It is reported that Indian Police in Mumbai is insisting on Cyber Cafes install a monitoring software that contains a key logger. While this move is being defended as a measure to monitor terrorist activities, the move is fraught with danger.

Apart from being a privacy nightmare, it can lead to stealing of passwords to e-mail accounts and Bank accounts and to commission of frauds. Criminals may also use it as a pretext to fake fraudulent withdrawals from Bank accounts holding the Police monitoring responsible for the fraud. Since this would not come under “Negligence”, any person who has used one of the Cyber Cafes in which a monitoring software is used to claim that the money withdrawn from his Bank account is by  Police officer who got the information.

It is unlikely that there would be enough  checks and safeguards against such happenings and if implemented, Police would be entering a dangerous zone with unknown consequences.

The move could lead to a serious blow to the credibility of Internet Banking system in India which is still working under the system of password based access security though Indian law supports only a digital signature based access authentication.

..Naavi, www.naavi.org

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