NEWS-INDIA: Calcutta Police to set up cyber crimes cell

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  • Subject: NEWS-INDIA: Calcutta Police to set up cyber crimes cell
  • From: Frederick Noronha <fred at bytesforall dot org>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 00:31:56 +0530
  • Organization: Freelance Journalist
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    • Calcutta Police to set up cyber crimes cell
      by Krittivas Mukherjee, India Abroad News Service
      
      Calcutta, Dec 8 - Police here are planning a "high-tech cell" of computer
      savvy officers to deal with cyber age crimes that are on the rise in the
      city.
      
      The vulnerability of the city police in matters related to cyber crimes has
      been revealed several times. But the hacking of detective department chief
      Banibrata Basu's personal Internet account has come as a big embarrassment
      for the department.
      
      "We are planning to recruit computer-savvy officials into a proposed special
      high-tech cell that can exclusively deal with cyber age crimes," Basu told
      India Abroad News Service.
      
      Formation of the "hi-tech cell" is being expedited after Basu's personal
      account with Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) was hacked. "Last week,
      when I tried to log on to the Net through my VSNL account, I found that my
      username and password were being repeatedly rejected. When I contacted the
      service providers, I was told that my account had been hacked and my
      Internet time had been stolen," the detective chief said.
      
      Basu said he had used only about five hours from the 50-hour package that he
      bought from VSNL. A week since the incident, the police were yet to gather
      any clues on the hacking.
      
      Basu admitted that the city police almost always drew a blank when
      investigating cyber crimes because of their lack of expertise in computers
      and the Internet. "Our present set-up is not equipped to deal with such
      crimes," he said, adding that since his department did not have computer
      experts, it had become impossible to understand the crime, let alone catch
      the criminals.
      
      More often than not, the police have to fall back on experts from VSNL or
      private Internet service providers (ISPs) to comprehend the nature of the
      crime and trace the offenders.
      
      Officials admitted that even provisions of the new Information Technology
      (IT) Act did not help matters because those in charge of enforcing the law
      had little knowledge of computers.
      
      The ignorance of Calcutta Police in investigating cyber crimes came to the
      fore last year when a Net-savvy businessman launched a hate site against the
      Bengali community. The police were caught napping again in July last year
      when the home page of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) was hacked and
      vandalized.
      
      However, the initial failures spurred the Calcutta Police to modernize and
      two software professionals were arrested under the IT Act last week.