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CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN IN CYBER SPACE

Written by: Aditi, Student, Amity Law School, Amity University, Patna

The tremendous entrance of innovation in21stcentury in almost all strolls of society right From corporate administration and state organization, up to the most reduced degree of negligible Business people mechanizing their charging framework, we discover PCs and other electronic gadgets invading the human life. Genuinely, there are numerous advantages that result from web use, yet as of late there has been impressive acknowledgment of the dangers that may likewise emerge from the utilization of such technology. In developing Economies, digital wrongdoing has expanded at quick walks, because of the fast dissemination of the Web and the digitization of monetary activities. Cyber wrongdoing against ladies has become the most serious issue testing protection and security in an extremely quick pace. Cyber-crime is a worldwide marvel yet ladies are chiefly the objectives in this testing zone and it is an incredible danger to individuals. This paper illuminates the different digital violations against ladies in India in the light of Information Technology Act 2000.This paper talks about the administrative arrangements in the Information Technology Act 2000 and Indian Penal code 1860 identifying with digital violations against ladies. This paper tries to look at a portion of the digital violations against ladies such as Cyber Stalking, Cyber-pornography, Defamation, Morphing, Email spoofing, and so forth are likewise treated of the same nature world-wide. The Information Technology Act 2000 when presented, the need was given to web based business and correspondences though digital mingling correspondences has stayed immaculate. The grave danger of security of ladies and digital exploitation isn't appropriately managed in Information Technology Act 2000.

INTRODUCTION

Information Technology has decidedly affected all segments of business, yet digital space has brought innovative, social and lawful difficulties because of the expansion in digital violations. Cyber harassment is an extraordinarily gendered wonder - the majority individuals are ladies and the maltreatment of female casualties summons gender in threatening and demeaning terms.[1]


For the “digital native”[2] generation, forsaking aspects of the Internet means missing innumerable social connections. At the point when India begun her excursion in the field of Information Technology , the priority was given to the assurance of electronic business (e-commerce) and communications under Information Technology Act, 2000 while digital mingling (cyber socializing) interchanges has stayed immaculate. The Act had less effect in the working territory of the law extended Digital Exploitation of Ladies (cyber victimization of women) and Digital Laws (cyber laws) in India. Law authorization authorities have been baffled by the powerlessness of officials (legislators) to keep digital wrongdoing enactment (cyber crime legislation) in front of the quick moving innovative up degree. The ladies frequently trust culprits and offer their own subtleties without a thought of the forthcoming consequences. Hence gigantic mindfulness projects ought to be directed concerning safe utilization of web, cell phones and online life .A portion of the digital wrongdoing against ladies such as Digital erotic entertainment (Cyber Pornography), Harassment via e-mails, Cyber Stalking, Defamation, Morphing, Email mocking, Extortion, Phishing ,Trolling are managed in the Information Technology Act 2000, Indian Penal Code 1860 and Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN

· Cyber Stalking - This is one of the most well known web wrongdoing in the cutting edge world, Stalking can be characterized as the rehashed demonstrations provocation or compromising conduct of the digital criminal (cyber criminals) towards the casualty through the internet providers. A digital stalker doesn't take part in direct physical danger to the person in question, however follows the casualty's online action to assemble data, make dangers in various types of verbal terrorizing.

· Defamation – Cyber defamation incorporates both slander and maligning (libel and defamation). It includes distributing abusive data about the individual on a site or circling it among the casualty's companions circle or association.[3]

· Morphing – Morphing is an action to alter unique picture to abuse it / misuse.

Preparators download ladies' photos from social media, WhatsApp or some other assets (resources) and upload morphed photos on other websites such as social media site, porn sites.

· Cyber pornography - This is another danger to women and youngsters on the grounds that this includes publishing pornographic materials in pornography websites by using computers and internet.[4]

· E-mail spoofing - It alludes to an email that rises up out of one source yet has been sent from another source. By changing certain properties of the email, such as the From, Return-Way and Answer To fields, sick intentioned clients can cause the email to seem, by all accounts, to be from somebody other than the genuine sender.

· Phishing - Phishing is the endeavor to increase delicate data, for example, username and Password.

LEGAL FRAME WORK FOR CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN IN INDIA:

Information and Technology Act, 2000


Section 67 deals with publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. The earlier[5] Section in Information Technology Act 2000 was later widened as per Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 in which child pornography and retention of records by intermediaries were all included.

Section 66A - Sending offensive messages through communication service causing annoyance etc. through an electronic communication or sending an email to mislead or deceive the recipient about the origin of such messages (commonly known as IP or email spoofing) are all covered here. Punishment for these acts is imprisonment up to three years or fine.[6]


Section 66B: Dishonestly receiving stolen computer resource or communication device with punishment up to three years or one lac / lakh rupees as fine or both.

Section 66C: Electronic signature or other identity theft like using others‟ Password or electronic signature etc.

Section66D: Cheating by personation using computer resource or a Communication device shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupee.[7]

Section66E: Privacy violation –Publishing or transmitting private area of any Person without his or her consent etc. Punishment is three years imprisonment or two lakh fine or both.

Section66F: Cyber terrorism –Intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of the nation and denying access to any person authorized to access the computer resource or attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorization.

Section 72: Punishment for breaching privacy and confidentiality.

Section 72A: Punishment for disclosing information during lawful contract. Indian Penal Code 1860.

Section 441 IPC: This section deals with criminal trespassing[8].

Section 354D: This section deals with stalking. It defines stalker as a man who follows a woman and tries to contact such woman, monitors every activity undertaken by women while using digital media.

Section 354 of IPC presently covers voyeurism, stalking and sexual harassment all of which are now punishable criminal offence. Stalking, Voyeurism and sexual harassment where computer is used as a medium are mostly registered under IPC. Guidelines of evidences are provided by the Indian Evidence Act 1872. Indian Evidence Act was amended to include evidences relating to electronic record. Presently, Section65A and 65B provides for evidences related to electronic record and admissibility of electronic record. In cases of cyber crimes against women along with dealing electronic evidences, the question of privacy and security of the victim also becomes crucial. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 is an Act of Parliament of India which was enacted to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisement or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.

CASE LAWS

Dr. L. Prakash v. Superintendent:[9]

In this case the accused was an orthopedic surgeon forced women to perform sexual accts and later on upload and sell these videos as adult entertainment materials world-wide. He was charged under section 506 (part II of the section which prescribes punishment for criminal intimidation to cause death or grievous hurt), 367 (which deals with kidnapping or abduction for causing death or grievous hurt) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and Section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000 (which dealt with obscene publication in the internet). He was sentenced for life imprisonment and a pecuniary fine of Rupees 1, 25,000 under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956.

State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti:[10]

In this case the accused Katti posted obscene, defamatory messages about a divorced woman in the yahoo message group and advertised her as a solicit for sex. This case is considered as one of the first cases to be booked under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act). He was convicted under section 469, 509 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 67 of the IT Act 2000 and was punished for 2 years rigorous imprisonment and fine.

Ritu Kohli Case(2001):

Ritu Kohli Case was India’s first case of cyber stalking. In this case Mrs. Ritu Kohli

complained to police against a person, who was using her identity to chat over the Internet at the website http://www.micro.com/, mostly in Delhi channel for four consecutive days. Mrs. Kohli further complained that the person was chatting on the Net, using her name and giving her address and was talking obscene language. The same person was also deliberately giving her phone number to other chatters encouraging them to call Ritu Kohli at add hours. Consequently, Mrs. Kohli received almost 40 calls in three days mostly on odd hours. The said call created a havoc in personal life of the complainant consequently IP addresses was traced and police investigated the entire matter and ultimately arrested the offender. A case was registered under the section 509, of IPC and thereafter he was released on bail. This is first time when a case of cyber stalking was reported.

Cyber spoofing is Gujrat Ambuja’s Executive Case[11], in this case the perpetrator pretended to be a girl for cheating and blackmailing the Abu Dhabi based NRI. Apart from these cases there are few basic cybercrimes that basically happens to the Indian women in the cyberspace such as harassment via e-mail, cyber-stalking, cyber defamation, morphing, email spoofing, hacking, cyber pornography and cyber sexual defamation, cyber flirting and cyber bullying.

SOCIAL AND LEGAL ISSUES

The object of the IT Act is crystal clear from its preamble which shows that it was created mainly for enhancing e-commerce hence it covers commercial or financial crimes i.e. hacking, fraud, and breach of confidentiality etc. but the drafters were unaware about the safety of net users. As discussed above that majority of cyber-crimes are being prosecuted under Section 66 (Hacking), 67(publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form), 72(breach of confidentiality). Most of the cyber crimes other than e-commerce related crime are being dealt with these three sections. Cyber defamation, email spoofing, cyber sex, hacking and trespassing into one’s privacy is domain is very common now days but IT Act is not expressly mentioning them under specific Sections or provisions. Most of the cyber crimes remain unreported due to the hesitation and shyness of the victim and her fear of defamation of family’s name. Many times she believes that she herself is responsible for the crime done to her. The women are more susceptible to the danger of cyber crime as the perpetrator’s identity remains anonymous and he may constantly threaten and blackmail the victim with different names and identities. Woman and child cyber harassment and related cyber-crimes remain overwhelmingly under reported due to associated stigma and propensity of parents/guardians to not involve police in such matters. Perpetrators know their victims well or they are related to them. Women are mostly unaware about privacy policies and safety tips for using social media sites. Process of reporting such cybercrime against woman needs to be simplified and identity of woman and children involved protected to ensure such crimes do not go unreported. It is necessary simplify and strengthen cybercrime investigation involving woman and children. Cyber laws have not been formulated properly and most of the women are ignorant about the procedure for registering a complaint. Victims are silent, bear all embarrassments, and thus, punish them only for the crime which is done against them. They do not realize that offender deserves that punishment, not the victims. There is always a fear in their minds of being a source of fun and embracement in the society which prevents them to ask for their justice. Woman harassment and exploitation in cyber space is increasing with updated technology and anonymity. It takes huge time for investigation and many times cases are unsolved due to lack of Cyber Forensics laboratories. Cyber criminals use digital media to harass women and even legal system is not defining the cyber laws in a holistic way. There is a need to use law as an instrument of change and thus, lawmakers should focus upon substantive equality. As like trolling should be defined well and scope of the cyber laws must get widened. Major legal lacuna i.e. having no clause for many common cyber crimes in legal system. Foreign Service providers are not enough cooperative during investigations due to cross border issues.

CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

It is high time to call for modernization of the preventive set up for cybercrimes and to equipped police personnel with suitable knowledge and skills. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) should assemble all the cases of woman harassment and other cybercrimes against woman under a separate category so that performance of law enforcement agencies in this regard could be discerned and observed properly. Law enforcement agencies and police force need to be sensitized of the challenging facets of cyber-crimes against woman and children and their dimensions to record and initiate action against such crimes needs to be strengthened urgently. There should be a Digital Police Portal or E-Portal where woman can report their problems online. This could reduce the number of cases under-reported due to associated stigma and propensity of parents/guardians to not involve police in such matters the portal also maintains the database of criminals which could really help law enforcement. There is a need to collaborate both police force and cyber forensic laboratories together for better investigation. Girls should be made aware about all types of cybercrimes and how to handle them. Spreading awareness regarding safe internet uses and the negative impact of social media should be attributed. School curriculum must cover all aspects of cybercrimes. Therefore, education system must initiate contemporary issues pertaining to cybercrimes. It is suggested that all international service providers must put their servers in India to track IP Address for fast and better investigation. We are aware that the implementation of cyber laws is inadequate and people are unaware of the laws and still, there is less emphasis on cyber security. Criminal behavior on the Internet, or cyber crime, presents as one of the Major challenges of the future to India and International law enforcement. As ICT become even more pervasive, aspects of electronic crime will feature in all forms of criminal behavior, even those matters currently regarded as more traditional offences. It already features in many international crime involving drug trafficking, people smuggling, terrorism and money laundering. Digital evidence will become more commonplace, even in traditional crimes, and we must be prepared to deal with this new challenge. Law enforcement agencies around the world are working together to develop new partnerships, new forensic methodologies and new responses to cyber crime in order to ensure safety and security on the Internet. New skills, technologies and investigative techniques, applied in a global context, will be required to detect, prevent and respond to cybercrime. This new business will be characterized by new forms of crime, a far broader scope and scale of offending and victimization, the need to respond in much more timely way, and challenging technical and legal complexities. Innovative responses such as the creation of ‘cyber courts’, cyber police and ‘cyber judges’ may be eventually required to overcome the jurisdictional issues. Our laws need to be changed to make them cyber-sensitive as well as gender-sensitive. Words like lascivious and prurient should be dropped from the concerned Act to make them better secure women’s equality and dignity. The perspective of the laws should be to ensure dignity of women and not being in a paternalistic role. Laws are still inadequate and the Information Technology Act 2000 needs to be amended to make it well coordinated with Indian Penal Code 1896.More IPC provisions need to be amended to make them cyber-friendly. There should be a single comprehensive law covering all aspects of cyber crimes against women. The police, the judiciary and the local administration must be cyber friendly and well-equipped to handle evidences judiciously. Cyber crimes against women needs a holistic approach with change in laws, change in approach of officials and more intense sensitization campaigns involving different sections of society.

References

[1] L.P. Sheridan & T. Grant, Is Cyber Stalking Different? 13 Psychol., Crime & L. 627,637 (2007) [2] A digital native is “a person for whom digital technologies already existed when they were born” and who has “grown up with digital technology such as computers, Internet, mobile phones. [3] Sharma, S.K. (2013). TumhariSakhi. New Delhi : Bukaholic Publications [4] Marcum, Catherine D., et al. "Battle of the sexes: An examination of male and female cyber bullying." International Journal of Cyber Criminology 6.1 (2012)

[5] Cyber law of India. Online available [www.cyberlawsindia.net/] [6] Cyber law of India. Online available [www.cyberlawsindia.net/] [7] Cyber law of India. Online available [www.cyberlawsindia.net/] [8] Cyber law of India. Online available [www.cyberlawsindia.net/] [9] (2008) 3 MLJ (Crl) 578 [10] (2004) also available at www.naavi.org/cl_editorial_04/suhas_katti_case.html [11] G. Rathinasabapathy and L. Rajendran, “ Cyber Crimes and Information Frauds: Emerging Challenges For LIS Professionals,” Conference on Recent Advances in Science & Technology ( 2007)

Opinions expressed in the blogs are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The L Word Blog.

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