Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jun 30, 2005
Info-Tech - Security
PM calls for steps to curb cybercrime
New Delhi , June 29
IN a clear indication of the Centre's resolve to clamp down on cybercrime and data secrecy breaches - especially in the wake of a recent BPO exposť by a British tabloid - the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, today asked the IT Department and Nasscom to suggest changes in existing laws, if required, in order to ensure that breach of secrecy, illegal transfer of commercial or privileged information, or any other form of cybercrime is made a punishable offence.
In a special meeting to review steps taken by the Government and industry to deal with the challenge of cybercrime and to ensure data secrecy in business data processing, the Prime Minister underlined the need to maintain high standards of quality, confidentiality, and reliability in the BPO business.
"Indian professionals have built for themselves an enviable global reputation through hard work, dedication, and commitment, and the occasional misguided acts of some individuals should not be allowed to damage the high reputation of all professionals."
The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr T.K. Nair; the IT Secretary, Mr Brajesh Kumar; and the Nasscom President, Mr Kiran Karnik.
It was held in the context of a recent "media sting operation" involving an employee of a private data processing company, where allegations of breach of data secrecy have been levelled, said Mr Sanjaya Baru, media advisor to the Prime Minister.
During the meeting, Mr Karnik assured the Prime Minister that the Indian data processing industry was committed to ensuring the highest standards of data privacy.
"India's brand equity in this area is very strong", he said, expressing concern that the recent incident may have been a "sting operation" directed to give Indian industry a bad name against the background of its growing competitiveness.
Nasscom is building a database of all employees in the BPO industry to ensure that there is adequate quality standard.
The UK-based tabloid, The Sun, had reported last week that its undercover journalist had obtained account numbers, bank card details, secret passwords, and other personal details of 1,000 British Bank customers by allegedly paying $5,000 to Mr Karan Bahree, an employee of a Delhi-based IT company called Infinity e-Search.
Following this, Mr Bahree had claimed that he had acted on behest of another person to merely deliver a "CD presentation" without knowing that he was passing on classified information. Mr Bahree was later fired by Infinity e-Search.
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