The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India has come up with a new way to protect users from fraudulent activities and other illegal activities online.
Faking the identity on apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and more may result in one year in jail or a fine of up to Rs 50,000. To protect users from illegal online activities, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has included these provisions in the latest draft of the telecommunications bill.
What’s all about the new Bill?
Cybercriminals have been involved in a lot of fraud and illegal activities over the past few years, usually obtaining SIMs with fake documents and hiding their identities. Fake identities are also used to gain access to the OTT platform.
According to an official explanation of the Bill, all telecom users should know who is calling. Using telecom services to commit cyber fraud will be prevented. The Bill, therefore, includes provisions related to identity at relevant places,” said the explanatory note. Users of telecom services are required to declare their identities under Section 4 of the draft Bill. All SIM card holders will have KYC done, preventing fake SIM cards from being issued.
Misrepresenting one’s identity can result in jail time of up to a year, a fine of up to Rs 50,000, or suspension of telecommunications services. Fraud of this kind is a cognizable offense, which means a police officer can arrest and probe without a warrant.
Going forward, even OTT platforms must complete KYC before onboarding users in order to further address the issue.
According to Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s Union Communications Minister, “The person receiving the call should know who is calling. Any kind of call is included, whether it’s a voice call, a WhatsApp call, a Facetime call, or any other OTT call. By implementing this draft, online and call fraud will be drastically reduced, as everyone will know who is calling since KYC will be conducted.