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New regulation mooted to control cyber crime

BS Regional Bureau in Mumbai | August 21, 2003 11:13 IST

The Mumbai police department is drafting a regulation that will place the onus on Internet service providers to prove their innocence if the connections provided by them are misused by the users.

I M Zahid, a senior police inspector with the Gamdevi police station, said, "We are preparing the draft regulation that stipulates the ISPs to adhere to certain norms while conducting their business. For instance, only majors who furnish a photo identity card may be allowed to surf the Net. Similarly, minors should not be allowed to access the Internet in private cubicles. They should also be accompanied by adults while accessing the Internet."

The Gamdevi police station on Wednesday became the first in the state to commission a cyber library.

Among other rules being formulated, the ISPs would also be required to put in place filtering software at the user end, store information for a stipulated period of time, intercept messages in certain cases, maintain call-station identities by recording them.

Zahid said, "During the course of investigations into the operations of the Al Quaida network, it was discovered that many of the video images that were aired on the Al Jazeera news channel were in fact stored as text files that were hidden in the image files of a hard disc in an encrypted form. Many of the operatives of this terrorist group had access to these and other messages through passwords they were provided. Similarly, during raids conducted by the Mumbai police on cyber cafes, we came across similarly coded image files that contained, in one instance, family pictures."

Launching the Gamdevi cyber library, Ahmad Javed, joint commissioner of police, said, the purpose of the library was to enhance the knowledge base of sleuths investigating such crimes.

"At present, the instances of cyber crimes are low, with only around 20 cases registered with the Mumbai police over the last two years. However, with growing connectivity levels, we are keen to be in preparedness to meet the challenges of increasing Net crimes."

Vijay Kalantri, president of All India Association of Industries, said 12 more cyber libraries are expected to be set up in police stations through out the state as part of the joint initiative between the Mumbai police and his association.

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