Crime Against Women in Cyber World
Crime Against Women
Written By: Shreem Thite
Cybercrime, in its broadest meaning, refers to any illicit activity carried out using electronic means with the goal of compromising the security of computer systems and the data they process. Any criminal action committed by means of, or in relation to, a computer system or network, including such offences as illegal possession and offering or distributing information through a computer system or network, is considered cybercrime in its broadest definition.
The world has altered as a result of technological advancements. Technology is constantly evolving, from the invention of computers and phones to laptops, tablets, and smartphones, etc. Technology has improved our lives and provided us with more convenience. The evil side, on the other hand, cannot be avoided.
Women are seen as easy targets, just like in cybercrime, and violence against women is common all around the world. With its various forms, the condition of violence against women is deteriorating. Now, as a result of technological advancements, violence against women has taken on a new form, known as cyber violence. India has a high rate of online harassment of women, which is thought to be increasing. Cyber violence is a new type of violence against women that is made possible by the internet and other forms of information technology. In cyberspace, women are more likely to be targeted than men.
Inflation in Cyber Crime against Women
Women are affected significantly by cybercrime than males. Cybercrimes against women, which are typically sexual and implicit attacks on the victim, can have a significant impact on the opportunities available to women, as they can drive women away from the use of internet technology, robbing them of all the benefits of the internet that she is ideally supposed to enjoy as an individual member of society.
Women are being victimized online, and the number of victims is increasing. Hacking, phishing, cybersquatting, identity theft, stalking, online bullying, online defamation, and other general cyber crimes affect both men and women. Profile hacking, morphing, spoofing, obscene publication, cyberstalking, cyber pornography, internet voyeurism, cyber defamation, cyberbullying, e-mail harassment, cyber blackmailing/threatening, emotional cheating by impersonation, intimate partner violence through the internet, and abetment of such crimes may affect women more than men.
Various kinds of Cyber Crimes against Women
Cyber Harassment is a pattern of behaviour meant to annoy or agitate a person through the use of the internet. Emails and social networking sites are frequently used to harass women through blackmail, threats, bullying, cheating, impersonation, and other means. Sections 67 A and 67 B of the IT Act provide for sexual harassment in cases where material involving sexually explicit acts or child pornography is published or transmitted in electronic form.
Cyberstalking is merely an extension of physical stalking in which technological channels such as the internet are used to stalk, harass, or contact another person in an unwanted manner. Cyberstalking is when a person participates in a pattern of harassing behaviour directed at another person that reasonably and gravely alarms, torments, or terrorises that person on a frequent basis. Women who are stalked by men, or children who are stalked by adult predators or paedophiles, are the most common victims of cyberstalking.
Cyberbullying is defined as “willful and repetitive harm perpetrated by sending intimidating or threatening messages using computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices.” India ranks third in the world, behind China and Singapore, in terms of cyberbullying, also known as online bullying. Over the last decade, the number of suicides attributed to cyberbullying has increased. Cyberbullying affects approximately twice as many women as it does men.
Another widespread crime against women on the internet is a cyber tort, which includes libel and defamation. Although both men and women are at risk, women are more vulnerable. This arises when defamation is carried out via computers and/or the Internet, such as when someone posts defamatory information about someone on a website or sends defamatory e-mails to all of that person’s acquaintances. According to Section 67 of the IT Act 2000, anyone who communicates objectionable information via a computer resource or a communication device faces three-year imprisonment and a fine.
Some specific people especially women are targeted for hacking their profiles and utilising their personal information for malicious purposes in this type of cyber assault.
Morphing is the process of an unauthorised user altering the original image. Morphing arises when an unauthorised user with a false identity downloads a victim’s photos and then edits them before uploading or reloading them. False users have been detected downloading female photographs from websites and then re-posting/uploading them on multiple websites by creating fake profiles after modifying them.
It is the act of sending an email to another person that appears to have been sent by someone else. It has grown so frequent that we can no longer assume that the email we are getting is genuinely from the sender who has been recognized. Men frequently send filthy images of themselves to women, praising their beauty and asking for dates, etc. Section 66-D of the Information Technology Amendment Act of 2008 applies in this case.
These are some of the most widely discussed instances of cyber victimization averse to women in cyberspace. Apart from these, cyber victimization includes cyberbullying, cheating, phishing, cyber flaming, impersonation, blackmailing, etc.
Laws pertaining to Cyber Crime and their effectiveness
Information Technology Act, 2000 is one of the principal legislation pertaining to the present issue. Section 66, which deals with computer-related offenses, is one of the most essential provisions of the Act. Section 66 defines hacking as a criminal offense. Apart from that, sections 43, 67, 67A, 67B are some of the most significant provisions embedded under the IT Act, 2000. It is pertinent to mention here that the Information Technology Act, 2000 as a whole plays a vital role in laying out the provisions for punishments against cybercrimes.
Cyber laws are questionable in their efficacy. The government has attempted to provide a comprehensive legal framework to govern cyberspace, in reality, the Parliament’s efforts are admirable, as it has changed a slew of laws such as IPC and The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 to conform to the IT Act’s principles. Despite all of the excellent parts of the new legislation, there are still a few grey areas that impede the implementation of India’s Cyber laws.
To summarise, cyber-crime is on the rise around the globe. Anyone who uses the Internet is at risk of being a victim of cybercrime. Cyberspace provides cybercriminals with a myriad of options to bruise innocent people which majorly includes women. Criminals perceive cybercrime to be easier than traditional crimes because there is a lesser possibility of being detected and lesser consequences. The government must enhance the legal system to reduce cybercrime. Apart from that, it is our responsibility too to be aware of cyber crimes and for that, we must take certain measures such as protect our passwords and avoid storing important information on the computer because hackers can access it, etc.
The Indian government has taken a number of efforts and enacted regulations to safeguard women from a variety of cyber-crimes. Still, these laws are futile if the victim does not disclose the crime, therefore never be scared to take the risk and not be concerned about what society would think.
About the Author
Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, C.G.