No need to visit police stations after launch of complaint portal

The centralised cyber crime reporting portal set to be launched by the Union home ministry this month will also have a live dashboard displaying data on number and types of offences reported, geographical location and status of investigation as well as action taken by the police. “The data will help us track and analyze the extent of cyber crimes and frauds… and the follow-up by various state police. The home ministry intends to publish an annual report based on this data,” said a senior ministry official.

Sources said the portal is currently undergoing a pre-launch security audit. “We hope to have it operational soon,” said the officer. The centralised cyber crime reporting website, which will be integrated with various state police portals through the crime and criminal tracking network & systems (CCTNS), will save the public from having to physically visit a police station to report cyber offences such as sexually-explicit online content, abusive social media posts amounting to harassment, communally sensitive images and videos, among others. Banks were proposed to be given access to complaints relating to online payment and netbanking frauds.

The complainant just needs to log on to the home ministry portal, likely to carry the domain name ‘cyberdost’ or ‘cyberpolice,’ to lodge a complaint after due verification with an OTP sent to mobile number. Once the offence is reported, local police will be alerted to start a probe and take a call on registration of an FIR. In cases involving explicit and objectionable online images or videos, an inter-ministerial committee at the Centre may move to block such content. The centralised portal will also allow anonymous complaints, as directed by the Supreme Court, to report child pornography and rape videos. “The home ministry may move to have such content blocked, while the state government will investigate the source,” said a home ministry officer.