CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN BY DEBARATI HALDER
Not all come to the net for networking, increasing business rapport or discussing some serious issues which may include academic discussions, burning social discussions or even chit-chats. Some even come for satisfying their sexual passion too. Yes, internet IS the place where one can hide under anonymity and satisfy him/herself in a manner that was unthinkable even a couple of years back. In my six long years of extensively browsing the net and networking, I have encountered many men species of this kind. I do not shy away from discussing one such incidence which made me to “grow up” as a woman in the internet. It happened before the Facebook era when Orkut won the hearts of millions of Indians. I was no exception. The concept of privacy was in its infanthood and any one could chat, send friend’s request and see personal albums of anyone. I was approached by some fellow net users who felt that I look “attractive”. There were some more messages which could make any woman’s cheek flush with anger, deep insult and a feeling of guilt……yes you read it correctly…feeling of guilt….for why did I not choose to be a “man” in the net. May be a profile picture of one of the great Khans, could save me. I instantly deleted my profile to get rid of the problem.… I discussed the issue with my husband who is a criminologist himself. Why some men prefer to communicate in this fashion which brings out their ugly passion for sexual chats with unknown women? Why do they choose internet as a platform to do this? The simple answer is, such men love to use the net to relax in a mischievous manner. These sorts of men randomly choose women’s profile to be friends with, to chat and satisfy their own sexual pleasure in this unique way. Well, the trend has not died down still now. It remains and will remain.
As a lawyer and a researcher, I know every one has the “rights to sexual pleasure”. But there lies THE point. One can not use such language or activities which may sound/appear offensive, obscene or sexually explicit to others. It is not uncommon situation where such men grow very angry when they do not receive proper response from the women with whom they are communicating. Resultant, they may start hurling chosen abusive language and even threaten the women to disclose the whole chat session in the web. Where does the whole stuff land then? From mischievous sexual pranks to serious cajoling of the women to ugly name calling and then finally to angry messages which convey nothing but threat to the woman in question……all in a day’s work you say ! Our Indian laws do make such communications illegal and penal. Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000(amended in 2008) makes it illegal and penal to convey such offensive messages. Along with this, the Indian Penal Code also offers other legal provisions to teach the prankster a lesson, depending upon the nature of the conversation; not to forget the provisions scripted under section 67 series of the Indian information Technology Act, 2000(amended in 2008) , compounded with each other, which can curb the ugly part of the right to sexual pleasure.
This Durga puja season may see many women browsing the net more than browsing the puja pandals and the Durga temples. So all the daughters of Durga, be careful when you accidentally or even casually bump on such “asuras”, for awareness is the best weapon.
Please Note: Do not violate copyright of this blog. If you would like to use informations provided in this blog for your own assignment/writeup/project/blog/article, please cite it as “Halder D. (2011), “Be aware of online mischief mongers”, 6thOctober,2011, published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/