Exclusive: Government has special plans to track North East Social Media Chatter


Exclusive: Government has special plans to track North East Social Media Chatter

The special branch of Assam police, tasked with providing intelligence inputs for internal security, is planning a highly sophisticated Internet monitoring system at the cost of nearly Rs 180 crore for the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya.


The police wants to provide decision makers with “intelligent tools that can automatically extract new relevant “data from within data” without being explicitly asked,” according to documents accessed by NextBigWhat. Sources said that another system will be put in place to listen into cross border chatter between India and Tibet.

The special branch has floated a public tender, which says the system should be able to handle varied data formats ranging from structured and unstructured data like email, blogs, media reports, dossiers, Internet traffic, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

What is the system capable of?

  • The system can monitor content like e-mails, chats, transcribed call logs etc, documents, web forms, video files, audio files and internet content.
  • It supports analytics including automated text mining, sentiment analysis, link analysis, geospatial analysis, statistical analysis, social network analysis, transaction analysis, locational analysis and fusion based analysis from various sources.
  • The system should be able to monitor targets like Internet Protocol address, login details, keywords, email, telephone location, new email ID details, IP range, links etc.
  • It will be capable of complete email extraction including but not limited to address book, inbox, sent, drafts, personal folders, deleted folders etc.
  • It will allow country wise tracking of IM, Chats & emails.
  • Real time visualization screens showing results from real-time data and capability to transliterate to other languages.

Who will it affect?


There are around 31 million people in Assam alone. The police estimates nearly 2 lakh wired and 15 million wireless connections in the region.

How will it be done?

Whoever wins the bid to implement the contract, will have to install servers at the Internet Service Provider level. The data is then aggregated and sent to the aggregation server which forwards it to the Assam Police Intelligence Department’s designated data center.

How long will the data be stored?

The meta data extracted from the service provider will be stored for a year and the actual traffic will be stored for a week.

Why is it dangerous?

In the absence of strict privacy laws, this could lead to blatant misuse. Proactive monitoring can lead to excessive controls over the Internet.

From our North East coverage

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