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Epaper Tuesday, October 03, 2023


Department of Telecommunications disconnects 63486 mobile connections using NextGen AI tool-ASTR

May 26, 2023 05:47 PM

Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India has disconnected 63486 mobile connections which were found to be issued with forged identity documents in the State of Haryana. The action was taken during Jan’22 to Apr’23 when DoT verified the telecom SIM subscriber’s data in the state through its artificial intelligence-based facial recognition tool called ASTR (AI and facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification)- the NextGen platform for detecting and weeding out fake/forged SIMs.
The vision of the ASTR project is to analyze the whole subscriber base of all the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and cleanse the database by identifying non bonafide mobile numbers even before they carry out any cyber fraud. The system uses subscriber images and compares them with the others. The illegal connections were detected after similar images with different names were matched in the subscriber data.
Based on the analysis, the telecom service providers have also blacklisted point of sales (POS), the SIM sales agents for service providers who were involved in such fraudulent activities. From Jan’22 to Apr’23, 48 complaints/FIR have been lodged by telecom service providers for investigation and taking necessary action against the culprits. The steps taken will help to prevent the usage of fake/forged mobile connections for various illegal activities including cyber-crimes in the state of Haryana. DoT will continue to do this activity with the help of TSPs in the future also.
This exercise of analyzing the subscriber’s database, reverifying suspected connections and disconnecting the illegal mobile connections will continue to be done by the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India to pre-empt the cybercrime incidents. Citizens are also cautioned against letting their documents fall into the hands of fraudsters who can use these documents for illegal activities. The Point-of-Sale retailers are also warned to follow the SOP/guidelines of DOT issued from time to time and not indulge in illegal activities misusing the documents of SIM seekers.

The above release is issued by O/o Additional Director General Telecom, Department of Telecommunications, Haryana LSA, 3rd Floor, BSNL ITPC Building, Sector-20, Panchkula-134117.


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