AP Police log in experts to crack cyber crimes | india | Hindustan Times
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AP Police log in experts to crack cyber crimes

With Investigating Officers lacking the expertise to deal with cyber crimes, Andhra Pradesh Police have roped in information technology experts to help them overcome the hurdle by providing proper training.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2011 11:12 IST

With Investigating Officers (IOs) lacking the expertise to deal with cyber crimes, Andhra Pradesh Police have roped in information technology experts to help them overcome the hurdle by providing proper training.

Insufficient expertise with the IOs was a big hurdle in probing such cases and these officers were not adequately trained in investigation of cyber offences and collection of electronic evidence, Additional Superintendent of Police (Cyber Crime) U Rama Mohan said here.

Cyber crime inquiry requires tracking the offender who sends a particular e-mail or fraudulent bank transaction over the Internet. If the IO does not have the proper skill, he will find it difficult to track and nab the criminal, he said.

Crime scene preservation, search and seizure of electronic evidence require a different approach than that of conventional method, Mohan added.

The police have taken up various training programmes with the help of experts in IT law. However, there still are practical problems in the enforcement of cyber law due to issues like jurisdiction, collection of evidence and inadequate knowledge about cyber laws, he said.

Besides training police personnel to deal with the new age crime, there was a need for orienting judicial magistracy and prosecutors to appreciate the special conditions and technical aspects of evidence relating to cyber law, he said.

There is a need to be sensitised to appreciate the "electronic evidence" presented in the courts. Some legal officers may not have proper knowledge of computer jargons like IP address, full header, hacking or e-banking, he said.

Certain offences like phishing (a practice of using fraudulent e-mails and copies of legitimate websites to extract financial data from computer users for purposes of identity theft) and cyber stalking may appear relatively new to some investigators, who need to be trained to deal with such cases, the officer said.

On the issue of jurisdiction, Mohan said police operate within local boundaries, focusing on crime occurring within their area. "But the global nature of Internet and cyber space brings together the offenders, victims and targets, who were otherwise situated in different countries."

Often the cyber offences span beyond national boundaries, making it difficult for investigators to collect evidence and apprehend the culprit, he said.

CrPC provides for writing Letter Rogatory (LR) and seek information from abroad and also process requests coming from other countries. But the process of securing evidence through LR was lengthy and time-consuming. This delay allows the offender to repeat his offences with impunity, he said.

The Government should have Mutual Legal Assistance treaties with a large number of countries to ensure speedy probe of cyber crime, said Mohan, who was a forensic expert.

At present three cyber crime police stations are functional in Andhra Pradesh, an IT hub with Hyderabad as the main centre. While CID cyber crime station was set up in 2002, one in Hyderabad and another under jurisdiction of Cyberabad Commissionerate were working since last year.