Monitor 'deep web' to tackle cyber crimes: MHA to states

Last Updated 16 January 2018, 09:33 IST

To tackle the "border-less" world of cyber crimes, the Centre has asked states to set up systems to monitor "deep web" which is often used for planning and execution of nefarious activities by criminals.

It also wants the states to set up or strengthen its existing social media monitoring facilities with special emphasis on vernacular content, as a lot of such information are being passed through WhatsApp, Twitter and other social media tools to incite trouble.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has now sent an 'advisory on cyber crime prevention and control' to all states insisting on the need for gearing up institutional mechanism to tackle cyber crimes, which pose "technical, administrative as well as legal challenges" in investigations.

It wants the states to have domain experts in information technology, mobile telephony, digital forensics and cyber law "hired from the market" in the cyber crime coordination cell at state level as well as district cyber crimes.

With criminals using "deep web", which is part of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard web search engines, to further their agenda, the states should also set up cloud-based high-tech cyber forensic labs.

As part of preventive measures, the MHA has also asked states to maintain a list of suspect profiles for monitoring, especially busting rackets of child pornography, human trafficking and blackmailing.

Cyber crimes is increasing in the country with latest figures showing it has touched 12,317 in 2016 compared to 11,592 in 2015 and 9,622 in 2014. Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 2,639 cases in 2016 followed by Maharashtra (2,380) and Karnataka (1,101) last year.

According to Crime in India 2016, a report by Ministry of Home Affairs, 48.6% of cyber-crimes reported in India were for illegal gain (5,987) followed by revenge (1,056) and insult to the modesty of women (686 cases). Blackmailing was the motive in 571 such cases, while inciting hate crimes (149) also had high numbers.

The MHA wants the states to leverage support of private sector and civil society in gathering information and apply "intelligence-led" policing to pre-empt cyber crimes.

The states have also been asked to refer specific cases which have inter-state or international ramifications to the CBI, which is also the nodal point for Interpol in the country. Training of sufficient number of police officers in cyber crime investigation, forensic analysis and legal aspects is also emphasised by the MHA.

On awareness drives, the advisory said there should be regular campaigns advising people not to share user ID, password, PIN numbers or One-Time Passwords.  

(Published 16 January 2018, 09:08 IST)

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