Social media lab to keep tabs on online activity

It will be up and running in the first quarter of this year

January 15, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:34 am IST

In the first initiative of its kind in the city, a social media lab will be set up by the Bengaluru police division to monitor activities on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The police plan to have the lab up and running in the first quarter of this year.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Abhishek Goyal, who will be heading the lab, said: “Social media is becoming increasingly important and so we need to keep a watch on these forums and monitor them. It will be an independent entity and not a part of any other police division.”

In December last year, the city police arrested Mehdi Masroor Biswas, alleged to be a pro-Islamic State tweeter, on suspicion of cyber terrorism. While cyber crime may not be addressed through the lab, it would help the police monitor activity online and pick up on suspicious activity, said Mr. Goyal.

Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi said the lab would be run by the Bengaluru police team and CCB officials aided by experts. Apart from monitoring social media forums, complaints received through social media could also be addressed by the lab members. However, police officials declined to comment on the level of expertise they are building. For instance, issues such as interception of Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Skype calls, and WhatsApp messages have been left unanswered.

Reporting by Vinayashree Jagadeesh

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