Post e-mail threat from Tirunelveli to blow up the Parliament House, the Chennai City police have imposed strict restrictions on all the internet cafes in the city, but it's proving ruinous to cybercafe business
Original by M BHARAT KUMAR, News Today, India
Post e-mail threat from Tirunelveli to blow up the Parliament House, the Chennai City police have imposed strict restrictions on all the internet cafes in the city.
But it has had an unintended fall out. Owners of several internet centres across the city are now claiming that the security and snooping are costing them their business.
The Chennai City police have ordered the owners of the internet centres to obtain licenses and also collect identity proofs from those coming to the internet cafes, before they are allowed to browse. Police have warned the cafe owners of severe action if they fail to comply with their orders.
'Such hard and fast rules is proving ruinous to our business. Already we have lost several regular customers', says Mohideen, who runs a browsing centre in suburban Pallavaram.
As it is we are not allowing our customers to browse illegal or pornographic sites. Now getting their residence address, telephone numbers in like intruding upon their privacy, they say.
'We have people of all age-groups utilising the facilities in our internet cafe. But not all of them possess vaild identity cards. But for school and college students and those working in few government departments, the rest do not possess identity cards. I have housewives and several elderly men visiting my centre quite regularly (they are the ones who communicate regularly with their near and dear abroad). Now in the aftermath the police instructions, I have had to turn them away.'
Echoing the same words, Srikanth, who runs an internet centre in KK Nagar, says, 'young girls visiting browsing centres are afraid to disclose their residential address and their telephone numbers. They rightly fear that it would be used for wrong purposes.'
As a result of which the cafes have seen less patronage in last few days.
This has had another fallout.
'We have lost several of our regular customers and hence we have been forced to hike the browsing charges', says an internet cafe owner in Mylapore.
The owners of the browsing centres have urged the police to consider their requests and come out with soft measures which can help them continue their business without any hindrance.