The implications of the 5G roll-out for law enforcement

The implications of the 5G roll-out for law enforcement

The implications of the 5G roll-out for law enforcement


For Mains

5G in India:

  • Reports suggest that the government will launch 5G at the inauguration of the India Mobile Congress on September 29.

How 5G can help law enforcement:

  • 5G promises to transmit clearer images, so its adoption could ensure that the performance of police devices such as body cams, facial recognition technology, automatic number-plate recognition, drones, and CCTVs can be perfected.
  • The increased storage capacity promised by 5G will allow the streamlining of investigation methods of the police.
  • 5G will also allow rapid and secure communication among different departments of law enforcement as well as between civilians and emergency responders.
  • 5G will allow the police to remotely access and analyse crime data and information from other infrastructure such as traffic lights.

Concerns about 5G:

  • Even if law enforcement agencies get access to secure data from telecom operators, they will still need tools to access this data.
  • This becomes problematic since most police systems are outdated and may not be compatible with 5G.
  • Another major concern is cyber security since deploying 5G when we have a shaky cyber security foundation is highly problematic.

5G threat to Law Enforcement:

  • 5G is a software-defined digital routing which makes it susceptible to cyber threats such as botnet attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) overloads.
  • 5G lacks end-to-end encryption which allows hackers to plot their attacks more precisely and perpetrate cybercrimes by hacking into systems or disseminating illegal content.
  • Criminal groups may be able to easily coordinate DDoS onslaughts due to the ability to have real-time communication between multiple criminal groups.
  • Terrorists, too, could also take advantage of 5G since the high speed would allow them to execute attacks more rapidly and precisely.

What needs to be done:

  • Police need to be trained to recognise new 5G-enabled crimes and how to track the evidence.
  • Training programmes focusing on such crimes must be developed including identifying potential scenarios for new types of crimes and their prevention.
  • The government and telecom companies should set up a 5G crime monitoring task force to monitor and identify new crimes and develop countermeasures.
  • Create regulations for effective identification, apprehension and conviction of those who use 5G technology to commit crimes.



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