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NSCS kicks off project to identify privacy, security issues in mobiles
The Indian Government National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has launched a project to identify privacy and security issues in the mobile ecosystem in India and also to prevent cyber fraud from applications and device vulnerabilities along with insecure user habits.
During the project, NCSC will come up with a technology platform in the form of an application and desktop website to support Indian citizens and help them mitigate the vulnerabilities in their handsets arising from specific operating system versions and pre-installed apps or any other app available in app stores.
NSCS is collaborating with various ministries, including the Ministry of IT and Communications together with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior together with various government departments for the project called Indian Citizens Assistance for Mobile Privacy & Security (I-CAMPS).
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has been tasked with carrying out this project by working closely with these departments along with the Indian internet industry and the security community.
India’s National Cyber Security Coordinator Lieutenant General (retd) Rajesh Pant confirmed the development and said “it [project] has just started and will take some time. ”
The NCSC has sent letters to some ministries and plans to contact other ministries soon.
The aim of the project is to build an integrated system that can gather all mobile security related information and provide customized and actionable knowledge to individual Indian citizens to secure their mobile devices and data on these devices.
The mobile ecosystem is huge and includes device OEMs, TSPs, OS companies, App providers as well as several government departments dealing with various aspects of mobile administration, security and management. While each plays an important role, they are intertwined with each other due to the nature of their goals, therefore I-CAMPS was conceptualized to form a single organization that allows the involvement of all stakeholders.
“The work has started on several levels. The basic framework is being developed so far. There will be a central database in the middle and the information will be available as an API. If users want specific information, they can use the app. It will register the phone and apps that are used and will provide curated information to the app regarding vulnerabilities,” said Satyendra Verma, Head of I-CAMPs and Advisor – Cyber Security and Mobile Security at IAMAI.
He said the project will take 6-8 months to get completed due to coordination required between different ministries and departments. “It is in the initial phase and we also need to work with different industry bodies. IAMAI connects with departments and formulates with teams,” he added.
IAMAI plans to work with all handset manufacturers along with app developers and security researchers for the project. Verma said that once the project proves that the system works effectively, the government will take up the program to raise awareness among citizens. “It’s not going to be a mandatory thing.”
However, Verma clarified that the project will not investigate any of the Indian government’s snooping concerns. “The mandate is not to check for snooping.” MPT
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