Sunday, January 18, 2015

CM Fadnavis beefs up Maha's cybercrime policy with 1,000 trained cops

In a bid to tackle cybercrime in the state, Maharashtra Government has decided to give more power to its cybercrime cell. Just three months after assuming office, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has decided to revamp the cyber policy of Maharashtra.

Last week, Fadnavis, in a meeting with state government officials and Mumbai police, decided to set up a 1000-member cybercrime cell, in order to deal with cybercrimes such as hacking, identity theft, and stalking.
The government will create 100 new posts in the Mumbai police to deal with online crimes. The team will track online banking frauds, cyber terrorism, social media harassment, and more.

These police officials will also undergo training, which will be carried out in partnership with industry experts. As part of the plan, the police will be provided with well-equipped labs and systems.

Kaustubh Dawase, officer on special duty in the chief minister’s office, will drive the initiative, along with police commissioner Rakesh Maria’s office, according to Hindustan Times report.

“The city and its metropolitan region have internet traffic in the range of 15GB a second. At present, we have little idea of what is happening and can happen on the web. With all government and private deals, from direct cash transfer for social subsidies to bank deals, happening online, there is no choice but to completely modernise our cyber policing,” HT quoted a senior home department official saying, adding a presentation on the project could be made to the CM.

According to Home Ministry statistics, hacking, publication of obscene contents, credit card and banking frauds among other cybercrimes have registered an annual increase of more than 40 percent in the country in the past two years. And, as many as 71,780 cyber frauds were reported in 2013, while 22,060 such cases were reported in 2012. There have been 62,189 incidents of cyber frauds till June 2014. While, a recent Assocham-Mahindra SSG study findings showed that total number of cybercrimes registered during 2014 stood at 1,49,254.

And, a total of 907 cybercrime cases were registered only in Maharashtra in 2013, according to CID's latest report.

With increasing use of information technology (IT) enabled services such as e-governance, online business and electronic transactions, protection of personal and sensitive data have assumed paramount importance. The Assocham-Mahindra SSG study has even warned that the number of cybercrimes in the country may double to 3 lakh in 2015, posing serious economic and national security challenges.

With cybercrimes rate rising at an alarming rate, the matter requires urgent intervention from both state and central governments. And, in a fight against cybercrime, CM Fadnavis's new policy seems to be going in the right direction.

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