Computer Crime Research Center


Cafes yet to follow guidelines to combat cyber crime in Siliguri

Date: August 25, 2008

SILIGURI, Aug.24: Days after three children were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast at Shantipara in Siliguri, weeks after the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) raided a flat in Navi Mumbai after tracing the IP address of the persons who sent a threat e-mail minutes before the Ahmedabad blasts, and months after the police in Ghaziabad detained the owner of a cyber cafe from where an email claiming responsibility for the Jaipur blasts was sent, the authorities in Siliguri have not acted promptly.

They are yet to issue the guidelines, which they have already received from the West Bengal government, to the cyber café owners in the sub-division asking them to keep a detailed identity record of the customers and keep a close vigil on the activities of the customers while surfing the Internet. While a few Internet café owners in the town and its outskirts are keeping records of the identities of surfers, the others are waiting for an official order to arrive. “Unless we receive a guideline from the administration, it will not be possible for us to maintain a register book and keep a detailed identity record of our Internet users,” declared Mr Sanjit Dutta, the owner of one of the biggest net cafes in Hakimpara, who feared that an attempt to obtain the identity proof of their customers at this stage might lead to a fall in their business.

Mr Tanmoy Chaudhury, the owner of a café in Subhashpally, said that to check cyber crimes they were recording the identity of their customers in a scanner. “If we had the official guidelines with us, we could have requested our net users to bring photocopies of their identity cards with them. We would not have to incur a huge expense on scanning,” he pointed out. Mr Amitava Kundu, who owns the biggest cyber café in Bidhan Market, said that though he had a Xerox machine at his café, he was finding it extremely difficult to convince his customers to submit a copy of their identity cards to him.

Mrs Smita Pandey, sub-divisional officer, Siliguri informed that the guidelines which they had received from the state government could not be implemented because the Siliguri Municipal Corporation had failed to provide them the names and addresses of the Internet cafes in the sub-division.

“We have issued instructions to all the six police stations under our jurisdiction to submit us the details of the cafes in their areas and we hope to get them soon,” she said.
While the administration prepares to implement the guidelines, the masses in the region remain vulnerable to terrorist attacks and Internet crimes.

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