India Developing Additional National Surveillance System; US Has No Moral High Ground To Protest

from the isn't-one-enough? dept

Like many other countries, India has been steadily extending its national surveillance capabilities. We wrote about its main Central Monitoring System (CMS) back in May last year, with more details in July. In news that shocked no one, we discovered in September that illegal surveillance is already taking place. And now, via The Economic Times, we learn that India has built another, completely independent system for spying on its citizens:

The government will shortly launch 'Netra', the defence ministry's internet spy system that will be capable of detecting words like 'attack', 'bomb', 'blast' or 'kill' in a matter of seconds from reams of tweets, status updates, emails, instant messaging transcripts, internet calls, blogs and forums.

The system will also be able to capture any dubious voice traffic passing through software such as Skype or Google Talk, says a telecom department note seen by [Economic Times]. "
The Hacker News site has more details of how the system will work, with information being gathered from boxes placed on the premises of ISPs:
NETRA is a hardware device, and will be installed at ISP (Internet service provider) level on more than 1000 locations. Each location will be called as "Node", with 300GB of storage space. So, there are 1000 nodes x 300GB = 300,000GB of total space is initially decided to set up.
A year ago, news that countries like India were setting up a nationwide surveillance system was met with a self-righteous chorus of disapproval from many Western countries. Today, India can have two of them, and the response is silence. That's a measure of how the West has lost whatever moral high ground it once had, largely thanks to the NSA's dragnet approach that makes it well-nigh impossible for the Five Eyes club and friends to criticize other nations for attempting to emulate it.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 1:04am

    ...that will be capable of detecting words like 'attack', 'bomb', 'blast' or 'kill' in a matter of seconds from reams of tweets, status updates, emails, instant messaging transcripts, internet calls, blogs and forums.

    So, I take it no-one games or plays sports over there or something? If they had a system like that in the US or UK, it would suffer an epic meltdown, and be completely overwhelmed by false positives from people talking about their latest FPS match, or sports team, or anything like that, in a matter of minutes at most.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    haiku, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 1:38am

    India will do exactly the same as the US/UK/etc. governments do: shrug it off as regrettable collateral damage.

    OTOH I would recommend that all game-players check the airspace outside their homes for circling drones ... 8)

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 1:58am

    Yes, but now we've got the moral low ground with a huge lead downward as the bottomrunner

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 2:49am

    Re:

    au contraire, india is a big reason (perhaps even the biggest reason) that cricket is the second most popular sport in the world.

     

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  5.  
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    ethorad (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 2:50am

    Re:

    "If they had a system like that in the US or UK ..."

    We do and have been developing it since about the 1970s: see ECHELON.

    Allegedly.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 3:22am

    Another surveilance system? Blast.

    Well, I hope that thing bombs. I mean, it's a sure thing that they're eventually going to end up attacking innocent people for no reason. They should kill that thing off now before they waste any more money on it.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    JustSomeGuy, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 3:29am

    > ... capable of detecting words like 'attack', 'bomb', 'blast' or 'kill'.

    So my new tagline on all emails will be:

    Movies that were absolute bombs: Attack of the 50ft woman, Blast from the past, and Kill Bill.

    Those false positives should really annoy them :-)

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 4:08am

    ENCRYPT ALL THE THINGS!

    If you own a website, migrate it to HTTPS now, and use Strict-Transport-Security to force all users to it.

    If you are a user, use the HTTPS version of a website whenever possible. Start with this one: https://www.techdirt.com/

    If you use Google Talk, use Pidgin with the OTR plugin, set to auto-enable OTR when the other side has it. Tell all your friends to do the same. Verify the OTR keys so they cannot MITM.

    For voice, use a ZRTP enabled VOIP software. Again, verify your friends' keys.

    Let's make systems like that one a useless waste of money, and they'll go away.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 4:23am

    Collecting this crap is not a big thing, anyone can do it.
    Using it is where the NSA failed hard. They will have a lot of useless data and thats it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 4:45am

    Today, India can have two of them, and the response is silence.

    The response is classified and thus interpreted as silence. India is actually asking for advice from the West on how to build the system effectively. Share the dough!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    NSA, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 5:24am

    "US Has No Moral High Ground To Protest"

    Yes we do we'll be protesting for access to your systems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_cornhole, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 5:44am

    curry

    ...more sauce please...

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Guardian, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 5:47am

    @11

    no you dont ya spying sacks a peeping tom shits

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    DM, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 5:56am

    Re:

    The US and UK already have systems that detect such words, and they don't suffer epic meltdowns. I suspect this is because either such systems are smart enough to understand context, and use context to rate the word on a sliding scale or concern, and/or they don't react to such words alone, and are simply a means to add to pile of evidence to be gone through when a suspect is caught for other reasons or by other means.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    DM, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 6:04am

    Moral High Ground?

    I find this line in the story funny:

    "That's a measure of how the West has lost whatever moral high ground it once had, largely thanks to the NSA's dragnet approach that makes it well-nigh impossible for the Five Eyes club and friends to criticize other nations for attempting to emulate it."

    The whole idea that the west ever had the moral high ground to criticize countries like India is so ludicrous. The west has perpetrated human rights abuses far beyond India could ever dream of, what with the coups incited, dictatorships propped up, legitimate governments overthrown, not to mention the more or less continuous warmongering.

    Goes to show how far people buy into the their own "civilized" status. Wake up and understand that much of the world doesn't buy your hypocrisy. It never did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Zos (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re:

    or they just go kick down a league of legends players door and arrest him for terroristic threats

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Brazenly Anonymous, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:06am

    Re: Moral High Ground?

    Add in a history of race-based slavery, being the only country to ever drop a nuke, treating an entire demographic of its own citizens as prisoners of war during WWII, empire building and genocide against the Cherokee (probably qualifies for other tribes as well). Ah, but bring up any of these things around here and everyone will try to tell you that they are ancient history and that we are better than that now.

    Bring up what the US is really like on an international level, and they call you a conspiracy theorist. Then they nod along when someone on the news talks about protecting "American interests" overseas. Ignorance == Bliss indeed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 7:09am

    Google Developing Additional In-home Surveillance System; Mike and minions have No Moral High Ground To Protest

    Why should I worry about India when Google is snooping on me full time right now? It's also aligning with the military, and just bought up "smart" thermostat corp to monitor you full time in your house! And yet idiots here at Techdirt assert: "Google is voluntary." -- WELL SOON WON'T BE AT ALL, YOU FOOLS. Will you try to limit Google at any time?

    Google’s robots and creeping militarization

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/09/googles-robots-and-creeping-militarization/

    Google gobbles upstart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 BEELLION IN CASH

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/13/google_buys_smart_home_device_builder_nest_for_32_beeeli on_in_cash/

    When you think surveillance or spying or snooping or censoring or pushing propaganda, think Google!

    03:08:12[d-65-3]

     

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  19.  
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    krolork (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    We need a revolution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Monkey (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 10:11am

    US Has No Moral High Ground To Protest

    and

    Today, India can have two of them, and the response is silence.


    All due to them having a bad case of Foot-In-Mouth disease.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Moral High Ground?

    Bring up what the US is really like on an international level, and they call you a conspiracy theorist


    No, they call you a traitor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 11:16am

    Engage Operation: Troll NETRA. Seriously, just spam out emails with the text "Bomb kill blast attack. Blast bomb attack kill." GG NETRA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 11:18am

    Re: Google Developing Additional In-home Surveillance System; Mike and minions have No Moral High Ground To Protest

    *Uses Bing*
    Your argument is irrelevant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2014 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Moral High Ground?

    "No, they call you a traitor."

    Well of course. That's because good citizens will support whatever their government does. Like the good citizens of Nazi Germany. The anti-Nazi's were branded traitors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Eldakka (profile), Jan 14th, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Google Developing Additional In-home Surveillance System; Mike and minions have No Moral High Ground To Protest

    Dude u have what seems to be an awesome job: Monitor and Troll Techdirt rubbishing Google at any opportunity.

    That must be easy money. Read 10-20 posts a day, write one or two responses to each of them bashing Techdirt, Google and Mike. It would take, what? 2 hours a day?

    How much does it pay and who should I contact for a similiar job? Microsoft? Apple? NSA/Whitehouse?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2014 @ 11:12am

    Global surveillance

    By all means, let the world surveil away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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