Security agencies to get social media data mining, face recognition tools: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi | Security agencies are trying to obtain new software and improved face-recognition technology to enable themselves to dig deeper into social media about a criminal whose record is unavailable in a police database, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday.

Singh said cybercrimes were posing a “big challenge” to the security establishment.

He said security agencies have detected that terrorists were using the “dark internet” to recruit operatives and to “sell and purchase confidential information by big criminals.”

He said hence, for the first time, they have created a cyber-security division in the home ministry.

Inaugurating a three-day Defence and Homeland Security Expo and Conference 2018, organised by the PHD Chamber, Singh said the utility of drones in ensuring security has been found to be necessary and the central government will soon bring out a policy on their comprehensive usage in the country.

“I am fully confident that drones will be very useful for our security forces. I have seen their capabilities and utility in the conduct of anti-naxal operations,” he said.

The home minister then talked about the “new tech-edge” that the country’s security agencies are looking to procure.

“We can track criminals through the CCTV cameras. But at times, it is very difficult to identify and recognise them. We are trying that face recognition technology is better improved so that if a criminal is not identified by CCTV cameras, there should be a technology to get his face recognised. This is what we are trying.

“We are also trying that if there is no information about them (criminals) in the CCTNS (crime and criminal tracking network system), we should have such software that can dig into the social media network and collate information about such elements,” the home minister said.

Singh said apart from these challenges faced by security agencies and forces under his ministry’s command, ensuring effective security of India’s over 15,000-km land border and more than 7,000-km sea border was also very essential.

He said he will soon inaugurate a pilot project for laser-fencing border security in Jammu.

“We are testing similar laser fences, radars and non-physical barriers at other border locations in Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Assam. The country’s borders need to be effectively secured,” the home minister said.

Lauding the security forces and agencies, he said it was an achievement that there has “not been even one major incident of terrorism in the country” in the past four years of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

“Organised crime and terrorism are the biggest challenges for us… We know that these elements are using new technology and sophisticated weapons.

“That is why, technical upgrade and modernisation of the central and state police forces is necessary and these two should go together,” he said.

Singh said his ministry has simplified the purchasing procedures for equipment, weapons and gadgets for the security forces and “now it is a two-tier system as compared to the previous three-tier task.”

“If it requires that we will have to delegate more financial powers to the chiefs of the security forces, we will do that too,” Singh said.

He assured that the CCTNS, a comprehensive national computer-based police database, will be “effectively launched” across the country.

At the conclusion of his speech, the home minister promised the defence manufacturing industry he will soon hold discussions with Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu about difficulties faced by them in obtaining production licenses.

“I will see to it that it is simplified and streamlined,” he said.

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