GUWAHATI, March 13 - Cyber crime has emerged as a disturbing development in Assam, with its incidence witnessing a spurt in the past few years. This calls for specialised monitoring of cyberspace but cyber crime cases often go unaddressed due to constraints of forensic infrastructure and trained police personnel.
Assam recorded 533 cyber crime cases in 2013 and 2014. According to 2013 data, the incidence of cyber crime jumped by 450 per cent compared to the previous year�s figure, recording 154 cyber crime cases, while the number of persons arrested was just two. In 2014, cyber crime rate jumped by 146.10 per cent, with a total of 379 cases. A corresponding improvement, though, marked the number of the arrested, which stood at 351. But the conviction rate was not encouraging.
According to Cyber Crime Awareness and Victim Counselling Assam (CCAVCA), an NGO engaged in combating cyber crime, dissemination of information for responsible and informed usage of cyber technologies is critical to building capacities to prevent and deal with incidences of cyber crime more effectively.
�Given the surge in cyber crime across the country, the need is to create a safe cyber netizen society. We are imparting basic and advanced knowledge of usable technology in cyber space and educating the people about cyber crime, focusing on the legal implications and structures behind the cyber space,� Md Shahbaaz Hussain, director, CCAVCA, told The Assam Tribune.
Urging internet-users to be more careful in using social media, Hussain said that 81 per cent of internet-initiated crime involved social networking sites, mainly Facebook and Twitter. The common crimes comprised cyber stalking, cyber defamation, phishing and vhishing, and website defacement in private and government sectors.
�In Assam, a large segment is unaware that they are already being victimised by cyber criminals, with crimes going unreported and the criminals roaming free. I also urge parents to communicate with their children and keep an eye on their online activities so they may not fall victim of cyber bullying, cyber pornography, cyber stalking, hacking and defamation,� he added.
Terming the rise of ATM fraud as a serious concern as it causes huge financial loss, Hussain said that SBI customers were among the more targeted and victimised. �Guwahati has witnessed a number of such frauds and we are likely to launch a cyber crime reporting portal which will also include mobile apps where people can get news updates/preventive measures/technical advice/legal help,� he said.
India recorded a staggering 15,315 cyber crime cases in 2013 and 2014, while the number of persons arrested was 9,053. While the data for 2015 has not been officially out yet, experts believe it would reach the three lakh mark.
Hussain said that CCAVCA was also partnering with police and other bodies engaged in fighting cyber crime, providing training and investigative support to the agencies involved in prevention, investigation and prosecution of cyber crime.
Another area of focus, he added, concerned assistance on legal matters implications and psychological counselling to victims of cyber crime.
�We have organised awareness campaigns at various educational institutions to build capacities, especially for the youth who happens to be the most vulnerable segment vis-�-vis cyber crime. Our orientation programmes on cyber crime for investigation officer of Assam Police is on, and so far eight districts have been covered,� he said.
CCAVCA is also into research for developing cyber security frameworks, tools, software solutions, projects, advanced information technology (IT) products and technologies.