Crime Branch Advisory
The Nigerian Scam
Mumbai Police can now nail web offenders
11 March 2007
Landmark deal signed with
Orkut to share ip addresses and help arrest those posting objectionable
Mumbai, March 10: Anti-Shivaji forums
or anti-Ambedkar postings or “hate India” campaigns
on Google’s social networking site, Orkut, have been confounding
our authorities for quite sometime now. Other than blocking the
objectionable forums, the Mumbai Police could do little—except
wait for the next one to pop up on the web, say, a “fan club”
of wanted underworld dons like Dawood Ibrahim or Chhota Shakeel.
But not any more. The Mumbai Police
is finally equipped to track down such offenders and bring them
to book. A single e-mail between the DCP in charge of the Enforcement
Branch and the California-based company will now nail such persons.
Following a meeting between representatives
of the site and the Enforcement Directorate last month, the Mumbai
Police and Orkut have entered into an agreement to seal such cooperation
in matters of objectionable material on the web.
“Early February, I met three
representatives from Orkut.com, including a top official from the
US. The other two were from Bangalore. We reached a working agreement
whereby Orkut has agreed to provide us details of the ip address
from which an objectionable message or blog has been posted on the
site and the Internet service provider involved,” said DCP
Enforcement, Sanjay Mohite.
That the measure is fool-proof is
evident from the fact that an encrypted code has also been agreed
upon for such communication to prevent people from posing as the
Mumbai Police and laying their hands on such information from Orkut.
“I am also going to hold a
meeting with all Internet service providers to stress the need to
share information. We are also hoping to rope in U Tube in the future,”
Earlier, if a complaint regarding
objectionable content was received, the police would contact the
computer emergency response team, a government body based in New
Delhi, and ask it to block the concerned web page. They did not
have any way to track down the culprits.
“It was almost out of the question
to track down the person who posted the material as we would have
to go through the CBI to get basic information from Orkut as they
are based in the US. The entire process of letter rogatory would
come into play. But now we can take action on any content posted
on the site from India,” he explained.
Mohite talks of a citizen who had
complained to the police in November regarding a photograph of her
posted on Orkut, along with derogatory text.
“She provided us the name of
a suspected, but we did not have any proof. After the new agreement
was reached, we asked Orkut for the details of the concerned ip
address. They replied instantly and we nailed the culprit, who turned
out to be the suspect,” said Mohite.