Conviction rate in city, which tops the country in the number of cyber crime complaints, is zero

In six months, Bangalore will have its own cyber lab. With technical help and support from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Thiruvananthapuram, the lab will focus on analysing cyber forensic data, said FSL Director (in-charge) and Additional Commissioner (Traffic and Security) B. Dayanand.

Mr. Dayanand said an MoU was signed with C-DAC a fortnight ago. The cyber lab will be the only one in the State, and will be supplemented by six proposed cyber crime police stations.

The proposed lab comes at a time when cyber crime conviction rates in Bangalore, which tops the country in the number of cyber crime complaints registered, are at an abysmal zero.

While for successive years the National Crime Records Bureau recorded cyber crimes as a climbing statistic, the number of convictions in the category had been zero since 2001.

“With the growing interface between the physical and the cyber world, it is the right time to set up the lab,” said Mr. Dayanand. He added that the project, slated to cost Rs. 1 crore, would have six people deployed to handle forensic analysis of cyber data. “They will be trained by C-DAC for a few months. Also, the certification provided by this cyber lab can be submitted in court as evidence.”

How is the lab different?

Currently, there is one technical unit in the CID cell that only looks at the investigation aspect, along with providing training to police personnel. But, officials say, the proposed cyber lab would be the only one in the State that will focus exclusively on the analysis of data and forensic samples.

A cyber-security expert, on condition of anonymity, said that tenders had been called for equipment for the cyber lab. “As it will focus on analysis, it is important to have updated technology. We are waiting for approval from the government,” he said.

He added that a cyber appellate tribunal should also be set up in Bangalore.

Associate Director of the Cyber Forensics Wing, C-DAC, K.L. Thomas told The Hindu that at least five persons from the FSL in Bangalore would arrive there for training. “The lab will be set up in six months and the FSL personnel will be trained not only in analysis of data, but also to identify evidence, securely acquire data and report the findings to a court of law,” he said, adding that they would cover a range of forensics including network and mobile forensics.

He said C-DAC had previously set up similar labs in Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Superintendent of Police (Cyber Crime), D. Roopa said that apart from the cyber lab, six cyber-crime police stations are being set-up in Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Gulbarga, Belgaum and Davangere.

“With criminals being one step ahead, we need to constantly upgrade our technology and need a sophisticated environment. We need more software tools for forensic analysis,” she said.

Common cases

The cyber crime cell has received approximately 25 cases since January this year. Ms. Roopa says that most of the complaints they receive pertain to illegal transfer of money online, credit card fraud and receiving obscene or defamatory messages. “However, not all cyber crime cases come directly to the cell as many of them are registered in the jurisdictional police stations under the IT Act,” she added.

The SP said that the conviction rate has remained nil since 2001 either due to lack of circumstantial evidence or non-cooperation by witnesses/complainants. Many of these cases are charge sheeted as well.

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