Research and Analysis Intelligence Wing (RAW)

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  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Intelligence agencies need oversight, accountability: Vice President (Lead)



    New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari Wednesday called for greater “oversight and accountability” in the operations of the country’s intelligence agencies and suggested a standing committee of parliament on intelligence be set up to meet the needs of good governance in a democratic society.
    Delivering the Fourth R.N. Kao Memorial Lecture organised by the Resarch and Intelligence Wing (RAW) of the Cabinet Secretariat, Ansari said although ministerial responsibility to the legislature, and in turn to the electorate, was an essential element of democratic governance, exceptions to it pertained to the “intelligence and security structure of the state”. This had only executive and political oversight.

    He said the present system, though accepted for so long, did not “meet the requirements of good governance in an open society” and concerns have been raised over the scope and extent of the political executive’s supervision as also the possibility of misuse of these services.

    “The shortcomings of the traditional argument, of leaving intelligence to the oversight of the executive, became evident in the Report of the Kargil Review Committee” that went into the intelligence debacle before the Kargil invasion by Pakistani Army soldiers, Ansari said.

    He said given the international models of “calibrated openness to ensure oversight and accountability” in advanced democratic societies, “there is no reason why a democratic system like ours should not have a Standing Committee on Intelligence that could function on the pattern of other Standing Committees (in parliament)”.

    Since internal and external intelligence in the Indian system did not report to the same minister, the possibility of entrusting this work to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs may not meet the requirement, the vice president said, throwing open to debate an issue that is likely to find greater resonance in the political and strategic community in the coming months.

    Ansari also said that, just like in other democracies like the US and the UK, the “concerned agencies should make public their mission statement, outlining periodically their strategic intent, vision, mission, core values and their goals”.

    And, in step with the globalised information architecture, “there is a case for greater openness with regard to the history of intelligence institutions”, Ansari said.

    He said the contention that openness and public discussion would compromise the secrecy essential for intelligence needed to re-examined. While operational secrecy was essential in the functioning of the intelligence services and needed to be maintained, it was necessary that these services have “financial and performance accountability” and the proposed Standing Committee “could fill this void”.

    “It could also function as a surrogate for public opinion and thus facilitate wider acceptance of the imperatives of a situation,” he said.

    Kao, considered the guru of the Indian intelligence community, founded the RAW, the country’s external intelligence agency. He was close to then prime minister Indira Gandhi and was described by a British newspaper after his death in 2002 as a philosopher-spymaster. The Indian intelligence community honours his memory with a lecture every year.



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  3. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Old but gold

    The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : Half-baked reforms at RAW

    Praveen Swami

    Facing an exodus of key personnel and increasingly vulnerable to penetration, India's external intelligence service is beset by crisis.

    "ALL WISH to be learned," wrote the Roman satiric poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, "but few are willing to pay the price." Those who depend on India's covert services to help them negotiate an increasingly dangerous world ought to be considering the dictum with care.

    Last week, the Delhi Police arrested S.S. Paul, a computer systems operator at the National Security Council Secretariat, on charges of espionage. Intelligence Bureau counter-intelligence personnel believe Paul was passing on NSC documents to Rosanna Minchew, a Central Intelligence Agency operative who operated under cover at the United States of America's embassy in New Delhi.

    Just how serious the damage is remains unclear — NSC assessments provide an overview of India's strategic options and intentions rather than specific operational details — but the case has highlighted the growing vulnerabilities of India's covert services to the subversion of their agents. Counter-terrorism and strategic intelligence cooperation has increased since 2001 — and with it, the prospect of penetration.

    Paul is thought to have been introduced to Ms. Minchew by Mukesh Saini, a former naval officer who recently left the NSC to join the private sector. Mr. Saini was involved in the Indo-U.S. Cyber Security Forum, a body set up in 2002 that includes representatives of RAW, the IB, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Revenue Intelligence. Ms. Minchew was able to leverage the introduction to good effect.

    Lessons unlearned

    If nothing else, the espionage scandal demonstrates the absence of serious thought on the 2004 defection of Rabinder Singh, a senior RAW officer who turned out to have been a CIA mole. Singh, who among other tasks handled operations against Khalistan terrorists based outside of India, is thought to have been recruited in the course of legitimate counter-terrorism liaison with the CIA — a mirror image of the Paul case.

    Singh's activities were first detected by a middle-rank officer in RAW's operations wing itself. S Chandrashekhar — one of several key personnel who has now left the organisation to join the private sector amidst concerns about poor service conditions — drew the attention of counter-intelligence chief Amar Bhushan to the fact that Singh had been asking for information outside of his professional areas of concern.

    Singh was fed genuine but dated cipher traffic generated by the U.S. mission in Islamabad which RAW signals intelligence personnel had intercepted — and confirmed the suspicions about his conduct by promptly seeking more.

    At this point, RAW made a series of errors. Searches were carried out at RAW's offices in New Delhi, alerting Singh to the existence of a hunt for a traitor. Intelligence Bureau counter-intelligence experts were not informed of the case, even though RAW lacked the capabilities to monitor Singh's multiple phone and Internet accounts. Finally, physical surveillance against Singh was minimal, allowing him to escape through Nepal to the U.S.

    None of these decisions has ever been explained, fuelling suspicions that the real reason for RAW's opaque handling of the case were political. Before Singh was allowed to escape, RAW had after all succeeded in identifying the traitor in its ranks and built up evidence against him. But on election eve, the National Democratic Alliance simply could not afford a scandal that would call its warm relationship with the U.S. into question.

    For RAW, the latest demonstration of the vulnerabilities of India's covert services couldn't have come at a worse time. Even though Paul was employed by the NSC, RAW's computer services director, Ujjwal Dasgupta, is being investigated for failures of supervision. Dasgupta's less-than-energetic watch on his subordinate, sources say — evidence of what is being described as the worst-ever crisis of morale in the organisation.

    Frustrated by poor service conditions and promotion prospects, at least five top officers have resigned from RAW since 2003 to pursue opportunities in the private sector, an unprecedented haemorrhage of cadre. Apart from Mr. Chandrashekhar, Ashok Vajpayee, Jyoti K. Sinha, S. Chandrashekhar, Sandeep Joshi, and Vijay Tewatia are among the officers who had occupied sensitive operational positions but have chosen to leave.

    Moreover, RAW is also facing problems retaining new recruits. Of the six officers recruited by the covert organisation from the civil services in 2002, informed sources said, four have already chosen to return to their parent organisations. Given that RAW's strength of first-class officers only just exceeds a hundred, the exodus marks a significant loss of badly-needed specialists.

    Paradoxically, the exodus from RAW is in large part the consequence of efforts to reform the organisation. A core group of bureaucrats will meet later this month to consider allowing more Indian Police Service officers to serve on indefinite deputation to RAW, reflecting National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan's belief that its in-house cadre lacks the enterprise and determination to face emerging challenges.

    Experts, however, believe the proposed changes evade the real issue. RAW is exceptional amongst major covert services in maintaining no permanent distinction between covert operatives who execute secret tasks, and personnel who must liaise with services such as the CIA or public bodies, such as analysts and area specialists. As a result, personnel with sensitive operational information are exposed to potentially compromising contacts.

    Underpinning this curious state of affairs is the lure of the big prize for those who work at RAW: overseas assignments. Postings in major western capitals and training opportunities in the U.S. or Europe are seen as payoffs, not jobs. Senior officers without language or area skills often hold sensitive western postings. Typically, RAW sent senior officers abroad for hostage-negotiation training in 2000 — all of whom retired soon afterwards.

    Will bringing in more IPS officers help make RAW less vulnerable to penetration? If history is a guide, no. Several of those involved in past controversies involving RAW were individuals who came to the service from the IPS, including Samsher Singh, K.V. Unnikrishnan, and Suchit Das. Others, like Singh himself, had military backgrounds. No espionage allegations, notably, have ever been drawn by RAW's own direct recruits.

    Organisational architecture


    Organisational architecture, not individual background, is clearly the real issue. From RAW's inception in September 1968, it drew personnel with a wide spectrum of specialist skills, including scientists, civil servants, policemen and soldiers — a significant break with the IPS-led Intelligence Bureau, which evolved out of William Sleeman's East India Company-era Thugee and Dacoity Department.

    RAW's first chief, R.N. Kao, emphasised the need for his service to have its own cadre so the special professional skills it needed could be developed. Part of that legacy still survives. Unlike staff taken on deputation, directly-recruited RAW personnel must learn a foreign language, spend time with armed forces on India's frontiers and acquire what spies call "tradecraft" — special espionage-related skills.

    However, credible allegations of nepotism led the Janata Party to terminate RAW recruitment in 1977. In 1986, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi reconstituted the organisation, and all those on deputation were offered the option of joining its own cadre or leaving. But allegations of nepotism again surfaced and, under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, the Union Public Service Commission was discreetly involved in the recruitment process.

    Over time, though, the IPS again came to exercise significant influence with the organisation. Growing numbers of IPS officers remained in RAW without joining its cadre even after the expiry of their eight-year deputation.

    In some cases, there were good reasons for bending the rules. For example, one of RAW's stellar operatives in east Asia could only receive a well-earned promotion once deputation rules were bent.

    Sadly, though, influence-peddling also often played a role in IPS deputations to RAW, and its in-house cadre personnel were left feeling that their career interests were being ignored.

    While IPS leadership of the Intelligence Bureau has served that organisation well, RAW insiders argue that their organisation needs both diverse skills-sets and staff willing to commit themselves to a lifetime in the covert services.

    Action is needed to address these grievances — and to bring about the kinds of institutional reforms India's covert services desperately need. As early as 2002, former RAW officer B. Raman had asserted that "we might find one day that the sensitive establishments of this country have been badly penetrated under the guise of intelligence cooperation" — a warning that India can no longer afford to ignore.

    Intelligence Bureau director E.S.L. Narasimhan and his counter-intelligence staff deserve applause for terminating the penetration of the NSC just months after it began. Without serious reform, though, the next scandal is most likely just months away
     
  4. biswas_k6

    biswas_k6 New Member

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    :angry_6: OLD BUT GOLD. i like flowers like different colours of ross. i like sweets of different places. i like nature of different places. i like guns of new models. i like prefumes mostly costly ones. i like movies of strong background. i like sound of birds early morning. i like dark places where people talk silently. i like beds of where feelings is strong. i like peoples from fisherman. tahnking you.
    kanchan biswas.
     
  5. biswas_k6

    biswas_k6 New Member

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    KANCHAN BISWAS,KOLKATA.
    Lebanon has arrested a telecoms company transmissions engineer, Tareq Raba, on suspicion of spying for Israel. His arrest follows on the heels of last month’s arrest of Charbel Qazzi, a telecoms technician at the same state-owned cellphone company, Alfa.

    It seems very likely that Qazzi gave up Raba’s name during interrogation by Lebanese security and intelligence agents, even though authorities in Lebanon have declined to comment on this point.

    They have, however, described Raba as even more of a threat to Lebanon than Qazzi was, who allegedly gave Israel access to the entire company. With this level of access, the Israeli Mossad could reportedly monitor and trace all mobile phone users. Qazzi is also accused of allowing Israel to infect Lebanese communication systems with viruses to paralyze the system and delete entire files of data from it. Of course, this leaves us wondering how Raba could possibly have been “more dangerous.”

    Raba, 40, started working for Alfa in 1996 and is accused of spying for Israel since 2001, which upped his income by at least $20,000 a month. A local newspaper reported that he had access to all sorts of confidential technical details, including transmitter locations.

    Since April of 2009, Lebanon has made a string of spy arrests. Over 50 Lebanese and Palestinians living in Lebanon have been accused of operating on behalf of Israel, specifically helping Israel to identify targets during the 2006 war with the terrorist group Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon.

    Israel has not commented on the arrests, but Lebanon’s beginning to wonder just how far Israel has managed to infiltrate given that the telecoms companies are so closely connected to and monitored by the government. On the other hand, Lebanon feels its arrests over the past 15 months are sending the right warning signals to Israeli spies and are making dents in Israel’s intelligence pipeline. Furthermore, it seems that Lebanese authorities concur that those convicted of spying for Israel should be sentenced to death.

    While the government is busy sending harsh messages, the telecommunications ministry is trying to plug up the leaks in its industry. Apparently a third telecoms spy has been arrested, though details of his identity are not yet available, and a fourth spy fled to Israel to escape arrest.
     

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