has raised certain issues connected with the International Conference on Cyber Crimes organized by CBI in Delhi. While the conference is now in progress here are some thoughts on the issues raised earlier through our article of september 10th. Hopefully the august audience will find solutions for these issues.

One of the suggestions that would like to put forth is for CBI to designate one officer as a “Cyber Crime Help Desk”. This will provide the much needed coordination between Cyber Crime Police Stations in different states with the CBI.

I would like to share an incident which is indicative of the need for such a help desk.

Some time back, a lady working in a MNC was targeted perhaps by one of her colleagues who started sending defamatory e-mails about her to the 1000 + employees of the company in India and abroad. The essence of the communication was that the lady had an illicit relationship with her boss. The lady was an efficient worker and was due for promotion. The boss was directly responsible to the promotion of the lady and it was highly probable that the lady would get her promotion in the ordinary course.

However, with the circulation of the malicious e-mails, the boss developed a cold feet since any recommendation to promote the lady would appear to corroborate the accusation. As a result the lady was passed up for promotion.

The lady took up a fight against this injustice and complained to the Cyber Crime Police station after lot of hesitation about the bad publicity it may generate and the adverse impact it may have on her family. The Cyber Crime Police station also nderstood the sensitivity involved and took up the investigation without the media coming to know of the case. The investigation made substantial progress with the sender of the e-mail being identified with an e-mail sent from an ISP in Hong Kong. Police made a formal request with the Hong Kong ISP for details of the account holder as well as the IP addresses from which the account had been accessed for sending the e-mail.

The ISP refused to divulge the information taking shelter under privacy laws and suggested that the request be forwarded through the Interpol. The Cyber Crime PS had to therefore route the request through the local DGP’s office and then CBI.  Unfortunately the request got stuck at CBI where the case was considered trivial and perhaps not worthy of reference to Interpol.

Despite repeated efforts to contact CBI made by the local police as well as the complainant, CBI remained unmoved.

As a result of this lack of support from CBI, the bold initiative of the lady in coming up with a complaint which incidentally maligned her character and could have further embarrassed her if she  stood up for a fight, got frustrated.

In order to prevent recurrence of incidents such as above, the procedural barriers for an authorized police official to extract information required for investigation from a foreign ISP must be simplified.

The least that is required to be done is for CBI to designate one officer as a “Cyber Crime Help Desk”. Any authorized Cyber Crime investigator (eg DSP in charge of a Cyber Crime PS) must be permitted to approach the help desk directly. The request may be copied to the  DGP’s office for information but should not require  prior approval. Requests such as seeking investigative information from foreign ISPs, issuing notices for blockage of offending material on foreign servers etc should be handled instantly by the help desk so that CBI does not become a bottleneck in quick gathering of information.


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