Event ReportsPublished on Feb 21, 2017
ORF launches national project on cyber security training for law enforcement agencies
Last year, Observer Research Foundation kickstarted a national project to build capacity among law enforcement agencies on cyber security. Through a series of consultations — eight in all, over two years — ORF, in collaboration with the Sardar Patel National Police University will train mid-level police and investigating officers on a range of cyber policies, from "now and here" issues like encryption and data sharing to broader themes like Internet governance. Read the report from first workshop here. It was organised on 30 November and 1 December 2016 at the Rajasthan Police Academy headquarters. The two day workshop involved law enforcement officials from the state as well as representatives from federal agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Border Security Force (BSF). The second workshop was held on 20 February 2017 at the BSF's Signals Training School. The participants were mostly from the Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department, the Bangalore City Police, Crime Branch representatives as well as technical graduates from the BSF School. The national cybersecurity workshops have been made possible thanks to a generous grant from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, supplemented by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Why has ORF begun this project?

ORF is involved in several domestic and international conversations on cyber policy, but these are mostly confined to policymakers, diplomats and central governmental officials. To assess the impact of cybersecurity policies — and indeed, suggest new ones or amend old policies — it is essential to study the capacity of LEAs to secure the country's digital networks, investigate and prosecute cyber crimes, and respect constitutional and statutory rights of citizens in this process. ORF's national cybersecurity workshops are aimed at enhancing the legal and technical awareness of LEAs, but also to assess their current abilities and make recommendations to state and central government to improve them.

Which state law enforcement agencies have been chosen for this project?

ORF will host capacity building workshops with investigating officers (IOs) from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and New Delhi. These states were chosen mostly to address the growing incidence of electronic crimes in their metropolitan cities and towns. In addition, there will be training sessions organised for federal agencies (CBI/NIA, etc.) as well as policy makers in New Delhi.

What topics will be covered during these sessions?

 So far, the workshops have covered the following topics:
  • Data interception and surveillance laws in India,
  • Effective use of electronic evidence for criminal investigations,
  • Improvement of device-based, and information security of LEA officials themselves,
  • Data protection guidelines in India compared to the United States and Europe,
  • Drafting MLAT requests, and
  • Understanding the architecture of digital payment gateways.
A detailed curriculum is being prepared by ORF to guide the overall training process. Trainers are identified by ORF, without any influence from our grantees or state police agencies.
If you are part of an LEA in charge of investigating/prosecuting cyber crimes, or an agency tasked with securing public digital networks, please reach out to us with inputs on the curriculum, as well as with requests to schedule workshops in your state. For more information on ORF's national cybersecurity capacity building project, please contact Bedavyasa Mohanty ([email protected]). This report is prepared by Arun Mohan Sukumar, Head, Cyber Security and Internet Governance Initiative.
The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.