After realising how easy it was for one of their own personnel to access and abuse their software-based infrastructure and seek call detail records (CDRs) of various influential persons, the Delhi Police seem to have finally woken up.
Passwords of email accounts have been changed post-haste, talks of instituting bio-metric identification attachments to machines meant for ‘official communication’ are under way and several checks have been put in place for access to CDRs of post-paid phone numbers.
“We are currently in talks with a private IT services provider whose assistance we will need to install biometric identification machines on all our official systems,” said an officer.
“The objective is to ensure that these machines are only accessible if and when the designated officer consents and supplies his fingerprint(s) to it.”
However, with at least one such ‘official’ computer installed across each of its 161 territorial police stations, around a dozen of these at 11 districts and another dozen or so at offices of specialised units such as the crime branch and the special cell, the system is expected to come-up later rather than sooner.
In the meantime, however, verbal instructions have been issued to ensure that CDRs of post-paid phone numbers are asked for and accessed only in ‘special cases’.
“During most cases in which technical surveillance needs to be mounted, criminals have been found to be using prepaid phone numbers instead of post-paid ones. So why take the risk?” asked the officer.
“However, if there is an overarching need to access the CDRs of post-paid numbers, the investigating officer will need to route his request to the telecom service provider through the joint CP of his range or unit.”
The police have also evolved a strict no-tolerance policy for those found even remotely misusing a Delhi Police computer: show-cause notices will follow in addition to complaints shot straight to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) depending on the rank of the officer.
“In the case of an erring officer, we will institute a departmental enquiry on our own, DANIPS officers will be complained against to the Delhi Government and the MHA will be informed in the case of IPS officers,” said the officer.