Tag: voyeurism

Gender and Internet : Web magazine for Cyber Law for women News Update for November 1st-25th, 2019

#endviolenceagainstwomen
https://medium.com/@UN_Women/when-it-comes-to-consent-there-are-no-blurred-lines-1dfd02cebe1

Iraqi women suffer cyber violence against women including sextortion, revenge porn, gender bullying and trolling, stalking etc as there are apparently no law to deter such offences and courts are not yet accustomed to see online crimes against women
https://www.news18.com/news/world/revenge-porn-sextortion-spreads-in-iraq-as-fear-of-honour-killing-death-sentence-daunt-women-2393499.html

New York Mother of female toddler born with Harlequin Ichthyosis, who tries to educate people through online platforms including Facebook, Instagram etc, gets severely bullied and harassed by another woman for a over an year. The harasser is now arrested.
https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2019-11-10-long-island-woman-arrested-for-cyber-bullying-toddler-with-rare-disorder/?fbclid=IwAR07iXTvo5xvcwggS-bY1tq3MiLfkdfhSy0EGzZiJ_eb2OhrqMVfg4fp3jE

Check old devices before selling/handing them over : Pakistani model/singer suffers privacy infringement as her private videos get leaked allegedly when she sold her old mobile phone device. Her nude images land in international porn sites.
https://www.desiblitz.com/content/pakistan-model-samara-chaudhrys-private-videos-leaked

Teen girls suffer silently as intermediaries have no answer against continued online sexual abuse of girls carried on through online platforms.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/09/us/internet-child-sex-abuse.html?smid=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR0PldPtMV_qe-IAKzFx6xfhhV6n6_OtRndIlf0yAAm4ZKRPpf_ssNN-fa4&mtrref=www.facebook.com&gwh=AB89B80FF8D1630E35B974D77DE83488&gwt=pay&assetType=REGIWALL

Dublin man who withdrew from outside world and became a vigorous troll, gets jail term for 3 years for stalking and trolling 6 women who were journalists, authors. Prosecution and the court emphasized need for rehabilitation of the troll.
https://www.rte.ie/news/courts/2019/1114/1090892-harassment-case/

After pilots turning into peeping toms in the lavatory of aircraft, it is now a male nurse in Malta who was caught by the police for similar offence: female medical professionals become victim of voyeurism and privacy infringement resulting in creation of non consensual porn materials due to spycam installed in the washroom by male nurse.
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/court_and_police/98580/nurse_who_spied_on_women_with_bathroom_cam_gets_threeyear_probation_and_5500_fine_#.XdvUougzZPY

Online job offers are not always legal especially for women: woman admits of being in a paid job which includes online sexual abuse of teens through Skype. She is charged with four counts for sexual abuse of children in UK.
https://www.unionjournalism.com/2019/11/11/uk-woman-was-paid-to-sexually-abuse-teen-girl-for-3-years-through-video-call-she-now-admits-of-her-crime/

Older generation and the risks in the digital era

CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN BY DEBARATI HALDER

Summer vacation has started and all are heading towards numerous destinations, majority heading towards ancestral homes. Since the easy availability of tablets, ipads and smart phones  ( well, not to speak about the laptops which are now considered as the older generation in  digital gadgets), many children insist carrying them to their grandparents places to fight ‘boredom’ , to take selfies in so called ‘exotic’ locations ( well, I got to see children calling a village temple tank as an ‘exotic location’ too) and to instantly put the family pictures in the instagram, Facebook  etc by various ways including whatsapp. Some parents and grandparents feel extremely proud to exhibit their children’s skill in digital technology; some feel children are getting addicted to the digital gadgets and thereby they should be given company in using the gadgets. While parents may make a horrible company in some cases due to their excessive interest in the digital day to day affair of the children, grand parents can make excellent companions, especially when the child understands that the grandparent is completely unaware of the digital tricks and can never play a detective’s role to pierce the privacy of the child. So what happens when an old man joins his young grandchild in exploring and contributing to the new digital communication systems?  Here are some examples:
Ø Taking random pictures of the household things, members of the family ( even if they are not ready to face the camera) and storing them digitally;
Ø Putting them in the social media without knowing what could be the consequence.
Ø Exploring parent’s social media profiles with the grandparent by his/her side (especially when the child knows the password of the parent’s social media profiles) and thereby giving repeated shocks to the old heads.
Ø In course of teaching the grandparent some tricks, the child may start sending friends’ request to strangers, make profiles of the grand parent’s friends without permission, start ‘liking’ numerous posts and share stuffs which may be dangerous both for the adult as well as the children.
Ø Downloading private pictures from other’s profiles and storing them in the gadget (well, it is a ‘fun’ to teach the grandparent how to download pictures).

And why we, net immigrants should be bothered by these habits of net natives ( the children) or the net aliens ( the older generation)?  Well, i have more than one reason to be worried. I got to see the tablet of one such grand parent who had stored my own photo without my knowledge. I am not ‘friend’ to him. Neither he has any profile in any social media. But one of his children is in my husband’s Facebook friend’s list. The tablet consists many more interesting pictures: a lady with face pack sitting awkwardly in her night gown, some naked children ready to jump  in the bathtub and so on….. none of these pictures were taken from proper angles and they looked amateur. When I confronted the owner of the tablet regarding this, he was more than shocked. He instantly asked his children( both under 12 years of age) who proudly told it was none other than their grandfather who became a ‘good student’ of their digital technology class, who had taken these pictures and downloaded many other. After the initial shock, came the time to laugh away the matter. But it was not the matter to laugh away. It needs to be understood that even though a digital gadget may belong to a particular person, it can be misused by numerous persons who may get a chance to handle it according to their own wishes. If it is misused, it can give birth to various issues including identity theft, sending of anonymous offensive communication and not to mention, unauthorisedly storing other’s private data including images and voyeurism (which this grandfather-grandchild duo unknowingly did ). The laws regarding the safe digital communication, safer internet and safety of women and children are developing in India and one thing which every one must note is, any offence done by any digital gadget can first and fore mostly make the owner the gadget primarily liable if he has not established his innocence in such cases by lodging complaints of missing of the gadget or the theft of the gadget or the unauthorised usage of his digital data (including social media profiles). Laws relating to identity theft, sending of anonymous offensive, unauthorisedly storing other’s private data including images and voyeurism etc, are strict when it comes to the gender of the victim as well as the offender. The new Criminal Law amendment Act, 2013 has made several of such offences punishable especially when the victim is a woman. Not to mention about the Protection of the children from sexual offences Act, 2012 (POCSO), which has laid down stricter laws to prevent any sort of exploitation of children, whether physically or digitally. While the 2013 Act targets male  offenders largely for several digital crimes, information technology act as well as the POCSO Act holistically apply to ‘all’. The child offenders are neither spared from punishments, including correctional punishments or fines, irrespective of the fact whether they knowingly or unknowingly do the mistake. Nonetheless, the owner of the gadget becomes vicariously liable in such cases and his/her journey through the whole legal procedure may neither be a cake walk.
Hence be careful. Teach the older generation how to use the gadget as well as the digital data just in the way children are to be taught. Do not make the innocents fall victims of new technologies.
Happy holidays
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. (2014), “Older generation and the risks in the digital era
”, 24th April, 2014  Published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/

Equality for women still a dream?

CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN BY DEBARATI HALDER

I was reminded of a beautiful reality of being a woman by the official Tweet  of the #UNWomenWatch which showcased this year’s theme for internetnational women’s day as “equality for women means progress for all” ( see http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/). But the reality of being woman is not a beautiful experience for all women always.  I would tell why I think so:
Very recently I was invited to be a panellist in a workshop on cyber security by Kerala child rights commission. I had a wonderful experience as a contributor. But I learnt more than what I contributed as a resource person and a panellist. Kerala like many other states in India is a beautiful place with lots of natural resources, beautiful water bodies and excellent schools.  As an outsider to Kerala culture the first thing that striked  me was the dressing of women and the freshness in their look. I noticed that bathing spots like temple tanks, river banks and falls are flocked by local women and children during specific times in the day and men avoid these ‘women only’ places . I was under the impression that social culture in here was very different from northern Indian states, and I started feeling happy about it especially when I get to hear that rape culture is most anticipated in such circumstances in Delhi and nearby places. But when I learnt the reality from other resource persons , I felt more than worried; many children are ‘employed’ by adults to take pictures of bathing women in such public bathing places . Nevertheless, Kerala could be the biggest contributor for Indian adult websites and this may be because of these innocent ‘employees’ or should I say ‘victims’ of the larger porno industry rackets. Kerala is just a model; I did notice many other places in other states where people throng to public bathing places, beaches and even public places like temples armed with smart phones to do their own bits of voyeurism with women’s body. Men may ask the children in their groups to take snaps of bathing  women and later these children would be rewarded by delicious snacks to even one more opportunity to take such ‘reckless’ photographs of women. Have you ever thought of  the scenes in rural of semi urban or even urban places  when women take such snap shots of bathing men or general public where men are heavy in number than women? Such scenes are rare unless the women are not researchers, or journalists or even ‘citizen journalists’ who amaturely contribute news and clippings to the news media. Women cannot be ‘gazers’ in public places to men, leave the bathing men. If a woman dares to ape her male counterpart in this aspect just to show her boldness and try to make men realise the same feeling of embarrassment as women feel by her body language, she may either be subjected to counter sexual harassment by men present there or may be ridiculed by society for being ‘besharam’ ,a girl without any sense of morality.  The society teaches inequality in this aspect from the very beginning of childhood. Resultant, girls grow up to be women constantly being  victims of visual rape or sexual harassment  right from their childhood days not only by  men, but also by young children.
What would be the treatment of these girls and women when they go online with their bathing beauty sex bomb avatar? In most cases these victims of voyeurism may never get to know their victimhood status especially when they belong to the below the poverty line range where they can’t afford to have independent internet connection either through their mobile phones or through the cyber cafes or through home broadband connections.  However, they may become ‘items’ for discussion in the local business junctions, pubs and clubs if their images are made available for public  viewing. No one will actually come over to compensate them or fight for them because they may never be made aware of these as well. However, if the law agencies do come to know about the issue, hopefully actions can be taken against the people involved in the racket right from the kingpin to the children who may have been ‘employed’ by such people to do the ground work. Most likely prescribed penalty could be either a jail term for three years or a fine or both as has been described in S.66E of the Information Technology Act, 2008, or a jail term for three years or five years minimum with a fine, as prescribed by Ss. 67 or 67A of the Information Technology Act or S.354C of the Indian Penal code depending upon the nature of the offence as understood from the images and its effects. The issue of involvement of children may further attract questions of right to protection of children from such crimes as well as duty of the State to prevent the children from getting involved in such acts through various legal provisions.

Who remains unprotected without getting any notion of ‘equality’? Nonetheless these innocent poor women who may be again subjected to such acts by a fresh group of youngsters mentored by some other porn industry rackets.  I feel time has come to teach not only the children, but also their parents about the possible misuse of gadgets by their children and to stop providing ‘soft corner’ for children’s unreasonable demands  for smart phones even if it is a gift for getting excellent marks in the exams.
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. (2014), “Equality for women still a dream ?”  Published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/

A new era with the Criminal Law Ordinance Bill, 2013? Can women really claim to be safe?

CYBER CRIME AGAINST WOMEN BY DEBARATI HALDER

Since the news of cabinet nod for the criminal law amendment ordinance Bill, 2013 has been aired by media channels this afternoon, so many of us women have started feeling “secured”. We can now expect to have a formal law which not only addresses stringent punishment for rape, but also finally recognised several crimes like stalking, voyeurism, acid attack etc. The list does not end here; as I mentioned in my invited presentation in the national women’s day seminar at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Youth Development on 8thMarch, this law would also recognise an ancient crime against women, namely ‘publicly disrobing a woman’. I wonder why this took such a long time to be recognised as a serious crime when the first “reported” victim was none other than Draupadi, the Pandava queen in the mythological epic the Mahabharat. Late but still, we got the law, which in future can expect more research. Right now, many news channels are running live shows on debates over the consent-age for sex. The new law would lower the age of consent for sex to 16. While some are unhappy, some are strongly advising for starting sex-education in schools.
          Analytically, the issues that are addressed in the criminal law ordinance Bill, 2013 are all interwoven. Rape, stalking, acid-attack, disrobing, voyeurism, sexual assault are some of the main issues which come in the first category of crimes that can be done to women other than regular crimes that can be covered under the category of domestic violence. What interests me is, the first category of crimes may directly get connected with a larger ambit of crime, namely cyber crime against women. In my research, as well as in my experience as a counsellor for cyber crime victims I have time and again realised this.  In my invited lecture, I had put a question as to whether this Verma committee report generated criminal law ordinance bill would be a “false promise or a true empowerment of women”? The reasons for my assumption are many folded; a new law can not necessarily stop crimes all together immediately. Given with this, the attitude of the society towards women will neither change within the minute the Bill gets green signal from the cabinet. What ails me more is the lowering of the age of the consent for sex. Provision on voyeurism carries a strong   prohibitory message against any wrong of such nature even if the girl had consented for sex or capturing images of private parts. But did anyone think of women and girls from semi –urban and rural Indian societies? How many schools and colleges run sex education in these places? How many parents would be interested to let their children learn the basics of sexual behaviours from trained counsellors?  As some of the activists were making their points, I support their view on the ground that this might in the other way encourage child marriages. This might also increase the contribution rate to child –pornography industry. Numerous interviews from college students aired by the news channels established one fact: underage individuals including matured teens, young teens and young adult boys and girls do visit porn-sites to satisfy their inquisitiveness to know more about the “forbidden” words ‘SEX’. Undoubtedly, this whole process may include several cases of breach of privacy for women including stalking, voyeurism, disrobing etc, which may perpetually remain out of the boundary of  the existing  as well new laws due to the ‘now on-now off’ nature of the internet technology.
Coming to the basic realities, I wonder how many police officers, lawyers and judges would go ahead with victim’s plea for booking the offences under stalking, voyeurism etc, when many police stations in non-metro cities are not even aware what these terms may mean and (even if they know) how to deal with it. Not to be forgotten that Indian Penal Code is not an independent provision when it comes to these crimes. It needs strong supports of equally focussed Criminal procedure code, Indian Evidence Act and off course the Information Technology Act. Nonetheless, some provisions of these legal codes are sceptical enough to provide good justice to women victims of cyber crimes. I enjoyed some of the interviews of ordinary civil society members, who forced that the education must begin at home for boys and girls. Time and again the need for such awareness creation is felt by people at large. I mentioned in the last segment of my presentation in the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Youth Development that such sorts of awareness camps must be made necessary for  all sects of the society right from the grass roots level civil society member till the  civil servants including the police, the members of judiciary including lawyers. It is only then that people can exchange their problems and find general solutions. Let us hope ……let us work together.
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. (2013),“A new era with the Criminal Law Ordinance Bill, 2013? Can women really claim to be safe?”15th March, 2013, published in http://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/