India favours setting up of portal with US to check webcrime

India has suggested setting up of a portal jointly with the US to check cybercrime such as hacking and misuse of social media platforms.

New Delhi: India has suggested setting up of a portal jointly with the US to check cybercrime such as hacking and misuse of social media platforms.

The proposal came during a two-day conference of police chiefs of India and the US held here recently and top American police officers responded positively to it.

Indian police officers have focused on the requirements of cybercrime investigations and many issues and challenges faced by police forces in getting the required information, particularly from those having servers in the US.

"We have suggested setting up of cooperation portal on cybercrime where requests can be logged and tracked," one of the police chiefs, who participated in the conference, said.

The US police officers said they too have been facing similar challenges and hoped that such a portal would be helpful for law enforcement agencies of both the countries.

There have been several instances in the past when Indian security agencies faced difficulties in tracking down perpetrators of cybercrime.

Most of the prominent service providers like Hotmail, Google, Facebook, Twitter are based in the US and a general request takes anywhere between 15 and 80 days.

Further there is no guarantee that the required information would be provided at all.

Besides, the Indian team also highlighted that in certain cases, some of the service providers did not even remove hate speeches that were considered illegal content in India.

In many instances, hate speech on various social media sites have resulted in communal violence in the country. Even in such important matters, the service providers have refused to remove content from their servers, Indian police officers said.

The two-day meet was inaugurated by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and attended by US Assistant Secretary for Policy (Homeland Security) David Heyman and US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, among others.

In the agenda papers of the conference, it was stated that India, which ranks fifth in the world in the number of cyber crime, has seen hacking of 9,000 websites in three years and thus, posing a serious threat to the government.

Cyber criminals are now moving beyond computers and attacking mobile hand-held devices such as smart phones and tablets, it said.

Both sides also deliberated on social chatting sites including WhatsApp, BBM and We Chat besides Internet-based video sites and how to stop their misuse.

The availability of their web servers in India is required for lawful interception of the communications in real time or near real time manner for timely action by the security and intelligence agencies, the Indian team has suggested.