No more bulk SIM cards as govt. steps in to curb fraud

No more bulk SIM cards as govt. steps in to curb fraud

No more bulk SIM cards as govt. steps in to curb fraud

Context : 

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has mandated registration and “indisputable verification” of SIM sellers to decrease cyber crimes committed using SIM cards obtained fraudulently.

What are the adverse effects of Bulk sims in the market?

  • Fraud and cybercrime: The possibility of fraud and cybercrime is one of the biggest worries. Bulk SIM cards can be used by fraudsters and cybercriminals to commit crimes like financial fraud, phishing, and identity theft.
  • Anonymity: It is difficult to determine the identity of a user while using bulk SIM cards, which can be used to maintain anonymity. This can be used for evil intent, such as harassment, threatening behaviour, and unlawful acts.
  • Spam and Unsolicited Calls: Bulk SIM cards can be used to create a lot of spam calls and messages, annoying legitimate users and clogging up networks. Spam and unsolicited calls are another issue.
  • Regulatory Difficulties: It can be difficult to regulate the use of bulk SIM cards. Unauthorized use can make it more difficult for law authorities to find and look into criminal activity.
  • Market Manipulation: Bulk SIM cards may occasionally be used to influence markets or services, such as by artificially inflating app downloads, website traffic, or social media activity.
  • Terrorism: These sims will eventually fall into the wrong hands and spark violence throughout the nation. Numerous terrorist attacks occurred, and subsequent investigations led to bulk sims in the majority of the  issues

What are the steps taken by the government in curbing the issue?

  • Indisputable SIM Dealer Verification: 
    1. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will impose stringent SIM Dealer Verification procedures.
    2. The purpose of this verification is to make sure that dealers are trustworthy and not complicit in illegal activity.
  • Blacklisting of SIM Dealers: 
    1. Due to allegations that they participated in fraudulent mobile connections, about 67,000 SIM dealers have been placed on a blacklist.
    2. The DoT’s determination to take tough measures against dealers who support cyber fraud is reflected in this action.

How is curbing these bulk sims going to affect the business field?

  • Cancellation of Bulk SIM Connections:
    • It will no longer be practised to offer SIM connections to businesses in bulk.
    • The bulk system will be replaced by a new “business” system that mandates businesses go through Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in order to receive SIM cards.
  • Transition Period:
    •  Bulk subscribers will be given some time to adjust to the new verification procedures.
    • Companies that were accustomed to buying SIM cards in large quantities will have to adhere to the new verification method at this time.
    • Government, military, and law enforcement personnel are exempt. 
  • Subscribers:
    • The new verification procedures will not apply to certain industries, such as those in the public sector, the military, and law enforcement.
    • This exemption attempts to maintain security precautions while avoiding interruptions to crucial services.

What is the Sanchar Saathi portal?

  • The Department of Telecommunications’ Sanchar Saathi portal is a citizen-focused initiative designed to empower mobile customers, enhance their security, and raise public knowledge of government programs that focus on them.
  •  Sanchar Saathi gives citizens more control by enabling them to see the mobile connections that have been issued in their names, cancel any connections they don’t need, block or find lost phones, and confirm the authenticity of devices when purchasing new or used mobile phones.
  •  There are many modules in Sanchar Saathi, including CEIR and TAFCOP.