Software to help prevent misuse of cybercafes for crime
What's common among the 26/11, the Jaipur blasts and a threatening e-mail sent to Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa some months ago?
In all three cases, the mail was generated from cybercafes.
In many such instances, the police might have ended up tracing the cafes rather than the criminals what with the cloak of anonymity they operate under.
In a bid to prevent such anonymity, a Mumbai-based firm has developed software and is offering it free of cost to the cybercafe owners and the police.
Cybercafes, defined as intermediaries in the amended Information Technology Act, 2008, are being misused for terror crimes, fraudulent withdrawal of money and sending obscene mail, among others.
This was mainly because the cafe owners failed to maintain proper user data, according to M. Krishnaswami, retail sales manager of the company.
Following the mail to the Karnataka Chief Minister, the police traced the internet protocol address and the café, but could not find out further details because the cafe owner did not maintain data, Mr. Krishnaswami said. Similarly, an e-mail sent to a Hindi television channel before the Mumbai terror attack was traced to a cafe in Rajkot.
In a bid to help curb increasing cybercrime and supplement police efforts, Ideacts Innovations, a solutions provider, launched ‘CLINCK Cyber Cafe Manager', which enables internet cafes to capture the relevant visitor data in a digital form. Once the software gets installed, the visitors would be required to register digitally, providing details of name, gender, age, address, photo, photo identification and contact number for accessing a terminal.
All data then gets encrypted and stored in the company's CLINCK servers in Mumbai, and only law enforcement authorities would have access to it.
According to Mr. Krishnaswami, 15,000 cybercafes in different parts of the country have installed the application, including 1,400 in Hyderabad, 1,000 in Bangalore, 900 in Mumbai and 850 each in Chennai and Delhi.
The company installed modules in the central crime station here and the zonal DCP's offices of the central and west zones to enable the police to quickly trace an IP address and the identity of the user in the event of a cybercrime.
The software was also installed in cybercafes in Vijayawada (190), Visakhapatnam (150), Nellore (85), Prodattur (70) and Kadapa (65).
Praveen Kumar, Joint Commissioner City Police (Special Branch), said that the café owners could install the software voluntarily.
15,000 cybercafes in country have installed the application