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Government working on a robust cyber security structure: Manmohan Singh (Update)

New Delhi, Sep 8 (ANI): Expressing concern over the country’s escalating vulnerability to cyber crime, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the government is working on a robust cyber security structure.

The structure will help in mitigating threats, by building capacity to face them and enhancing research.

Dr. Singh said the police leaders should also dedicate themselves to planned technological upgradation of their forces.

“There are many emerging areas where our police forces need to develop new expertise. I have already mentioned the use of new media by miscreants to spread rumours and falsehood. Another such area is our cyber-security. Our country’s vulnerability to cyber crime is escalating as our economy and critical infrastructure become increasingly reliant on interdependent computer networks and the Internet,” said Dr. Singh in his speech at the annual conference of DGPs/ IGPs here.

“Large-scale computer attacks on our critical infrastructure and economy can have potentially devastating results. To this end, we need to build partnerships between Government, academia and the private sector,” he added.

Dr. Singh said the use of bulk SMSes and social media to aggravate the communal situation was a new challenge.

“We need to fully understand how these new media are used by miscreants. We also need to devise strategies to counter the propaganda that is carried out by these new means. Any measure to control the use of such media must be carefully weighed against the need for the freedom to express and communicate,” said Dr. Singh.

“I am sure that in the coming months our police forces would be able to work out effective strategies to deal with these tendencies,” he added.

Stating that there is a feeling that violence against women and the elderly is growing in the metropolitan cities, Dr. Singh said: ” I have touched on the subject in my addresses in the preceding years as well. Maintaining a secure environment in our cities requires special skills built around our knowledge of technology, economics and sociology.”

“Therefore, policing the metropolitan areas, especially controlling the organized crime and protecting the vulnerable in these areas requires the focused attention of our police forces,” he added.

The Prime Minister said there were increasing infiltration attempts along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir and international border.

“In Jammu and Kashmir, we are beginning to see increasing infiltration attempts, across the Line of Control and even the international border. There are also indications about terrorist groups maintaining their ability to use the sea route. Vigilance, therefore, needs to be exercised not only on our land borders but along the coast line as well,” said Dr. Singh.

“The comprehensive scheme of Maritime Domain Awareness to be led by the Navy would help strengthen coastal vigilance, whereas deployment of more permanent border obstacles and better sensors could improve the situation along the land borders,” he added.

Dr. Singh further said the collaborative efforts of police and security forces have led to a significant decline in the number of terrorists as also in terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Improvement in the security environment resulted in a successful Amarnath Yatra this year and in a record number of tourists visiting the state. The State has also successfully conducted the Panchayat elections and is now poised to take up the responsibility of conducting elections to the Urban Local Bodies,” said Dr. Singh.

“But the threat from terrorism in the hinterland continues to be a cause for worry. Although 19 interdictions have taken place, terrorists were able to strike in Mumbai and Delhi last year and in Pune this year. Investigations in these cases are yet to conclude. We are still in the process of developing capabilities to take pre-emptive action in respect of terrorist threats,” he added.

Dr. Singh said the realignment of operational approaches, training of police personnel and more effective collaboration among states and between states and the Centre should form part of the overall strategy of dealing with the menace of terrorism. (ANI)