Footage of Couples getting intimate in Delhi Metro leads to porn sites – Police probe is on

New Delhi: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Tuesday ordered an internal inquiry and lodged a complaint with cyber cell of city police into reports that CCTV footage of couples getting intimate at metro stations found their way to international porn sites.

DMRC Executive Director of Corporate Communications Anuj Dayal said the the management has taken serious cognisance of the reported leakage of the CCTV footage and was taking necessary measures.

“DMRC is conducting a thorough internal inquiry into the reports of circulation of objectionable video clips. The Delhi Metro management has already reported the issue to the Cyber Crime cell of the police,” Dayal said.

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which looks after the security of commuters in metro stations, said their personnel do not have any access to the CCTV footage in metro stations.

CISF personnel do not operate from control rooms in metro stations and could not have accessed video footage or circulated them, said CISF officials.

More than 250 clips of couples getting intimate in near-empty trains have been reportedly uploaded on a number of adult sites.

“The reported leak of CCTV footage of couples making out in near-empty trains has raised a very serious issue of privacy,” said metro commuter who wished not to be named.

National Council for Women issues notice to DMRC

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued a notice to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) over the reported uploading of objectionable video clips of couples recorded inside metro trains to pornographic websites.

Talking to AIR, the Chairperson of the Commission, Mamta Sharma said that DMRC has been asked to submit a report in this regard within 15 days.

She said, the NCW has also decided to undertake sudden visit of metro stations and trains to see the arrangements for women safety and other security measures.

Meanwhile, DMRC PRO Anuj Dayal said that Delhi Metro is conducting a thorough inquiry into the reports of circulation of objectionable video clips.

He said, Metro management has taken serious cognizance of these reports and has already reported the issue to the Cyber Crime cell of the police.

Metro approaches Cyber Crime Cell over “Leaked” clips

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Tuesday approached the cyber crime cell of Delhi Police asking them to ascertain if the footage was indeed from the footage recorded in CCTVs installed on its trains.

The security cell of DMRC, after an internal probe, said that “these clips seemed doctored and were not captured by CCTV cameras”.

“We have found two such clips on the internet showing couples getting intimate and sent them to the cyber crime cell. We will also seek help from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to unearth the reality,” said Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson, DMRC.

The CISF is incharge of security at Metro stations.

“If any DMRC officials are found guilty, they would be booked under the Indian Penal Code and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Act of the DMRC,” Dayal said.

The DMRC spokesperson, however, pointed out that in one of the clips announcements made inside the train could be heard, whereas the CCTV cameras do not have any audio recording device. Besides, CCTV footage of Metro trains can be accessed through designated computers only as these are installed with proprietary software, he said.

CISF director general Rajiv said his personnel did not have any access to the CCTV footage. “These might have been captured by mobile phone cameras.”

A DMRC official said that in each of the two clips available on an adult site, the camera remained focussed on the couple and did not pan, tilt or zoom like CCTV cameras typically do. “Four CCTV cameras are installed inside a coach and these together cover at least 90% area. These cannot focus on a particular corner or area or persons for more than a few seconds,” said a senior official from DMRC’s security cell.

Metro officials said the CCTV footage in Metro trains are monitored by the train operator as and when needed. Delhi Metro generally does not archive these if not needed for any investigations. “After eight hours of a day’s operation, the memory of the CCTV cameras is generally overwritten,” said the official.

DMRC told to connect CCTV cameras to control rooms

To prevent a security hazard inside the Metro coaches, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has instructed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to connect the CCTV cameras inside the coaches to the control rooms, for providing a real-time viewing.

The MHA has also directed the DMRC to install the cameras inside those coaches that presently don’t have them.

At present, the CCTV cameras of the coaches are not connected to the control rooms of the DMRC and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The CISF is responsible for the security of the stations and the coaches.

In June, these security issues were discussed in a meeting convened by the Joint Secretary (UT) in the MHA.

The meeting was attended by the CISF, DMRC, Delhi Police, Noida Police, Gurgaon Police and Ghaziabad Police.

A CISF officer, explaining the present security scenario, said, “Only the DMRC train operator can view the footage of the CCTV cameras. But we are blind to any suspicious activities that could take place inside the coaches. The cameras are yet to be connected to our control rooms or of the DMRC.”

In cases of emergency, the driver can pan the cameras to look at what is happening inside the coaches. By using an audio communication device, he can inform the DMRC operational control room, which manages the coaches. However, the communication devices are not connected to the CISF control rooms.

Again raises the Debate – How Much Secure is the Government Data?

In what it may be called as secrecy, proprietary, confidential and privacy oriented… then again, this shows the “managing capabilities” of the Government and complying to the above objectives when it comes to “Data Mining”.

Remember the Delhi Public School MMS sex scandal of 2004? Multiply it by 250 and add naked incompetence and potentially criminal government officials to the mix. Behold the 2013 Delhi Metro Scandal! What a shame!   Video footage of couples making out on the Delhi Metro has hit major porn websites. More than 250 clips of couples making out in near empty trains were uploaded onto these sites.  Unless a government official trusted with security of the metro and people traveling on it or someone with access has perversely done it, the tapes couldn’t have magically appeared on porn websites.

As usual, the government agencies have started playing the blame game. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is blaming the Central Reserve Police Force and the police is blaming the metro.  This calls into question what action will be taken? Does this amount to gross violation of privacy? If not, shooting and distributing porn is illegal in India. Will the DMRC or the CRPF be taken to task?  Will anyone be compensated at all? Of course we can expect an inquiry. But what more will be done about this?

That aside, can we trust our government with large amounts of data? With many sophisticated tools at its disposal to spy on its citizen, can we trust the  Government to leave us alone? Like for instance the Aadhaar database it has been building up? What about the National Population Register?

To what we can trust our law enforcement agencies? That the police force has implicit biases is no secret. Can we trust our police to not profile people based on race? Caste or Religion?

While we chew on these, the terrible truth remains that once shit hits the Internet, it will stay there forever.

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