Government Policy

Biometric has no correlation with spoofing: Tarana

State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim today said biometric SIM verification has no correlation with spoofing, a computer apps-based technology that is now being used in mobile phone-based crimes.

"After completion of biometric SIM verification, miscreants are perpetrating mobile phone-based crimes, especially life threat which is called 'spoofing' or 'call masking' and it has no correlation with biometric verification as this is being generated using computer apps," she said.

The state minister was addressing a press conference at her ministry office to clear the perception about biometric SIM verification and computer generated calls in the wake of some recent mobile phone based crimes.

She said if anybody receives such a call, at first he/she should call back the caller to know whether the number is registered biometrically.

"If the person receives the call, he/she must be the owner of biometrically verified SIM that would make clear that some third person has perpetrated it resorting to computer apps for toll or any other purpose," added Tarana.

The state minister at the press conference also demonstrated how the spoofing call is generated for crimes.

An official of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) generated a call to a number of a journalist through spoofing using number of Tarana Halim, but when the journalist called back, it came to the state minister's mobile phone.

BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said they are working on priority basis to address the issue properly. "But, the problem is that when we shut a technology, another technology emerges," he added. Mahmood vowed to stop the technology in Bangladesh.

According to BTRC, over 11.40 crore SIMs were verified biometrically from December 16 last year to May 31.

Turning on the accuracy of biometric SIM verification, the state minister said the process has below 0.5 percent dissimilarities due to lack of awareness of subscribers. "If the subscribers were conscious during providing fingerprints, the errors wouldn't take place."

She urged the subscribers to be more conscious and careful during giving fingerprints.

BTRC Director General Brigadier Gen Emdad Ul Bari said they have found the incidents of selling finger prints for money.

"Besides, over 3.5 lakh people have completed SIM verification using birth certificates or other documents temporarily, but national ID or passport is only possible to be verified," he added.

Bari hoped when the national ID has become mandatory, the error or dissimilarities would be eliminated fully.

Tarana Halim said the biometric SIM verification has helped to bring down the illegal VoIP to below 10 percent from 35 percent.

Posts and Telecommunications Secretary Faizur Rahman Chowdhury, Director General of Directorate of Telecommunication Jahangir Alam, BTRC high officials and representatives of law enforcement agencies also spoke at the press conference.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)