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Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
India tackles cyber crime
Indian computer experts
Indian experts are meeting to address the threat
India's top police officials and information technology experts are meeting in Delhi to discuss ways of countering cyber crime.

The one-day "Cyber law and police" seminar has been organised by India's leading crime-fighting agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Information and Technology Minister, Pramod Mahajan told the gathering that computer crime would soon be the biggest challenge for the police and lawmakers.

Mr Mahajan said the authorities need to wake up now, or face becoming mere spectators as criminal IT use increases.

Indian computer users
Internet use is on the increase in India

Computer crimes mainly involve unauthorised access, data alteration and destruction and theft of intellectual property.

"Crimes like fraud, pornography, illegal sales can all be done by computers," Mr Mahajan said.

He also warned that cyber crimes could take on a far more serious dimension in the near future.

New breed

Experts believe a new breed of criminals could damage telecommunications or rail links, disrupt power supplies and harm other important parts of India's infrastructure.

The CBI has invited senior police officials from across India, and IT and law experts to work out effective ways of fighting cyber offences.

The CBI chief, R K Raghavan, said they had sought help from several foreign agencies, including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, in tackling the recent boom in cyber crimes.

Last year, FBI experts visited India and trained policemen in dealing with such offences. The CBI has now set up its own special cyber crime unit.

The Indian parliament recently passed a law dealing with computer crimes, but experts say police and security agencies need to be more pro-active in dealing with the growing threat.

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See also:

01 Jun 00 | South Asia
Indian police nab net thief
17 Mar 00 | South Asia
Cyber city gears up
14 Feb 00 | South Asia
Indian 'cybercops' to deter hackers
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