The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop scan on cyber cafes

Those availing of services at cyber cafés in Salt Lake, Lake Town and Dum Dum may face a bar on surfing casually in future.

At a rough estimate, there are around 50 cyber cafés in the Salt Lake, Lake Town and Dum Dum areas. The police plan to raid the cyber cafés periodically to stall attempts by terrorist contacts and informers to get in touch with their headquarters.

“Even terrorists have become Net-savvy and frequent cyber cafés to pass on information. I am told they visit a lot of important sites,” said Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police, Salt Lake, on Wednesday. “So, we have decided to put all these cyber cafés under the scanner,” he said.

Not so long ago, a cyber café on Bright Street, Tiljala, was allegedly frequented by Asif Reza Khan, a close aide of Aftab Ansari, the mastermind in the Parthapratim Roy Burman abduction case and the American Center attack. The entire plan for the abduction was networked through e-mail, cop sources said.

According to sources, a hoax call to the state Intelligence Branch on blowing up Bikash Bhavan, an important administrative bloc of the state government, on January 1, also originated from a cyber café.

Officials, however, denied allegations of the involvement of a cyber café in the drama. On Wednesday, Nand said the decision to scan cyber cafés was not linked to the Bikash Bhavan case.

Calcutta Police officials are of the opinion that alternative cyber crimes, like viewing and sending of obscene and pornographic mail and sites are on the rise and something needs to be done to put a check on them.

Last year, a senior telecom official from Pondicherry was warned by the Calcutta Police for sending obscene mails to a woman in the city.

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