Indian Intelligence Agencies Warn Against Foreign Satellite Use in CCTNS Project
ISRO will assist in making the CCTNS project fully indigenous.
Image credit: CCTNS
Following a warning from intelligence agencies that using a foreign satellite in the proposed nationwide Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) could make critical databases vulnerable to eavesdropping by other countries, India’s Union Home Ministry has decided to take the help of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to make the project fully home-grown. According to a note exchanged between the Home Ministry and the Department of Telecom, using a foreign satellite increases the risk of eavesdropping either by the service provider or through off-the-air monitoring by any target countries which may have footprint of the satellite.
The CCTNS is a group of approximately 820 VSATs that will be networked by a satellite. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was the original agency in charge of providing ground services. Following the raised objections to the proposed use of the Ipstar satellite managed by Thaicomm in the project, the BSNL diverted to this project some 400 VSATs that it had for other services. The residual VSATs are to be installed by the BSNL working with the ISRO, and the satellite link would be provided by the ISRO.