The Central Crime Branch (CCB) informed the Madras High Court that only 484 out of 1,940 requests made to social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, seeking IP details of suspected cyber-criminals were answered during 2016-2018.
It submitted that without such crucial information, it is difficult to commence investigation into complaints of cybercrimes, Additional Commissioner of Police, CCB MT Ganeshmoorthy said.
The officer made the submission through an affidavit on a PIL moved by Antony Clement Rubin, a resident of Chennai, seeking direction to the central government to make it mandatory to link Aadhaar to all social media accounts.
According to the petitioner, the people involved in cybercrimes could be easily identified if Aadhaar was linked with such accounts.
Explaining the difficulty faced by the department, Ganeshmoorthy said, "To investigate any kind of complaints of cybercrime, the CCB is largely dependent on the information provided from the social media company concerned."
He said only after receiving details like Internet Protocol (IP) logs of the social media account, through which the offence was alleged to have committed, the department could proceed with the investigation.
On receipt of IP logs for the 484 requests, nine cases were registered, 28 cases were closed after the complainant withdrew the complaint.
"Fifteen were closed as there was no prima facie case made out, 26 IP locations were found located outside India, 286 were pending for receiving IP user details from Internet Service Providers (ISP) and 120 IPs were found to be dynamic IP logs," Ganeshmoorthy said.
He said the CCB was facing difficulties in obtaining details from social media companies which were primarily located outside the country.
This apart, in some cases where IP logs obtained from Facebook, Google, Youtube were sent to ISPs for getting user details, the request remains unanswered for long periods, he said.
Particularly, companies like Go-daddy, Beam Telecom, Saudi Telecom had never responded to IP user requests, he added.
In case of Facebook, the company had asked them to approach them through Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) or Letter Rogatory, which should be routed through diplomatic channel consuming more time, particularly when the data retention period is 60 to 90 days in foreign countries, he said.Recording the submissions, a division bench of Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad orally directed the Centre to furnish the regulations governing ISPs and posted the plea to August 27 for further hearing.