July 2015

Cops Set Eyes on Cyber Criminals

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Dr. Sadanand Date

Dr. Sadanand Date
Assistant Inspector General of Police

In order to tackle rising cyber crime-related cases in Uttarakhand, the cyber crime cell of the State’s police has taken several initiatives to effectively tackle such issues with trained manpower. Dr Sadanand Date, Assistant Inspector General of Police (Police Modernisation), Government of Uttarakhand, tells Vishwas Dass of Elets News Network (ENN) about the eGovernance initiatives being undertaken by the police department

What are the various IT initiatives undertaken by Uttarakhand police?

We have recently opened State’s first cyber crime police station in Dehradun to register cases related to cyber crimes, which have gone up with the advancement of technology and increasing Internet penetration in Uttarakhand. Besides, we have our Special Operations Group (SOG) for cyber crime surveillance. We are also contemplating to launch a citizens’ portal where people can lodge their complaints online so that they do not need to visit police stations.

How exactly do you manage your sole cyber crime police station and what kind of manpower it requires?

Special training is being imparted to 200 police personnel by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), based at Noida, of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) to man the Cyber Crime Police Station (CCPS). Currently, we have 35 personnel for CCPS, and once the training is completed, around 50 more would be added to the existing team. If everything goes well, the government may give its nod to open more CCPSs in the Kumaon region of the State. However, the existing CCPS is covering the entire State and registers cases like online lottery forgery, bank account hacking through telephones, exploitation through social networking sites like Facebook, micro blogging site Twitter and instant messaging apps like WhatsApp.

What are the future plans of Uttarakhand police related to eGovernance?

Are you planning to launch a mobile app as well? We are making concerted efforts to upgrade our Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and cyber lab. At present, we have taken help of FSLs of metros, but once our FSL is upgraded, we can effectively preserve cyber crime evidences forensically. There are plans to launch a mobile app but we would unveil an online citizen portal to help public lodge grievances. It would include online complaint registration, various services like verification of tenants, servants as well as lost and found services.

What is the biggest challenge of district level teams of the cyber crime wing?

Monitoring of social networking sites is one of the biggest challenges at present, as we have to rigorously keep a hawk’s eye on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. Anti-social elements often try to disturb communal harmony during elections, and then we have to work really hard to trace such elements. The State has four communally-sensitive districts—Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun, where these teams have to remain active to monitor social networking sites.

How do you keep police personnel updated on the latest ICT tools?

We often organise capacity building workshops to impart ICT-related training to our personnel. Besides, the personnel are also updated about technology advancements to keep them abreast of new gadgets. If needed, more personnel would be sent to C-DAC for training.

Special training is being imparted to 200 police personnel to man the Cyber Crime Police Station (CCPS). Currently, we have 35 personnel for CCPS, and once the training is completed, around 50 more would be added to the existing team

Do the Uttarakhand police have plans to disseminate traffic updates on Facebook or Twitter to the citizens?

We are working on it and if we get the approval, efforts would be initiated to make it possible on the lines of Delhi and Bangalore police. A few district police are already using social media to update public about their latest initiatives.

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