Cyber terrorism is bigger threat: Chidambaram on NCTC
New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): Highlighting a new dimension to terrorist threats, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said that cyber terrorism has become a bigger threat to India's security
Addressing chief ministers at the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) meet here, Chidambaram said: "Cyber crimes such as hacking, financial fraud, data theft, espionage would in certain circumstances, amount to terrorist acts."
"Hitherto, we confronted terrorist threats only in the physical space. Now, there are terrorist threats in the cyber space, which is the fifth domain after land, sea, air and space. Much of our critical infrastructure lies in cyber space," he said.
"Cyber crimes such as hacking, financial fraud, data theft, espionage etc. would, in certain circumstances, amount to terrorist acts. Our counter terrorism (CT) capacity must be able to meet the threats in cyber space," he added.
Chidambaram further asked since there are no boundaries in cyber space, how will the Central Government and the State Governments share the responsibility to face the threats in cyber space?
Further justifying the setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Chidambaram said the agency will be an important pillar of security infrastructure
"The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was passed by Parliament in 1967. No one has questioned the validity of the Act. After the horrific attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, there was an universal demand for strengthening the laws dealing with terrorism. Since Parliament was in session, it was decided to act without loss of time. All political parties joined together and unanimously passed two legislations: Act 34 of 2008 which is the National Investigation Agency Act and Act 35 of 2008 to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," he added.
He said in a note circulated earlier - and included in the agenda notes circulated for this meeting at pages 3-7 - we have dealt with the genesis, objectives, structure and powers of the National Counter Terrorism Centre.
"The note draws attention to section 2(e) of UA(P)A that provided for a 'Designated Authority'. When section 43A was drafted, it was based on section 2(e) that was already part of the Act. The decision to vest certain powers in the Designated Authority was a conscious decision taken by Parliament," he said.
" At the same time, Parliament took care to limit the exercise of powers under section 43A to cases where an offence under UA(P)A had been committed or there was a design to commit such an offence. Further limitations were placed through sections 43B and 43C. In fact, section 43B is a clear acknowledgement of the exclusive power of the State Government to register a case and deal with the arrested person or the seized article," he added. (ANI)
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