India’s biggest project to interlink nearly two-dozen databases — right from your phone and income tax records to the last time you skipped a traffic light — began on Tuesday with a tight deadline to deliver the country’s primary counter-terrorism infrastructure.
<b1>That task will be headed by Capt Raghu Raman, a former armyman. Till recently, he was CEO of corporate risk consulting firm Mahindra Special Services Group.
Raman has to deliver the grid over the next 18 months, extendable by another six months if necessary, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Tuesday.
When the intelligence super-structure is built, security agencies would just need basic details like your name or fingerprint to figure out what you have been up to all these years.
Chidambaram said there should be no concerns about loss of privacy. Firewalls and systems would be in place to ensure integrity of the database.
If this system had already been in place, investigators would not have had to go around trying to figure out what someone like the suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative, David Coleman Headley, did in India and where he travelled. Just by booking a plane ticket, or figuring in the immigration records, the system could have captured his movements through India.
The grid will link 21 databases of public authorities that can be accessed by 10 security agencies, Chidambaram said.
It will be India’s biggest repository of information, one that will be eventually linked to the Unique Identification Number project being executed by IT czar Nandan Nilekani.