'Spiderman','Chinaking'...These are not Hollywood blockbusters. Rather
they are two software programmes related to cellular technology that are
giving a headache to central security agencies.
programmes are believed to help in changing International Mobile Station
Equipment Identity (IMEI) of mobile phones manufactured from China.
IMEI number is a 15-digit unique number of every mobile handset and
comes handy for security agencies in the event of cellular technology
being used for any terror or criminal activity.
A case in this
regard being handled by Madhya Pradesh Police rang alarm bell for the
security agencies as they did not find any relevant law to handle those
indulging in such crimes of changing the IMEI numbers and had approached
the Department of Telecom for advice, official sources said today.
The DoT supported the decision of the MP Police in which it had slapped Sec 65 of Information Technology Act.
knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroy, or alter any computer
source code used for a computer, computer programme, computer system or
computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept
or maintained by law for the time being in force, shall be punishable
with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to
two lakh rupees, or with both," the Act says.
The government has
already asked telecom operators not to register any mobile which has an
incomplete IMEI number and even the Commerce and Industries Ministry has
imposed a ban on any import of mobile handsets with such a defect.
Union Home Ministry has asked the DoT to look for ways to block the
softwares but the Telecom department expressed its inability to do so as
the names kept changing as well as the domain thereby posing problems
for the internet service providers to block them.