GURUGRAM: In a first of its kind, a high-tech monitoring system will keep an eye on social media activities in Haryana. A social media monitoring has been set up in Gurugram with a joint effort of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and state’s Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID).
Though the authorities are extremely tight-lipped about the new surveillance system, sources told TOI that the Digital Investigation Training and Analysis Centre (DITAC) has been set up at the third floor of the Traffic Tower in Gurugram’s Sushant Lok. The centre will be inaugurated on Wednesday by chief minister Manohar Lal.
DITAC is equipped with highly advanced technology and sensitive equipment that will track the social media activities including widely used Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter. DITAC will be a state level monitoring system that monitor any illegal or inflammatory messages or posts that can lead to agitation.
The entire project costs a whopping Rs 22 crores, most of this funding has come from the central government. It will have three touchscreens of 100 inches each and a fleet of 22 officials will keep a round the clock watch on what goes on social media all over the state. The centre will track down the origin of any inflammatory message and observe its impact in the law and order situation. The officials will not make the arrests in such cases. Their duties include only the monitoring, identifying the instigators and reporting the matter to the authorities.
Notably, this is the first of its kind state-level social media monitoring center collaboration with NTRO in the country. Though Delhi police too has a surveillance system but this is being done by a special cell under crime branch. They do not register any cases and pass on the report to the investigators.
Sources reveal that the decision to set up a surveillance center was made after Jat Protests in February this year. It is believed that the posts and messages on Social media played a key role inciting the youth at that time, both Jats and Anti-Jats. The center is expected to play a vital role in controlling such activities this time as next call for the Jat Protests has been announced for January 29.
“At that time the government shut down the internet services in many districts during and after the agitation. But that’s not the solution especially now when we are trying to digitize the economy. So a center like this is a viable solution to such problem,” a senior police official told TOI.
The center will be supervised by IG (CID) Anil Kumar Rao and the Gurgaon wing will be monitored by IG (Security) Sanjay Kumar. Notably the authorities wants to keep the matter under wraps till it is inaugurated on Wednesday. However, when contacted IG (security) Sanjay Kumar told TOI that “in today’s time social media is a very important tool of communication and we need to know about what is happening on Social media. The youth even in rural areas is involved in social media and there are a lot of societies influencing them”.