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Govt out to fight cyber crime

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April 18, 2005 15:55 IST

Warning that terrorists were increasingly using hi-tech methods to transfer money across borders, Deputy National Security Advisor Vijay Nambiar on Monday said the government was creating a 'robust legal environment' to fight cyber crime.

"Terrorists have taken to new technology to commit crimes and are increasingly using information technology to transfer money across borders,' he said inaugurating a two-day legal seminar of the Indo-US Cyber Security Forum here. Inadequacy of international laws to fight cyber crime was partly responsible for this trend, he added.

Nambiar, recently appointed the Deputy NSA, said the Indian government was taking steps to strengthen its mechanism to fight cyber crime.

"The Information Technology Act 2000, along with other laws, provides a reasonable framework to protect against cyber crime. While we are creating a robust legal environment, we have also taken other measures against cyber crime such as setting up the Computer Emergency Response Team -- India (CERT-IN),' he said.

Eminent US cyberspace security strategist Howard Schmidt said greater partnership was needed between India and the US in an era in which the 'economic viability' of nations may depend on their ability to check cyber crime.

"There is a need to have an international watch-and-warning system for this purpose,' Schmidt, who served as the Chairman of the US President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and is currently the Chief Security Strategist of US-CERT, said.

Underlining the 'borderless' nature of cyber crime, Nambiar said rising number of cases of identity theft was causing losses of billions of dollars to companies and was a cause for worry for administrators around the world.

However, Indian business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, 70 per cent of which conduct business with US firms, used an "array' of technological measures to protect personal and financial data of customers, he said.

Nambiar said cyberspace security would be ensured only if legal framework and technology reinforced each other.

"Training of judiciary in complexities of cyber crime is being given priority,' he said.

Schmidt emphasised that end users of technology would also have to be educated and laws continually 'refined' if cyber crime was to be tackled.

"Customers have to be told that the idea of user IDs and passwords has long since passed,' he said.

A large number of delegates from IT and legal fields from India and the US are attending the third plenary of the Indo-US Cyber Security Forum which will provide recommendations to strengthen security measures to both governments.

The Forum is being organised by the National Security Council Secretariat and Confederation of Indian Industry.
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