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Meghalaya Govt Directs Cyber Cafes To Install CCTV Cameras

The government of Meghalaya has directed all cyber cafes in the state to install CCTV cameras in their shops to tackle cyber crimes, as reported by Business Standard.

Last month, the state cabinet gave a nod to the Meghalaya cyber cafe rules 2012. An official notification of the Meghalaya Cyber Cafe Rules 2012 was sent to all cyber cafes directing them to install cameras apart from noting down details of their clients, including ID cards. According to the report, the government officials stated that the new rules were enforced specifically to tackle cyber crimes emanating from the cyber cafes operating in the state and to prevent them from propagating ideologies which are not in consonant with the state.

On August 21 2012, the Indian government had  blocked 245 web pages with inflammatory and hateful content, following the exodus of a large number of people belonging to the North Eastern ethnic community from cities like Bangalore and Pune, among others. Although it’s not certain that the content on those webpages was uploaded from cyber cafes, the government seems to have kept a keen eye on internet policies ever since.

Cyber cafe rules: In April 2011, the Ministry of IT came out with new guidelines and amendments for cyber cafe’s in India asking them to identify the user, keep a log register and submit the register (physical or online) before 5th of every month, keep a strict physical layout of the cyber cafe where partitions of cubicles inside the cyber cafe would not exceed four and half feet in height from the floor level and all the computers face an open space in the cafe, in addition to guidelines on filtering out pornographic content.

We have previously mentioned how cyber cafe rules in India could strangle public Internet access. For one, most outlets, other than cybercafes, that offer WiFi services are just taking an Internet connection, and connecting it to a WiFi router, to offer complimentary Internet access to patrons. These rules increase their operating cost substantially – whether it is about maintaining logs, setting up firewalls, submitting documents to the licensing agency each month, or to have to deal with the police on a regular basis, regarding, of all things, Internet security.

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