MOU has been signed between National intelligence grid (NATGRID) & National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
The MoU will give NATGRID access to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) database, a platform that links around 14,000 police stations.
All State police are mandated to file First Information Reports (FIR) in the CCTNS.
The MoU enables the NATGRID to get information about details of a suspect as mentioned in the FIR such as his/her father’s name, telephone number and other details.
The CCTNS is a project for creating a comprehensive and integrated system for effective policing through e-Governance.
WHAT is NATGRID?
It’s a one-stop destination for security and intelligence agencies to access database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details of a suspect on a “secured platform”.
Formed in the year 2009.
NATGRID is exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005 under sub-section (2) of Section 24.
Who can access the data?
It can be accessed by the 10 Central agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).
The data will be procured by NATGRID from 21 providing organisations such as the telecom, tax records, bank, immigration etc.
Why NATGRID is facing opposition/criticism?
It is due to possible violations of privacy and leakage of confidential personal information.
State agency or police force having no access to its database thus reducing chances of immediate, effective action.
Chance of it getting misused. Over the last two decades, the very digital tools that terrorists use have also become great weapons to fight the ideologies of violence.
Intelligence agencies have also opposed amid fears that it would impinge on their territory and possibly result in leaks on the leads they were working on to other agencies.
Why do we need NATGRID?
The danger from not having a sophisticated tool like the NATGRID is that it forces the police to rely on harsh and coercive means to extract information in a crude and degrading fashion.
After every terrorist incident, it goes about rounding up suspects—many of who are innocent. If, instead, a pattern search and recognition system were in place, these violations of human rights would be much fewer.
Natgrid would also help the Intelligence Bureau keep a tab on persons with suspicious backgrounds.
The police would have access to all his data and any movement by this person would also be tracked with the help of this data base.