The National Investigating Agency needs a cyber forensics team urgently. Terrorists these days often fight half their battle on the internet and in this day and era it looks quite surprising when premier investigating agencies of India seek outside help to crack the case.
While Indian investigating agencies cannot completely ignore the assistance of foreign agencies, a lot of aspects relating to cyber forensics can still be solved in India.
It is not the lack of talent, it is the lack of people an officer with the National Investigating Agency tells oneindia. The NIA which is the premier investigating agency of India in terror cases face a terrible staff crunch and this is not just leading to slower investigations but also dependency on other countries.
Cyber forensic investigations need a thrust
The Wikipedia definition of Cyber Forensics is an application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular computing device in a way that is suitable for presentation in a court of law.
While India has shown substantial growth in Information Technology, the manner in which some of the officials probe the matter is quite medieval. They appear to be sticking to the basics and in today's scenario terrorism has become a war on the internet and would require cyber forensics to solve a case.
The NIA has been seeking outside assistance for cases pertaining to cyber forensics. This not just contributes to a delay in solving the case, but the data which the Indian investigators are seeking are exposed to a foreign agency.
Why techies shy away from Indian investigators
There is an urgent need to hire the best minds in the business to crack terror cases on the web. Indian investigators are in desperate need of ethical hackers and specialists to track and block website jihadis.
However the techies shy away from the joining the investigators because of a bad pay package. They would easily earn more in a private sector.
The NIA feels that the government must offer better pay packages to techies so that they are lured into the job. It is extremely essential to have more professionals in the field as terror on the web is here to stay.
However in the NIA there is a staff crunch and till date the positions in the IT wing remain vacant. This has led to the agency requesting foreign countries to assist in the probe.
Vacancies in the NIA
There are a total of 237 vacancies in the NIA today. The agency is handling 93 very sensitive cases and is very hard pressed for both time and quality due to shortage of staff.
We carry out arrests and the rule mandates that a chargesheet is filed in 90 days of the arrest failing which the accused is entitled for bail. The chargesheet needs to be strong and it is the basis of the case and for this the NIA needs to have a full strength.
In the Guwhati Branch there are 31 vacancies while in Delhi the number is 59. In Hyderabad 29 more officers are needed while in Mumbai the number is 38. The Kolkata and Lucknow branches of the NIA need 64 and 16 more officers respectively.