Friday, December 19, 2014

Cops get licence to snoop

The Gujarat state government has given its approval to the Cyber Suraksha Kavach (CSK), a task force whose members will be police officers authorized to monitor activity on different social media. Effectively, this means the police would now be able to legally snoop on users of the internet. 

Home department officials, however, have a different take on CSK. A senior official claimed that the chief objective of the task force is to tackle cyber terrorism as most terror outfits have created their own "cyber forces". CSK will have complete operational autonomy and it will keep an eye on the internet addresses of all users visiting Jehadi websites or posting objectionable anti-India comments on social media, said the official. "This will help identify terror suspects. CSK will also track users and purveyors of pornography, pedophiles, people involved in human trafficking, child exploitation and espionage through the internet," said a senior official of the home department. 

Senior police officials, however, clarified that the emails and phone calls of a user will be scrutinized by legal means, only after he is identified as a terror suspect. "CSK will have an in-house legal cell that will advise its 60-odd officers, including 20 private cyber experts proficient in investigating suspects," said a police officer. 

Sources in the home department said that once a suspect is found involved in criminal activities, CSK will get an offence registered with the police and continue with the investigation. "Efforts are also being made to get CSK status of a police station so that its officers can register an offence and charge-sheet the accused," said a source. 

Training of CSK officers is over and office premises for it have been rented in Thaltej. "CSK will start functioning in the first half of 2015."

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