Cyber-crime against women shows about the loopholes in the present laws and policies that are in the Indian judicial system. Especially in India, where the society looks down upon the women, the law doesn't recognize the cyber-crime correctly. People, especially females, are more vulnerable to cyber-attack. Recently, a study shows that so many under aged and minor girls have committed suicide after uploading private photos and videos on the internet. As now it's become a big concern for society. So, in this article, I have discussed various topics like cyber-crime, how cyber-crime takes place in the community, laws about cyber-crime, prevention and measures of cyber-crime, and taking assistance of multiple cases against women and then arrive at a conclusion. By reading, all one will get answers to many questions related to cyber stalking, cyber pornography, cyber defamation, morphing, and many more.
Cybercrime is a global phenomenon that hampers the privacy and security of a person online as the internet is one of the fastest modes of communication and has spread its spheres, covering all possible shades of mankind. But as the saying goes, "every good side has a bad side too." The same is with the computer and internet technologies too. Rapid technological advancement, like the internet, clearly threatens to leave the law behind. In cyber-crime internet is used as a weapon of crime by an individual, an organized group, or even a country. Cyber-crime, unlike ordinary crimes, is unique and unparalleled. A person gets also victimized if the person is thousands of miles away. Hence, we can say cyber-crime is universal and omnipresent. As in cyber-crimes, women are considered to be the soft target, and violence against women in India is widespread. Some preparators try to defame women by sending obscene emails, stalking, spoofing emails, the morphing of images for pornographic content, etc.
The major cyber-crime which may put women get into depression, hypertension and suffer anxiety, heart diseases, diabetes, thyroid, and many more due to e – harassments. A most common type of cyber-crimes is-
· Cyber Harassment- Cyber harassment refers to online harassment. Cyber harassment or bullying is the use of email instant messaging and derogatory websites to bully or otherwise harass an individual or group through personal attacks. Cyber harassment can be in the form of flames, comments made in the chat room, sending of offensive or cruel emails.
67A and 67B of the I.T. Act provide sexual harassment in respect of offenses of publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act and child pornography in electronic form in the cyber world harassment.
· Cyberstalking- The word "stalking" means "pursuing stealthily." Cyberstalking can be used interchangeably with online harassment and online abuse. It is the use of the internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass a person. The utilization of technology allows stalkers to harass their target from oceans away.
Section 354 D of IPC, which defines and provides the punishment for stalking, includes cyberstalking.The first conviction in the cyberstalking case was against a woman in Maharashtra which took place in July 2015 in the case of Yogesh Prabhu v. the State of Maharashtra, decided by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate M.R. Natu.
· Cyber Pornography- Cyber Pornography is the act of using cyberspace to create publish or disseminate pornographic materials. Traditionally the law related to pornography has been addressed through section 292 of the IPC, dealing with the offence of 'obscenity.' The section makes selling, distributing, publicly exhibiting, putting into circulation, taking part in or receiving profit from any business related to the use of obscene objects, advertising, offering, or attempting to act, which is an offence under this section as a punishable offence. Such an act is punishable with a term of up to 5 years of imprisonment and up to a fine of Rs.5000. Additionally, section 354 of IPC, inserted in 2013 dealing with sexual harassment.
Section 67A of the I.T. Act provides a further legal recourse, as it prohibits publishing or transmitting or causing to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which continues sexual act or conduct, and treat such act as punishable offences.The first-ever conviction for cyber pornography was in the case of Subashkatti v. State of Tamil Nadu decided by the court Chennai court in 2004.
· Morphing- Morphing is an activity to edit the original picture to misuse it. Preparators download women's images from social media, WhatsApp, or some other resources and upload morphed photos on other websites such as social media sites, porn sites, or for registering themselves anonymously.
Such an act could attract offenses under section 43 and section 66 of the I.T. Act. Additionally, the violator can be booked under various provisions of the IPC, such as sexual harassment under section 354A, public nuisance under section 290, obscenity under section 292A, and section 501 for defamation.Case- Air Force Bal Bharti school case
· Cyber Bullying and Redressal- Bullying is defined as intimidating aggressive behavior through the use of superior strength or dominant position. Cyberbullying refers to the same act through the electronic medium. Globally, India is third behind China and Singapore in Cyber Bullying.
Case- Saddam Hussain v. State of M.P. In this case, the criminal complaint was lodged under Sec. 354D, 507 of IPC, and 66A of I.T. Act.
· Email Spoofing- Email spoofing is a term used to describe fraudulent Email activity in which the sender's address and the other parts of the Email header are altered to appear as though the email originated from a known or authorized source. The most famous case of cyber spoofing is Gujrat Ambuja's Executive Case; in this case, the preparator pretended to be a girl for cheating and blackmailing the Abu Dhabi based NRI.
· Cyber Defamation- The term "defamation" is used to define the injury that is caused to the reputation of the person in the eyes of the third person. Cyber defamation is the publishing of defamatory material against another person with the help of computers or the internet.Case- SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd. v. JogeshKwatra&State of Tamil Nadu v. SuhasKatti
· Cyber Hacking- Unauthorized access to one's data, profile, personal information, passwords, or any such online activity is known as hacking.
REASONS FOR THE GROWTH OF CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN IN INDIA
The primary victim of the transgression is women and children. Studies show that the number of social network users in India has increased drastically from 202.7 million in 2016 to 326.1 million in 2019. It is expected that same would increases to 390 million in 2021, and this 40% are females, and 60% are males. But in this 40%, only 25% of the females are only aware of cyber-crimes. And then most the cyber-crime remains unreported due to hesitancy and shyness of the victim and the fear of defamation of the family's name. Many times, the girl considers herself responsible for the crime. Due to these fears, women often fail to report the crimes, causing the spirits of the culprit to get even higher.
RISKIEST CITIES FOR CYBER CRIMES
Cyber-crime is not limited to India's big cities. Non- metros like Jabalpur in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Bhubaneshwar in eastern Odisha, and Patna in the northern Bihar have emerged as among the top 15 cities in the country that are most vulnerable to cyber-attacks in 2019, according to the recent report by Pune based antivirus from Quick Heal.
The ranking is topped by India's financial capital, Mumbai, which clocked the highest detection of Malware – any software designed intentionally to harm a computer- among all the Indian cities last year. After Mumbai, it comes to Delhi. Delhi being detected as the second state where cyber-crimes are at the vulnerable condition.
Cybercrimes are a new class of crimes that are increasing day by day due to extensive misuse of the internet these days. The various offences related to the internet which has been made punishable under the I.T. Act and IPC are enumerated below:
1. Cybercrime under the I.T. Act-
o Tampering with computer source documents- Sec 65
o Hacking with computer systems, Data alteration- Sec 66
o Publishing obscene information- Sec 67
o Unauthorized access to the protected system- Sec 70
o Breach of confidentiality and privacy- Sec 72
2. Cybercrime under IPC and Special laws-
oSending threatening messages by email- Sec 503
o Sending defamatory messages by email – Sec 499
o Forgery of electronic records – Sec 463
o Bogus websites, Cyber frauds- Sec 420
o Email spoofing-Sec 463
o Web jacking- Sec 383
o Email abuse- Sec 500
3. Cybercrimes under the Special Acts-
o Online sale of Drugs under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances Acts
o Online sales of Arms Acts
· The majority of Cyber crimes need to be made non- bailable offences.
· Never reveal your home address. This rule is especially crucial for women.
· Password protect all accounts, including cell phones, landlines, email and credit cards, etc.
Change it every year, and the secret questions should not be quickly answered.
· Maintain a stable social relationship.
· Awareness campaigns against cyber-crimes.
· Seminars and workshops should be organized for a better understanding.
· Beware of unsolicited calls and messages.
· Seeking help from woman assistance cells and NGOs.
· Always remember to logout from any website or application when you are not using it.
· Try to avoid the use of other phones or laptops for personal use.
· There should be a digital police portal or E- a portal where women can report their problems online.
WHAT VICTIMS NEED TO DO
Unfortunately, even today the Indian police tend not to take cyber-crimes seriously, in such scenario, the woman or the young girl who falls to the prey of cyber victimization should first contact a woman assistance cell or NGO (such as All India Woman's Conference, Sakshi Navjyoti, center for Cyber victims counseling) which will assist and guide them through the process. Also, this will make sure that new strict laws are coming resulting in more responsibility, so every woman should raise their voice. This is the only way to end cyber-crime, which is happening against women and increasing day by day. Now, it’s time to stop it.
The growth of Cyber-crime in India, as all over the world, is on the rise. Anybody who uses the internet is at risk of becoming a victim of Cyber-crime and in the cases of the women who are seen as the soft target. Women, especially young girls inexperienced in the cyber world, who have been newly introduced to the internet and fail to understand the vices of the internet and hence are most susceptible to falling in the bait of cyber-crimes. As per NCRB data, 46.1% of crimes against women in 2019 have been recorded in Delhi. The Indian Government has taken many steps and made legislation for the protection of women from many cyber-crimes. Still, these laws are nothing until the victim does not report for the crime, so at last, never feel fear to take the step and not be afraid of what society will say.