The West Bengal government is set to crack the whip on cyber crimes by bringing in some amendments in the existing state cyber law.
At present opening a call center in the state only requires a trade licence from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and approval from the Software Technology Park of India. The state IT department was left out of the loop.
According to state information technology minister Debesh Das, there have been incidents of cyber crimes, where call centres were “found to have an active role”.
“The proposed amendments will hopefully help us put a final stop on the mushrooming growth of such call centres in and around the city,” Das added.
The government was also thinking of developing a special software to block, if any call centre tries to pass on secret data to other countries and intelligence services.
“The development process is already on and we are hopeful to get the new software installed by 2007,” Das said.
The minister is in favour of emulating the Jadavpur University model, which uses open source software extensively for VLSI research. “When I joined the ministry, the question of open source was not a question of choice or hobby. I am compelled to use open source. If I don't use it, I don't see a good future for my state,” he said.
Das also pointed out that the Maharashtra government has saved around Rs 90 crore using the open source Open Office productivity software. “Software patents hurt the Indian software industry, and could have a negative, crippling effect on the open source model,” he said.
The government, even have aspersions that these call centres are paid hefty amount in foreign exchange for passing official state secrets to other countries.
“Some of them might have direct links with anti-national groups. So we are taking all security measures into account so that no other call-centre, in future, could even thought of getting involved in such activities,” Das said.