Making a strong pitch to sign the Budapest Convention on cyber crime, the Ministry of Home Affairs flagged the need for international cooperation to check cyber crime, radicalisation and boost data security.
Officials said India was reconsidering its position on becoming a member of the Budapest Convention because of the surge in cyber crime, especially after a push for digital India.
The move, however, is being opposed by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on the grounds that sharing data with foreign law enforcement agencies infringes on national sovereignty and may jeopardise the rights of individuals.
It is learnt that the suggestion to sign the convention was made during a review meeting by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday.
The Budapest Convention provides for the criminalisation of conduct, ranging from illegal access, data and systems interference to computer-related fraud and child pornography, procedural law tools to make investigation of cybercrime and securing of e-evidence in relation to any crime more effective, and international police and judicial cooperation on cybercrime and e-evidence.
The Convention has 56 members, including the US and the UK.
Home Ministry officials told The Indian Express that a final decision on signing the Convention will be taken after consulting other stakeholders, such as the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
At the review meeting, Singh expressed concern over the rising incidents of sharing pornography over the Internet and directed officials towards forming an effective mechanism to strictly monitor cyberspace and block websites flouting Indian law, especially on child pornography, an official statement said.
Singh also set a deadline of February this year to operationalise the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).
The Home Minister had announced the setting up of I4C in 2016 to deal with all types of cyber crime at the national level.
“I4C will be set up under the newly created Cyber and Information Security (CIS) division of the MHA. CIS will have four wings, namely security clearance, cybercrime prevention, cyber security and information security,” the statement added.