The Ministry of Information Technology have come out with Fresh Guidelines and Amendments for Cyber Cafe’s in India – And it seems that Govt. is getting quite severe with what and how the data is consumed in Cyber Cafe’s.
In last couple of years there have been many instances where Cyber Cafe’s have been a safe haven to carry out illegal activities – most of which have been for acts of terrorism. The fresh guidelines released by the ministry clearly puts in place rules & regulations to put brakes on such incidences.
Additionally, Cyber Cafe’s is have been favorite joints to view pornography – Going forward, it will be illegal to view pornography in Cyber Cafes!
Here are some of the important points released in the amendments to IT Technology Act. (I have simplified the language for benefit of readers in some cases)
Identification of User
Every member will have give an identification – If he does not have one – Cyber Cafe owner will have take a digital picture using a Webcam. And the log register will have information about every individual visiting the cyber cafe. Those who refuse to give any form of identity, will not be allowed inside the Cyber Cafe
Every Cyber Cafe will have a Date-wise Log register of all the cyber cafe visitors – The owner will have to submit a hard and soft copy of the same to the person or agency as directed by the licencing agency by 5th day of next month.
The Cyber Cafe Owner needs to log the following:
- History of websites accessed using computer resource at cyber cafe
- Logs of proxy server installed at cyber café
- Mail server logs
- Logs of network devices such as router, switches, systems etc. installed
at cyber café
- Logs of firewall or Intrusion Prevention/Detection systems, if installed.
Physical Layout of Cyber Cafe
Partitions of Cubicles inside the Cyber Café should not exceed four and half feet in height from the floor level. The screen of all computers shall face the common open space of the Cyber Café.
Minors are not allowed to access any computers in Cyber Cafe unless they are accompanied by guardians or parents!
Pornography / illegal Content Access
Cyber Cafe owner must ensure that all the computers are equipped with
safety / filtering software so as to the avoid access to the websites relating to
pornography, obscenity, terrorism and other objectionable materials. Cyber Café shall take sufficient precautions to ensure that their computer resource are not utilized for any illegal activity.
Cyber Café shall display a board, clearly visible to the users, prohibiting
them from viewing pornographic sites. Cyber Café shall incorporate sufficient preventive measures to disallow the user from tampering with the computer system settings.
Above is the gist of what the fresh guidelines are – You can download the entire PDF from here.
To be honest with you I am not sure how many of these guidelines will be followed, but I do feel that these strict guidelines are needed given that anti-social elements have been using it as their back yard!