TRANSGRESSION IN CYBERSPACE OF WOMEN: ISSUES AND REMEDIAL MEASURES

Author: Kabir Jaiswal [Student, National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi, Jharkhand]

Co-author: Dr. Mona Purohit [Dean of Faculty, Department of Legal Studies and Research, Barkatullah University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh]

Abstract

Crime is manifestation of myriad complex factors. The genesis of crime can be traced to interplay of various social, economic, demographic, local and institutional factors. The transcendental jurisdiction of Internet causes the major threat to the society in the form of cybercrime. The main victim of this transgression can be considered women and reasons for the growth of cybercrime rate against women can be categorized into two folds; legal and sociological reasons.

Keywords: cybercrime, women, IPC, IT Act, Remedies

The Issue of Transgression

Societies have changed from the relatively simple to the more complex, technologies have become advanced and social relations have become more structured and thereby, more ambiguous. These changed circumstances result in different types of crime. A country where for the sake of their family’s name and reputation in the society, women have been quietly facing crimes like domestic violence and rape for years now, in such a country it is obvious that crimes at a virtual platform goes unnoticed. We have strict laws for domestic violence and rape and still every year their rates are rapidly increasing, hence, without any doubt, in such a patriarchal county where cyber laws are still developing, the rates of cybercrimes against women will naturally increase.

In tighter family networks less, independence is granted to female children and instead there is a reliance on physical punishment to secure obedience and hence such female children tend to be more prone to cybercrimes because they seek peace and comfort in virtual world. Without the vehement support of her family members, a woman will be targeted again and again. The culprits in most of the cases are known to women. They may be anonymous on the virtual platform but they know they their target very well. Targets generally are those women who gets no support and comfort from their own family and hence, they are more prone to compromise with the demands, mostly physical favours, of the culprits.

Most of the cybercrimes other than e- commerce related crime are being dealt with these three sections, Section 66 (Hacking), Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form), Section 72 (breach of confidentiality). Cyber defamation, cyber defamation, email spoofing, cybersex, hacking and trespassing into one’s privacy is domain is very common now days but Information Technology Act has not expressly mentioned them under specific Sections or provisions.

The 2013 Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance contains several additions to the Indian Penal Code, such as to sections 354, 354 A, 354 B, 354 C and 354 D, with the assistance of these sections now the issues of MMS scandals, pornography, morphing, defamation can be dealt in proper manner.  Since we have already heard that Internet’s transcendental nature is one of the main reasons for the growth of cybercrime, Section 75 of the IT Act deals with offenses or contravention perpetrated outside India, but it does not address the jurisdiction of crimes perpetrated in cyberspace, particularly the point of reporting when the crime is committed. Although in most cases, CrPC, 1973 is being applied for the matter of territorial jurisdiction.

Remedial measures to curb the Cyber Transgression

  • Stricter laws for ISP: To order to counter this policy, it should allow stricter laws to apply to Internet Service Providers (ISP), because they alone have the complete record of all the data that anyone surfing the net will access. ISPs should be allowed to detect any suspicious activity any person is indulging in, which will help to curtail nascent crimes.
  • Stricter regulation for cyber cafes: Legislation needs to regulate cyber cafes more stringently, which should keep records of their clients who used their internet services, many people go to cyber cafes to partake in criminal activity so that their own IP addresses are not exposed in any potential prosecution. This is another form of masquerading gender.
  • Awareness over cyber culture: People need to be cautious about which cameras are recording parts of their daily lives & should act modestly in such times. There is also a need to boost understanding among people about web culture and its back drawing.
  • ▪         SMTP service extension: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), the primary protocol used in sending email, does not require an authentication method to fake email. Though an extension of the SMTP service allows an SMTP client to negotiate a level of security with a mail server, this precaution is not always taken. Thus, women should take precaution and add the SMTP service extension to the SMTP client at all times.

Concluding Remarks

Crime happens in every family except our own. In a country that have slowly began to talk about physical and mental violence against women, cyber or virtual crime against women is still a contentious subject. And while legally, it covers abuse, either verbal, written or any other means of communication, the lack of support which women doesn’t receive from her family that makes them more prone to such crime is pretty much absent from the picture. We are evolving and so is our environment where we live.

The author believes that in a country like India where patriarchy prevails, where women are less educated and less valued, it is difficult for a woman to come out and fight against the violence she is going through on a virtual platform. It is more difficult for a woman who has not been heard at her own home to come out and speak; speak of the mental, psychological, physical harm they face on a virtual platform. Social, economic, cultural, and linguistic isolation make the victims some of the most marginalized and challenging populations to serve, hence, the cybercrimes become more powerful than the defence mechanism we are adopting for it, i.e., the Cyber laws.

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