The Government of India has announced a few stringent rules for people who submit fake identities and documents on OTT or while buying SIMs. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced a few provisions in the recently released draft Telecommunications Bill.
It says people who submit give fake documents to get mobile SIM cards or fake IDs on OTT platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Signal may have to face one year of jail and will be charged with Rs 50,000 fine. These provisions have come to combat online financial fraud or other illegal activities.
According to the government, these laws will help fight off cyber frauds through telecom services. The draft bill also requires telecom users to disclose the identity of such people and their location in sub-section 7 of Section 4.
The bill states that if a customer using a telecom service has given false documents, they can face up to one year of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 50,000 or their telecom service will be suspended. All three punishments can also be given. Notably, this has been defined as a cognisable offense hence police can make an arrest without a warrant and start the probe without the court’s permission.
OTT platforms are advised to complete the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) for the users. This is done so that all the customers know basic things about the caller. DoT has sent a reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, asking to use a mechanism where the name of the caller flashes on the screen when a call comes. For this, they will need KYC.
“The new Bill will tackle the situation of cyber fraud head-on and address it upfront in not just one, but multiple dimensions. The obligation of KYC, ensuring duties on the users, including various modes of calls, in the draft telecom Bill, and I strongly believe that with the implementation of this Bill, we can make a significant reduction in cyber fraud.”, said Communications Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw in a statement.
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