Guarding the net-users


Mumbai is India’s first city to have a dedicated cyber crime police station.

The widening usage of social media, online financial transactions and applications, internet correspondence and e-governance is increasingly falling prey to website hacking, software piracy, impersonation, identity theft, online and credit card fraud, cyber stalking and cyber pornography. Seized of this relatively new genre of crime, the Department of Police in the financial capital of India has established a police station that has been specially equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and devices to aid in the handling of cases on offences committed in cyberspace.

This coastal metropolis of 24 million is not exactly crime-ridden for a city its size, but it does have a vibrant underworld that perpetrates the gamut of criminal activities. Mumbai has besides been scarred by two of the most violent and first of their kind terror attacks in present times, the 13 serial bomb explosions on 12 March 1993 in different parts of the city that killed 257 and injured 1,400, and the 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks by 10 terrorists lasting four days in November 2008 that took a toll of 174 and wounded a further 293, both attacks conducted by Islamic extremists.

“Online crimes are on the surge with organised cyber criminals devising numerous ways to dupe victims,” notes Commissioner of Police, Datta Padsalgikar. “It is thus vital that we have dedicated personnel to deal with the menace.” The Mumbai police are taking steps by way of precautionary instructions posted on their website as well as through public interaction to make internet users aware about safety measures they should keep in mind and how dearly any ignorance, oversight or mistake can cost them. Padsalgikar says his police force is also partnering with all stakeholders, including educational institutions and industry bodies, in bringing awareness to larger audiences.

Such threats will expand exponentially as connectivity increases and services converge on mobile-ready devices and connections. India is the world’s fastest growing smartphone market and a global mobile data traffic forecast by California-based networking solutions giant Cisco Systems, Inc. projects the number of smartphones in the country to increase from 140 million to 651 million by 2019 and of tablets, from 2.03 million to 18.7 million. Overall, there will be 895.6 million mobile users by 2019, up from 590.3 million in 2014, while globally, the report forecasts their numbers to grow from 4.3 billion to 5.2 billion in that period.

Law enforcement across the country is being preened for the vastly ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme envisaged by the government. Whether it is interfacing with citizens, businesses or within the government, the fundamental principle is to ensure that all government services and information are available anywhere, anytime, and on any device that is easy-to-use, seamless, highly-available and secured. The government is mindful of the fact that digitally enabled economies grow faster than the others, a case in point being China. ‘Digital India’ aims at restructuring several existing schemes to bring in a transformative impact by leveraging proven technologies like Cloud, Machine-to- Machine (M2M), Analytics, Mobile (web-based interface), Social and Security…Click HERE to find out more about this article