What you need to know about the US’s ‘surveillance state’
It has been a busy week for Indian cybercrime law enforcement.
On Wednesday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) released a document outlining how the Indian government is using a series of different tools to target cybercriminals across the country.
The document lays out an elaborate plan to use technology to identify suspected criminal activity and target suspects through a wide array of legal tools, including Section 7 of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).
The document, titled “India Cybercrime Threat: A Threat Assessment for Enforcement”, was prepared by a team of Indian cyber law enforcement officers in cooperation with US authorities, the NIA said in a statement.
It was obtained by The Times of India.
The NIA declined to provide any further details on the plan.
The leaked document lays down a range of possible legal approaches that could be used to target suspected criminals, the statement said.
The law enforcement team had recommended that “some forms of surveillance, such as using social media tools to track suspects, be used in cases of suspected cyber crime”, the NIB said.
It is not clear what specific tools would be used, but the NBI team pointed out that “the use of such social media platforms has been known to be effective in deterring criminal activities”, and the use of mobile surveillance technology would be “an important tool for criminal investigation”.
However, the law enforcement agency did not specify the specific legal tools that it would use.
According to The Times, the draft legal framework also “explicitly” prohibits use of “internet search engines and social media services” to target and locate suspects.
The agency suggested that “online services should not be used for criminal purposes”.
The draft legal plan also says that “in certain circumstances” the police may use surveillance technology to “disrupt the activities of suspected criminals”.
The NIB suggested that this could be done “by creating an atmosphere of fear, or through creating an environment of mistrust, in order to create a false sense of security, or to make an accused suspect believe that he is safe”.
The agency said it was also considering the possibility of using social networks to “succeed in detecting criminal activities” in certain cases.
The draft legal document also said that the police should be able to use information obtained by social media sites to “prevent” suspects from accessing “sensitive information”.
In some cases, it is possible to “obtain information by monitoring” a criminal’s activities on social media.
However, this “may be an indirect method of gaining information” from the suspect, and “may result in the person being unable to prove the criminal activity”, the draft document said.