATGRID wants to link social media accounts to central database (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Internal Security)

The ambitious National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project wants to link social media accounts to the huge database of records related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details among others.

About NATGRID
The project, initially started in 2009 with a budget of ₹2,800 crore, is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information and putting them on one platform. At least 10 central agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and others will have access to the data on a secured platform. The databases are procured from 21 providing organisations and include telecom, tax records, bank, immigration, etc. to enable the generation of intelligence inputs.

The project gathered pace in 2016, when the NDA government appointed an IB officer Ashok Patnaik as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). After Mr. Patnaik retired, NATGRID is now headed by IAS officer Ashish Gupta.

Resistance to idea of linking social accounts
The proposal has received resistance from the intelligence agencies, whose officials fear that linking the social media accounts to sensitive government data could expose the system to “trojan attacks.”

Intelligence agencies had also earlier opposed the NATGRID itself amid fears that it would impinge on their territory and possibly result in leaks on the leads they were working on to other agencies.

Source: The Hindu



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