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Nasik police to play Big Boss for net voyeurs

In a first of its kind initiative in India to tackle cyber crime, Nasik police will now keep track of cyber cafe visitors, reports Zeeshan Shaikh.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2007 00:57 IST

In a first of its kind initiative in India to tackle cyber crime, Nasik police will now be able to keep an electronic eye on the users of the various cyber cafes spread over the city.

The pilot project, which is being run by the Nasik police in assocaition with software company Rhombus, will allow the polices' cyber crime cell to keep a real time photo record of all the users who have visited the cyber cafe and the time they have spent there.

"Cyber cafes have emerged as hot spots for cyber crimes. Even terrorists prefer the anonymity of a cyber cafe to communicate with each other. Our purpose in asking cyber cafes to install this software is that it will allow the police to know who has visited the cyber cafe and the time he has spent there. Even though cyber crime can't be stopped by this it would be a big help in tracking down offenders," Nasik's Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy told HT.

The software called Webcafe will be provided by the Nasik police to all the cyber cafes in the city. The new software would allow the cyber cafe owner to click the photograph of every customer entering the cyber cafe. The owner can also fill in the customers name, address and identity proof in his server.

The cyber cafes server would be connected to a central server located at the police headquarters where all this information will be directly uploaded giving the police real time access to information about people sitting on the various cyber cafes.

At present under Section 188 of the IPC cyber cafe owners have to keep a manual record about every visitor to their cyber cafe. Cyber Cafe
owners also allege harrasment by the police who come frequently to check the records.

"This software is helpful as it will directly upload all the information on the server of the police. This means that we would be less susceptible to harrasment by constables who frequently barge into cyber cafes," a cyber cafe owner who did not wish to be identified said.

Meanwhile the software also has the provisions of tracking websites visited by the users and tracing mails.

"The software has the provisions of tracking emails and websites visited. However, these provisions have been turned off as they infringe on a persons' privacy," Roy said.

Meanwhile Rhombus' director Rupesh Doshi said that the company is in talks with the Mumbai and Thane police who are also keen to install
the software in the various cyber cafes in these cities.

First Published: Apr 23, 2007 23:18 IST