Computer Crime Research Center


Prove your identity for surfing in cyber cafes

Date: November 15, 2004
Source: Business Standart
By: Press Trust Of India

Internet surfers in over 50,000 cyber cafes across Karnataka now need to show an identity proof before they browse the web.

The state government with an aim to prevent the misuse of the net by criminals has made it mandatory for cyber cafes to have a record of all net users, failing which police can impound the license of the Internet parlours.

“We are introducing this law to check anti-social elements and anti-national activities. Internet is a great medium for communication, but people can also carry out a lot of such (illegal) activities through the web,” state IT secretary K N Shankaralinge Gowda said.

A surfer needs to display his identity card at the cyber parlour or be photographed by a web camera by the attendent before he logs on to the net. His image and records have to be compulsorily maintained for a year, a notification by the state IT department says.

Karnataka, which set up India’s first cyber crime police station, is also ahead of other states to make it mandatory for cyber cafe owners to maintain records of its users, evoking fears that the move could turn into an instrument for police harassment.

“We want to do it without disturbing the users and in no way will we interfere with their privacy,” Gowda said.

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