Kerala Police to steal a march on cybercriminals

The Home Department will set up a cyber security centre at Technopark here to monitor the Internet for divisive activities and give the law enforcement agencies a constant technological edge over cyber criminals.

The project, termed “Kerala Police Cyberdome,” is envisaged as a high-tech nodal centre for cyber security solutions and innovations. It will come up in a 5,000-sq.ft secure facility at the IT hub.

The Cyberdome will act as an online police patrol. Its officers will generate intelligence on various cyber threats in near real time and track fugitives online by monitoring their online activities, including social networking sites.

It will create a digital repository of stolen and lost vehicles and travel documents, track online payments to prevent money laundering and channelling of funds to dubious organisations and issue cyber security advisories.

A steep increase in cyber crimes has been one of the fallouts of rapid digitisation in Kerala. The State has an estimated 2.5-crore mobile phone connections, 12-lakh Internet subscribers and 30-lakh landlines. Its television density is 85 per cent, compared with the national average of 56.8.

The influence of the cyber-world on crimes reported in Kerala is on the increase. Crime-related videos and reports on the Internet have encouraged copycat crimes in the State, chiefly online advance fee frauds, dissemination of divisive ideologies among impressionable youth, cyber stalking, defamation, black mail and malicious campaigns against individuals, communities and women.

Cyber criminals who constantly update their methods have rendered most cyber-forensic tools in the police inventory obsolete. Hence, the law-enforcement agencies require to update its technology constantly to keep pace with them, senior officials say.

The police have invited various IT companies to set an example in corporate social responsibility by providing the law-enforcement agencies their latest technology free of cost or at nominal rates and experts for specific tasks.

The centre will also function as an innovation unit where new software and solutions to policing issues will be tested. It will act in tandem with the music and film industry to crack down on online piracy.

It is envisaged also as a specialised agency which will provide technical expertise to crime and anti-corruption investigators. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramanian and Inspector-General of Police Manoj Abraham are guiding the implementation of the scheme.