THE RISING MENACE OF SEXTORTION IN THE DIGITAL SPACE IN RECENT TIMES

 ABSTRACT:
After crying and wailing for 30 days long, she finally decided to put an end, put an end to her grief, probably to put an end to her life. For the one last time she tried contacting and convincing him, after being failed for the hundredth time she decided to destruct her life, she then committed self-Murder, and that’s how her pride along with the family’s was buried in the ground with her tape on the internet.
Sextortion, a crime that has yet to come in time. An abnormality that has to be legitimately recognised in our social ecosystem. An occurrence that is recurring but rarely discussed. ‘Sextortion’ is a crime found at the crossroads of sex assaults as well as corruption, which calls upon the legislators to tackle this problem.
 KEYWORDS:
Sextortion, Digital revolution, Internet, Data leakage, Privacy at risk, Cyber crime, Scam, Hacking, Legal provisions, Women protection
 INTRODUCTION:
Life was becoming miserable without the internet. In the hard times such as this, we were restricted to homes and rooms, this was the most exacting. There is a great danger that sensitive information will be leaked, from publishing everything frequently in social media to countless transactions and exchanging large amounts of data.
In the Digital Revolution era where cyber-risks and security threats were also high, the latest threat was “sextortion,” aimed at social media users. “From a conventional outlook, the term Sextortion typically means, a form of sexual exploitation that occurred when people in authority seek to extort sexual favors else money from someone by threatening to display an evidence of their sexual activity.”

According to the Delhi Cyber Crime, The perpetrator has been hacked into the victims’ computers, and his activities and search history have been tracked. The Ministry of Home Affairs has stated that “Online Sextortion occurs when someone threatens to distribute private and sensitive material using an electronic medium if he/she does not provide images of a sexual favors, or money.”
 SURGING SCAMS OF SEXTORTION DURING COVID- 19 PANDEMIC:
Countless citizens were asked to stay at home and work from residence due to the extreme COVID-19 virus. Although it may be a fit to many, it is a chance for others to exploit the most marginalized online. There have been internet scams for decades, but the fraudsters have benefited from the pandemic with far more people back home and online.
Sextortion frauds are hazardous and disturbing and it can have devastating results for the victims. During the COVID-19 pandemic, computer hackers see a strong likelihood of succeeding because they spend more time at the zoom in front of their desktops.
 MODUS OPERANDI:
The cyber criminals claim to be young, beaux men/women, by cyber stalking and collecting their confidential info in social networks and online sites. They attract individuals with photos, video clips and encourage them to sex and real video chats as they identify potential casualties. The whole activity is then recorded. Sextortion starts like that. Then they require money or sexual advantages, even though they satisfy their requirements.
 TYPES OF SEXTORTION:

 Social Media:
Sextortion scams began on social media or dating apps with apparently innocent profiles. Ultimately, the victim will indeed be compelled or required to participate with the perpetrator in sexual activity or to transfer the nudity clips of the victim. Later on, the very same clip will be used for ransom. Fraudsters are creating wicked traps to attract new victims. By creating fake profiles.
 Phishing:
Phishing is a type of online fraud where criminals use e-mail, text, advertising campaign or other implies to impersonate legitimate organizations in order to rob confidential information and then request illegally.
 Webcams:
Hidden webcams are turned into a capture; it is one of the most rushing circumstances of Sextortion that invade ones privacy. Another way is for the hacker to malicious software your device and connects cameras as well as other devices. The hacker then collects and manipulates the victim’s confidential information.
 Hacking:
The fraudster is allowed to see the photos, messages, and videos that you send to all the other platforms when any social media accounts have been hacked. If you do not fulfill your requirements, they will reveal themselves.
The 2018 case of State of West Bengal v. Animesh Boxi, was widely considered to be India’s primary conviction of “revenge porn.” In this case, the girl recorded the naked videos that have been leaked to several people on multiple platforms. The accused hacker accessed and revealed the footage. The perpetrator was imprisoned for five years.
 LAWS GOVERNING SEXTORTION:
In India we had no laws and regulations that seek to address sextortion in specific. But in the other hand, the Indian Penal Code defines extortion as “whoever deliberately makes someone afraid of harming that person or any other person, thus dishonestly inducing that person to fear that they will deliver any property or valuable security, anything that has been signed or settled and can be translated into a valuable security, commits an “extortion” to anyone.”
• The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: “This Act was designed to enable recourse to women who have been victims of domestic violence.”
• The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013: “It is a statute to offer protection against sexual harassment of women at work, as well as the prevention and Redressal of sexual harassment complaints.”
• Section 108(1)(i)(a) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 allows the “victim to contact the local magistrate and alert him (or her) of the individual she feels is capable of disseminating any obscene material.”
 IPC PROVISIONS:
• Section 292: “The sale, letting to rent, distribution, and public exhibition of obscene literature, among other things, are all prohibited under this law.”
• Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that “a male who engages in any of the following acts—physical contact and approaches including unwanted and explicit sexual overtures, or a demand or request for sexual favours, or exhibiting pornography against the will of a woman, or making sexually coloured remarks is guilty of sexual harassment.”
• Section 354B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that “any male who assaults or uses unlawful force on a woman, or aids or abets such an act to disrobe or compel her to be nude, will be punished with imprisonment of either kind for a duration not less than three years, but not less than seven years, and must also be fined.”
• Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that “any male who views or takes the picture of a woman indulging in a private act under circumstances where she would ordinarily expect not to be viewed, either by the offender or by anybody else at the perpetrator’s request, and then disseminates such image will be punished to jail.”
• Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code, 1860: On a first conviction, stalking is punishable by imprisonment of either type for a duration up to three years, as well as a fine; and on a second or subsequent conviction, stalking is punishable by imprisonment of either type for a time up to five years, as well as a fine.
• The punishment for criminal breach of trust is specified in Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and includes imprisonment for up to three years, as well as a fine or both.
• “A person who commits an act that intends to hurt or has grounds to believe that doing so would hurt an individual’s reputation or character” is punished under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
• Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 establishes a “penalty for criminal intimidation, which includes a sentence of up to two years in jail, a fine, or both. If the accused threatens the victim with death, serious bodily harm, or property damage, or if the accused imputes unchastely to a woman, the accused faces a sentence of up to 7 years in jail, a fine, or both.”
• “The punishment for a man who tries to insult a woman’s modesty by words, gestures, noises, or objects, intending for it to be seen or heard, trespassing on the woman’s seclusion, is outlined in Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. A person who does so will face a sentence of up to one year in jail, a fine, or both. ”
• The Information Technology Act of 2000, Section 66E, defines a “violation of privacy as when the accused wilfully takes, publishes, or transmits a photograph or image of the victim’s private body part without the victim’s permission or agreement.”
• “The publishing or transmission of obscene and sexual content over an electronic medium is punishable” under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act of 2000.
• The publication of obscene material in electronic form is punishable under Section 67A of the Information Technology Act of 2000.
• The publishing of sexual and obscene information portraying a kid is prohibited under Section 67B of the Information Technology Act of 2000.
• Unless otherwise allowed by law, a government employee who discloses data and information acquired in the course of his or her responsibilities without the agreement of the person involved faces a criminal penalty under Section 72 of the Information Technology Act.
• Section 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, (IRWA) “prohibits the printing or mailing of books, pamphlets, and other materials that feature indecent representations of women.”
• The perpetrator faces punishment under Section 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986.

 THE EPIDEMIC OF SEXTORTION:
Hardly very few countries recognised the need for such a law prohibiting and punishing international sextortion crimes. In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Criminal Codes, the crime of “Sexual Intercourse through Abuse of Position” is described. The Anti-Rape Law of the Philippines in 1997 criminalises rape by ‘serious abuse of power,’ while Tanzania’s Special Sexual Offenses Act in 1998 criminalises violations by someone ‘taking advantage of his stated position.’ The United States of America has adopted the ‘Workhouse Statute’ that addresses intergovernmental crime of sextortion.
It is important to legislate to tackle sextortion and similar crimes in particular. It is crucial to highlight that sextortion crimes occur in workplaces, educational institutions and family relations not only on the Internet. If the crime of sextortion is not defined and punishments are not specified, it is impossible to charge and retain the perpetrator accountable. It is important to have qualified and talented cops who would track, arrest and detain the offender and provide the victims with appropriate support.

 CONCLUSION:
It’s time to face these imminent difficulties. Existing cyber laws must be updated to provide harsher penalties for such heinous crimes, which are becoming more common as technology advances. The new laws must be written so that they serve as a deterrent to society. Such content is frequently disseminated through social media sites. It is now time for them to become more involved in the content filtering process before it is submitted. For example, by documenting content, an app like Facebook has attempted to prevent the re-posting of revenge porn. This will help to fight such growth by well-drafted rules and an active role for the social media menace in society.

REFERENCES

Penelope K. Trickett, Jennie G. Noll and Frank W. Putnam, “The impact of sexual abuse on female development: Lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study.” 23(2) PMC 453 (2011).
Chandrashekhar Krishnan, “Abusing power for private gain”, The Guardian.

Tom Jackman, “Sextortion, growing online problem worldwide, victimizes two George Mason students”, The Washington Post.
State of West Bengal v. Animesh Boxi, GR: 1587/17, (2018).
Voluntary, available at:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/voluntary.
Chandrasekhar Krishnan, “Abusing power for private gain”, The Guardian.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (Act 43 of 2005).
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (Act 14 of 2013).
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), S (354) (a).
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), S (354) (d).
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), S (354) (c).
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), S (354) (d).

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), S (406).
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860) S (499).
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), S (506).
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860), S (509).
The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Act 21 of 2000), S(66)(e).
The Information Technology Act, , Act 21 of 2000, S (67).
The Information Technology Act, , Act 21 of 2000, S (67A).
The Information Technology Act, 2000, S (67B).

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