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    In first-of-its-kind move, government mulls mobile blocking to curb cyber crime


    In first-of-its-kind move, government mulls mobile blocking to curb cyber crime

    New Delhi, Dec 15: In what may turn out to be a first-of-its-kind move, the government is looking at the option of blocking mobile numbers involved in cyber crimes, on a real-time basis.

    The plan is discussed by Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as part of a larger plan to effectively tackle cyber crime.

    MHA officials said the government is also considering creating a national-level cyber-crime database to identify and track criminals.

    There is a National Cyber Crime Reporting portal through which citizens can report cyber crimes. Officials say the plan is to make the portal more effective.

    An official said the proposal to block mobile numbers was made in the recent DGP-IGP conference attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

    Prevention and detection of cyber crime has to be a priority, for which a national-level mechanism is nedeed to track, block and recover money from fraudsters.

    It is needed also to block numbers and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) involved in such frauds in real time. IMEI is a 15-digit number unique to each mobile device.

    Also on the government’s agenda is stricter Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for banks, wallet providers and Telecom Service Providers.

    This move is likely to curb, to a large extent, cyber crimes such as financial frauds, stalking, data theft, online harassment, fake news and misinformation campaigns.

    Rising number of cyber crimes in India is hampering plans of promoting digitisation in the country, said a senior government functionary.

    “Digistisation is the way forward and a lot of people are enjoying the benefits of the digital push. But banking frauds are discouraging some people from relying on the online route. Therefore, curbing cyber crime is one of the priorities of the government.”

    Besides bringing framework changes in the mechanism to deal with cyber crimes, efforts are being made to improve inter-agency and inter-state coordination for effectively controlling cyber crimes and also to create awareness.

    India recorded 50,035 cases of cyber crime in 2020 — a jump of 11.8% in such offences over the previous year. (Indian Express)

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