New web of rules to trap Net users

The regulations require owners to register their establishment as a cybercafe with a “Registration Agency,” maintain detailed logs, and compulsorily put up a board asking the users not to surf pornography.

The cafe will have to maintain a log of users containing name, address, gender, contact number, and details of the identification document, computer terminal identification, log-in and log-out time, and prepare a monthly report of the log register, datewise. The cybercafe owner also has to maintain a history of websites accessed, and logs of a proxy server installed at the cafe.

The sweeping restrictions come even as cybercafes in the City are yet to comply with the rules now in operation. Many flout the mandatory requirement to collect identity details of the customers.

Chandramouli, the owner of a cybercafe near MS Ramaiah College, does not like the idea of blocking certain sites. He contends: “If I restrict websites, I fear nobody would come here. I would face a heavy loss.”

On the contrary, Reliance Web World strictly abides by the rules. Even before the laws were introduced, they made it a point to check the identity of customers and preserve contact details. Pornographic sites are blocked along with other illegal websites.

Some feel the new laws may provide an easy way to track subversive activities. It would help to find illegal website domains, block them and penalise the persons browsing them.

However, one might change their perspective. “I believe that storing the browsing history, even for a short period, would definitely give way for easy hacking,” said Auroshika Rath.

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