The controversial post on a popular social networking site that resulted in the death of one person and extensive damage to property in Pune was uploaded using four proxy servers located in Romania, Saudi Arabia and two other countries. The IP address of the user is, however, yet to be traced.
Highly-placed sources in the state police told HT on Thursday that following a request made through the government of India to the host server (the social networking site server) in the United States, the hosts sent a report on Thursday based on their primary findings.
“The findings show that the offensive contents were uploaded using four proxy servers located in four countries. It looks like the user took every precaution to erase his trail,” sources said, adding, “finding the user’s IP address is like finding a needle in a haystack. But, we are not giving up.”
To take the investigation further, sources said the police were writing to countries (and companies) where these servers are located, asking them to find the IP address of the user. “The user could be from anywhere in India or abroad. It is anyone’s guess. However, we hope these countries cooperate in the investigation,” sources said while replying to a question about the probability of tracking down the IP address.
Meanwhile, internet guru Vijay Mukhi said the chances of tracing the IP address “as it stands today” is zero. “However, we will have a fighting chance in the upper zone of 70% if there is a strong will on the part of the government and their readiness to spend money on it,” he said.
Speaking about how the user could have accessed so many proxy servers to upload the post, Mukhi said programmes such as ‘Tor’ that gives access to the user to as many as three proxies might have come in handy in this case too.
Recently, the cyber cell of the Mumbai police identified 650 such hate pages/websites and has already succeeded in deleting/blocking 500 of them. Cyber investigators said they were probing other possibilities in the incident considering this was one of its instances of a web page that started with positive content before hate and derogatory content started being uploaded.