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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June, 2005, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
India calls for tough cyber laws
Generic call centre worker in India
The Sun alleged it was sold data by an Indian IT worker
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked his officials and IT experts to consider changes in existing cyber security laws in the country.

He was speaking after recent allegations in a British tabloid of an Indian call centre fraud.

The Sun claimed that bank details of 1,000 British customers were sold to an undercover reporter by a Delhi-based Indian IT worker.

The worker named by the newspaper has denied the allegations.

'High standards'

On Wednesday, Mr Singh chaired a meeting of top government officials and representatives of India's National Association of Software and Service Companies to review steps taken to curb cyber crime.

He asked them to suggest changes in existing laws if necessary to "ensure that any break of secrecy, any illegal transfer of commercial or other privileged information and any other form of cyber crime is made a punishable offence", a statement released by his office says.

Manmohan Singh
The prime minister underlined the need to maintain high standards of quality, confidentiality and reliability
Indian PM's office

"The prime minister underlined the need to maintain high standards of quality, confidentiality and reliability in the data processing business," the statement said.

The Sun alleged the computer expert told the reporter he could sell up to 200,000 account details, obtained from fraudulent call centre workers, each month.

Details handed to the reporter had been examined by a security expert who had indicated they were genuine, the paper said.

The information passed on could have been used to raid the accounts of victims or to clone credit cards.

But, in an interview on BBC World Service radio, the worker said he had been asked to make a presentation about his company by someone described as an associate of the Sun's reporter.

He said the associate then asked him to give a CD to the reporter, but that he did not know what was on the CD and did not receive any payment.

The allegations in the Sun followed the arrests of former call centre staff in western India in April.

They were said to have obtained passwords and then after leaving the company transferred money out of customer accounts.

Indian call centres defend their reputation

Listen to the man accused explain his actions

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