A Times of India Report states that it is common in Hyderabad for people to approach private so called “IT Security” companies to investigate cyber crimes. Not withstanding the success stories narrated in the report, it needs to be recognized that this trend of private investigation is dangerous and equivalent to private “dadagiri”.

It is also objectionable that such companies should call themselves “IT Security Companies” or “Ethical Hacking” Companies, since they are actually “Private detective agencies” using the same tools which the criminals use such as password stealing etc.

If the TOI report is true, then these IT Security companies must be having access to the IP addresses of Internet users from the ISPs which is a privacy invasion.

Unless Government of India comes out with a legislation that allows existence of private detectives and empowers them to gather information from the ISPs and to undertake “Hacking for investigation”, these activities have to be dubbed as illegal under Information Technology Act 2000.

While I welcome the views of the e2Labs founder that private sector should assist the Police in Cyber Crime investigation, they have to be careful in not taking law into their own hands. This is precisely what seems to be happenning in Hyderabad. It will not be long before some of these ethical hackers or the companies they are engaged in turn into e-extortionists themselves.

I demand that Hyderabad Police take necessary legal action on such companies based on the report. If not, public will only assume that the Police are hand in glove with the private operators and deliberately flunking investigations so that public may use the services of the private operators. Such a situation also makes public to assume that the Police are getting their mamool from these companies for diverting business to them where as in reality it may just be their inability to handle such investigations… TOI Article


( vijayashankar )


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