Citizens' Issues
NIA seeks Internet data of Islamic State suspects
New Delhi : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought the help of various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to obtain the data used by arrested Islamic State suspects.
 
The suspects had extensively used various social media sites, including WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, to recruit and promote the ideology of the terrorist outfit in India.
 
According to sources, the NIA, while seeking the remand of the suspects on Tuesday, told a court here that the suspects also used Internet and Internet-based services such as Telegram, KIK and Surespot.
 
This was in pursuance of a larger conspiracy, and was aimed at identifying and facilitating recruitment of members and promoting the activities the global terror outfit.
 
The NIA said the request to obtain the data was being forwarded to the ISPs under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) for criminal matters, the sources told IANS.
 
It said the information was required, and the accused needed to be in custody to verify the facts that emerge from the contents of the internet-based services used by the accused to communicate with their associates.
 
According to the sources, many electronic gadgets, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards and pen drives, used by the accused had been seized from them after their arrests on January 29.
 
These were forwarded on February 4 to forensic analysts of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
 
During in-camera proceedings on Tuesday, District Judge Amar Nath allowed the NIA to quiz the three accused -- Sheikh Azhar-Ul-Islam alias Abdul Sattar Sheikh, Mohammed Farhan alias Mohammed Rafiq Shaikh and Adnan Hassan alias Mohammad Hussain -- till February 19.
 
While Sheikh Azhar hails from Jammu and Kashmir, Farhan and Hassan are residents of Maharashtra and Karnataka, respectively.
 
According to the sources, NIA told the court that custodial interrogation of the accused had led to pointers about links amongst them and their associations with the Islamic State.
 
All three were presented before the court with their faces covered after the expiry of their police remand.
 
"During questioning, the accused disclosed that they are active supporters of Islamic State and remained in close contact with several active members of the IS using internet, telephone and other means of communications."
 
Defence counsel M.S. Khan opposed the NIA plea to extend their custody, saying the agency had sufficient time to interrogate the accused.
 
The three have been booked for criminal conspiracy and under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
 
The NIA added that the trio was involved in a conspiracy to identify, motivate and radicalise recruits and train Indians located both in India and other countries.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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More surveys on call drops, broadband push via cable: TRAI
New Delhi : In a bid to tackle the issue of call drops, the telecom watchdog will hold a survey again in April in a couple of more cities, while also mulling over use of cable connections to deliver broadband.
 
Stating this at a seminar here on Tuesday, R.S. Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said the watchdog will also take "appropriate action" after analysing the data of the recent test drives.
 
"The next test-drive is likely to be in April. This time we have covered seven cities... if required, we will cover a couple of other cities as well," he added.
 
During the last test-drive -- aimed at improving call quality and reducing call drops -- by the regulator between December 2015-January 2016, most of the telecom service providers (TSP) did not meet the prescribed benchmark. 
 
"We have just published the results, we will analyse the results and take appropriate action," said Sharma.
 
Asked about some TSPs opposition to the test drives carried out by TRAI, he said: "Road tests are regularly done by TRAI. From the last time, telecom companies have started raising objections saying you (TRAI) don't consult us about the roads you are using."
 
"So we started that process also. This time when we did the test, we have also taken their suggestions into account," Sharma said at the 10th India Digital Summit organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
 
He said: "Whatever drive tests we have done, we have done that very objectively. It was done in a transparent manner and if there are any more suggestions for transparency, we are certainly ready to look at it."
 
On reviewing various regulations and consultations of TRAI from time to time, he said: "In the last 20 years of our existence, we issued a number of tariff orders, regulations and other document."
 
"We have taken this decision some time back where we are saying let us review these things and see which one is still relevant, whether some of it need change or upgradation. That is the whole purpose."
 
Talking about its plans to use cable television network in a bigger way to provide connectivity to people, Sharma said: "Can we use cable TV network to provide connectivity to people? In India there are 100 million homes with cable televisions. If all these 100 million connections can be converted into cable TV pipes, they can deliver 10 megabits per second."
 
"We have made recommendations to the government on that. We are working with the department of telecommunications," he said, adding: "Providing connectivity access to our people is extremely important." 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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International card cloning gang member held in Delhi
New Delhi : A 25-year-old member of an international credit and debit card cloning gang has been arrested here for cheating many people across India by withdrawing money from their accounts, police said on Tuesday.
 
Pankaj Bhardwaj, a resident of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on Monday from the India Gate area in a joint operation by Delhi and Mumbai police.
 
"Members of the card cloning gang are spread across Dubai, Mumbai and Delhi," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav said.
 
Mumbai police came to know about such a gang active in Dadar area after it received several complaints from Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and some southern states that money was being withdrawn from the accounts of some people through different ATMs.
 
"Following the complaint, Mumbai police recently arrested a man named Nisar from Dadar when he was withdrawing money from an ATM. More than 20 cloned ATM cards were recovered from him," the officer said.
 
Mumbai police sought assistance from Delhi Police when it knew that Nisar used to send cash to a man named Sumair Sheikh through a 'hawala' operator based in Delhi.
 
"We identified the local hawala operator as Pankaj Bhardwaj and arrested him," the officer said.
 
Bhardwaj told interrogators that he used to receive the amount sent by Ansari and some other gang members on behalf of Sheikh, who stays in Dubai.
 
At the instance of Sheikh, interrogators said Bhardwaj used to buy bitcoins -- a cryptographic, digital and experimental currency introduced in the digital world in 2008 -- and transfer the same online to Sheikh who encashed it.
 
Bhardwaj used to get a handsome share from this amount, the officer said.
 
The value of one bitcoin is equivalent to Rs.24,633, the officer said.
 
"Sheikh would procure data of debit and credit cards through his sources and his associates in Mumbai cloned the cards, withdrew the money and forwarded the amount after keeping their share to Delhi through hawala for him.
 
"But instead of receiving the amount directly, Sheikh would ask Bhardwaj to collect the money from the Hawala operator," the officer said.
 
Bhardwaj admitted to have forwarded bitcoins equivalent to more than Rs.30 lakh to Sheikh in last 4-5 months.
 
He recently received Rs.14 lakh from Mumbai and forwarded bitcoins of Rs.5 lakh to Sheikh. Police recovered Rs.8 lakh from his house.
 
Bhardwaj works at Secure Bitcoins Traders Pvt. Ltd. in Pitampura in west Delhi as an operations manager.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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