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Cyber crime on the rise in Bangalore

December 11, 2007 18:43 IST

What do you when you receive an obscene mail? You delete the mail and then block the sender. It may sound simple, but if cyber crime officials are to be believed, it amounts to destruction of evidence.

The officials say their job is becoming tougher as people are not willing to cooperate with them. The cases of web abuse are on the rise in Bangalore, but the number of cases that are finally reported are very few, because victims try and find their own solution to the problem.

In Bangalore, there have been around 50 cases lying with the cyber cell. The officials say they are sure such cases are on the rise, but unfortunately are not reported. This trend among the victims is only giving rise to people being encouraged in sending more such obscene mails to their female colleagues.

The cops say it is always better to report such incidents immediately in the interest of putting an end to this problem. The police have on several occasions found that evidence has been wiped out after a complaint is registered.

People generally tend to delete the mails and then give a complaint. The police say that there is a need to make deleting of such mail punishable as it leads to destruction of evidence. This provision ought to be incorporated in the Information Technology Act on the lines of the Indian Penal Code, the police feel.

The police say apart from complaints regarding obscene mails there are also cases of obscene SMSes.

There have been around 20 such cases reported so far although the cops are sure that there are many more cases doing the rounds. Even in these cases, the messages are deleted by the victim thus making the job even more difficult.

Take the case of Anita Raman, an employee in a reputed firm. She was receiving obscene emails from a person for almost three months. On several occasions she had complained to her seniors who persuaded her to delete the mails and forget about it. However two months later she reported the matter to the cyber crime cell. The person, a 15-year-old boy was tracked down to the Jayanagar area in Bangalore and was using a cyber café to send these mails. He was her neighbour.

The police said in this case, they were fortunate that she had not deleted the mails and more importantly, the cyber café had taken down details of the boy before permitting him to use the net. According to the law, all cyber cafes have to make a note of the information of the person using the parlour.

The Bangalore police say it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to track down cases relating to cyber crime as several cyber cafes are not following the mandatory norm of taking down information.

The police have warned of raids in future on internet parlours and in case they are not found maintaining records, then steps will be taken to cancel the license, they say.

The police feel that there is a need to spread more awareness among the people regarding cyber crime. A relatively new subject and hence the people are unaware of their rights when it comes to such issues, says an inspector in the cyber crime cell.

There are plans on visiting firms in the city and making people more aware of the law, the cops say.

They also say that there is no need for victims to go all the way to the cyber crime wing to file a complaint. They could file it in any Mahila police station or at the jurisdictional police station. These stations have been directed to forward such complaints directly to the cyber crime wing, they say.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore