Finally, Indian government has come to its senses and is in process of setting up an infrastructure team rather an army of software professionals as to spy over the classified data of hostile nations by hacking up into their computer systems. IT workers and ethical hackers who are going to work under this project are protected by law. The skills of these professionals would be used for going offensive by breaching the security walls of enemy systems.
The decision to create this army of software professionals emerge after governments worries about spying and sabotage from neighboring countries especially China and Pakistan. According to Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto said that in April a group of hackers based at China had conducted spying operations in India, pilfering with confidential documents from the defense ministry.
According to the proposal by the Indian government, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) along with Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) will be responsible for creating cyber-offensive capabilities. NTRO is an important government agency which creates technical intelligence while DIA and is given responsibility for collating inputs from the Navy, Army and Air Force. The NTRO will provide legal protection to recruits, a move that is expected to coax software professionals into joining the government group because under the Indian IT Act, hacking is punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or carries a fine up to `2 lakh, or both.
“Even if the offense is done on a computer on foreign soil, it is punishable under Indian laws,” says cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal, adding that the IT Act will have to be changed for “patriotic stealth operations”. The recruitment of the professionals should not be problem in India as country produces around 5.72 lakh technical and postgraduate in 2010. There is also a good team of experts in country due to large anti-virus and software companies like as McAfee, Microsoft, and Intel with their research and development labs in India.