Sunday, December 26, 2010

Do not mess with your wife through cyber space; it could lead to divorce


Marriages are made in heaven, but divorces may not be made only in the real space. People have found cyber space a perfect platform to express views about others and this may also include ridiculous humiliation of women, including one’s own wife. Truly, off late I have been noticing many ego clashes and typical domestic quarrels taking place through online chats and emails. Not very long ago a Muslim wife was declared legally divorced by the Shariat (Islamik law) when her husband conveyed the word “talaq” three times through online chat (see “Talaq joke during  internet chat may cost youth his marriage”(2010,October,27) in msn news. Retrieved on 25.12.2010 from The write up claims that the husband had unknowingly used the devastating word and that brought the marriage to an abrupt end. But Shariat is not the only legal source to punish such thoughtless idiotic communications which takes toll on marriages. The definition of domestic violence under section 5 of the Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act,2005, may also be cited as one of the preventive legal provisions which bars usage of humiliating, insulting words by husband or relative/s of husband against the victim woman. This law strengthens protection of women from verbal abuse hurled by their men especially when such verbal abuses are carried out by any means including the digital medium.
Sadly enough, in India, many educated men have taken to verbally abusing their wives over their work place designation, relationship with colleagues, child bearing capacity, attitude to their families and homes etc.  This is especially because these men do understand that physical violence over their wives may mar their own reputation as educated, matured and modern young husbands. Hence verbal abuse through internet could be the most sorted after way to express anger and frustration over the marriage relationship. If the  Supreme Court judgments over the grounds of divorce are analyzed in light of digital era, it could be seen that such via-internet mess up may include conveying insulting, humiliating words to the wife through online chat, emails, message box etc, spreading ridiculous messages about the wife to friends and acquaintances, creating fake profiles to irritate the wife etc.
No wonder, women also take to internet to abuse their husbands. Many anti-domestic violence law activists have rightly pointed out that the broad provisions of this Act supporting women almost blindly, may be misused by many women against innocent men. I do support them partly. But in a traditional patriarchal society like India once a woman’s reputation is destroyed by her husband, it is none other than the woman herself who has to suffer the brunt of the “mistake” of her husband. Cyber space must not create the war-zone between the husband and wife. Once it is turned in to so, even the law of the land may also not save the marriage.
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. (2010), “Do not mess with your wife through cyber space; it could lead to divorce”, 27th December,  2010, published in

Friday, December 17, 2010

Is your (virtual) boyfriend goading you to show yourself nude? Beware! He might be a cyber sex-addict.


Very recently I opened an account in MySpace with a gender neutral name to get some more friends. As usual of the cyber trend, I received couple of messages from men and women and when I clicked on the women’s profiles I felt I have wrongly clicked on some porno site. All those girls who sent me requests braved to show their nude body parts, some could have very well be fitted as advertisements for stylish inner wears  for girls, some had smoky eyes, some wore decent dresses but maintained a “breast line” for their hemline to show off their cleavages. Some had low hip jeans pants which ended almost immediately where they begun. Well, I did receive request from men too; some had amazing six packs like movie stars, some had wonderful tattoos on their strong arms, some were again modeling for men’s under wears  and some had very decent dresses on them but the tagline told me they are mischievously decent. Well, this happens with every new user of social networking sites. Women users may get to see many male profile owners who are “really interested” in having a “relationship”. Beware if such profiles show a host of female friends who may have “sexy” profile screen names or sexually explicit pictures like women in bikini, in see-through lingerie, or women showing only nude breasts or groin or parts of these nude body parts. No genuine user would create such profiles in social networking sites specially made for all age groups for socializing. Either these profiles are impersonated profiles or are created for completely adult entertainments. Mostly men, who display such friend-list, suffer from addiction to cyber sex. This term represents a conglomeration of sexual activities including masturbation by getting high level sexual arousal after viewing the sexually arousing images/audio/video movie clippings etc.(see  Cybersex. (2010, December 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:19, December 18, 2010, from If befriended, such men can ask the female friend to come over for live video chat or show her pictures or can even ask for showing nude body parts like bare shoulders, cleavages, size of the waist, naval, the colour of the bra or even panties. Well, the man may not ask these things right at the beginning of the chat or socializing, but he may slowly gain the confidence, and then groom the victim to fulfill his emotional and sexual needs and finally go ahead with these “demands”. If the demands are not fulfilled, the ‘good friend’ can even turn a real ‘hard nut’ who can misuse the previously captured images or personal pictures of the victim that are shared with him.
In India, the recent Bombay High Court judgment about viewing of pornography in private places as a personal right (see may really put such cyber sex addicted people in an advantageous position and the victim may have really nothing to do except repenting over her decision to allow this ‘friend’ to ‘watch’ her for his satisfaction. Hence be careful when choosing a virtual boyfriend. Remember “prevention is better than cure”.
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. (2010), “Is your (virtual) boyfriend goading you to show yourself nude? Beware! He might be a cyber sex-addict”, 18th December,  2010, published in

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Match making sites ………do they really match?


Couple of years back one of my friends had a tiff off with her boyfriend and she decided to take revenge in a unique way…….she created a profile in a matrimonial site with a fictitious name and bio to show her boyfriend how much in demand she is still now.  Fortunately she was wise enough not to give her own personal details except her good old granny’s phone number which she often used as a ‘spare number’ . In no time, her inbox was flooded with proposals asking her to send her picture immediately. Some were from the prospective grooms; some were from the parents of ‘boys’. She played a trick. She chose one proposal from a prospective groom who described himself ‘good looking’, ‘in his thirties’, ‘caring’, ‘well paid’ and ‘only son of parents’. She fixed up an appointment with this Mr. Handsome in a public place (well, she knew it was a ‘game’ so she dared not to see him in a restaurant or a ‘lover’s corner’). He obviously exhibited a very charming picture in his profile page and he indicated that he would be in ‘pink’ shirt as my friend loved that soothing colour. She reached the place in time and hid herself in the crowd to keep a watch on this Mr. Pink. There he appeared, gave a message to her mobile about the exact place where he is standing and told he is eagerly waiting to see his lovely would be bride.; he was medium built, half bald, had a good bulging belly. My friend probably guessed all these. She came back, changed her number and withdrew her profile from the site..........Both of them were not right and my friend promised that never again she would play such tricks...... and perhaps the man was a habitual 'flirt'.
This is not a new story for many readers…..isn’t it?  Cheating through matrimonial sites has become very common phenomena now days. Although the sites do caution the viewer about reliability of the informations provided by the account creators, many parents rely on the face value of the profile holders than the real value of their daughter’s life. At the same time,  I also know another friend of mine who is now leading a blissful married life due to matrimonial site…she chose her husband from the matrimonial site herself after having a thorough investigation done by her friends and acquaintances and finally she even dropped in herself with her parents to check the reality.
            Marriages through online matchmakers really have a 50-50 chance especially when one does not search properly. Internet has given a platform to create numerous avatars of oneself and it has indeed become very easy to cheat. I have noticed that there are sockets which can easily pull the ‘ignorant’ participant/s to the vicious web; these are as follows:
Anxiousness of  parents who want their daughters to get married by hook or crook;
Eagerness to get ‘foren’ bridegrooms;
Presumption that the ‘boy’ really earns and owns a good fortune;
The peculiar Indian mindset that ‘looks really don’t matter for men when they can feed their wives well and look after them comfortably’;
Lack of awareness about the dangerous ‘side effects’ of internet match-makings.
Some may argue……what is so special to talk negatively about internet matchmaking when people can be cheated in offline real life match making too……Well, there IS some thing to talk about. There are always chances that the girl’s personal informations and pictures are misused and her reputation is so much jeopardized that she may never be considered as a ‘good girl’ in the marriage market. What pains me more is, these innocent victims become heavily depressed and withdrawn for some mischievous activities of others.
            Well, the good news is, in India, we do have good laws both under Indian Penal code and also under Information Technology Act which can nail the charlatan. Both these laws can be applied to book the mischief monger under sections dealing with cheating and impersonating primarily and also under provisions which safeguard one’s privacy, reputation etc. But the bad news is,  suing  the matrimonial sites may not be fruitful for the fraudulent activities of the fake ‘prospective groom’, as they enjoy  immunity from this very liability (especially when they have  already exercised due diligence).
Hence the only way to be safe when going for matchmaking through internet is, to search and research and then refresh the search.

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. (2010), “Match making sites ………do they really match?”,October  2010, published in

Wednesday, September 1, 2010



As practitioners, students and also researchers, all of us are familiar with the term extortion and its related consequences. But I wish to discuss something other than ordinary extortions. No, it is not coercion for money, but it is coercion for sexually explicit pictures and lust for having such images in one’s personal computer for further purposes; or in one word ‘sextortion’ that is the prime focus of this blog of “Centre for Cyber Crime Victim Counselling (CCVC)”©. The word sounds peculiar…...isnt it ? But most researchers on cyber crime and internet pornography, especially those who are dealing with child-victims, may have come across this term. It is actually a form of exploitation where the accused coerces the victim for more sexually explicit pictures for future hardcore pornographic use.* Often Sextortion may also begin with ‘sexting’** by the victim himself/herself; that’s a risky game in real sense where one captures self nude or seminude images and floats it in the web to ‘show off’. General internet users, women and children especially may face this problem where harasser may suddenly start playing dirty tricks after he befriended the victim under the guise of ‘visitor’. Perhaps exchange of a few words about sexual orientation, personal interests and a peep into the personal albums may be enough for extorting sexually explicit images. There are umpteen numbers of examples where teenagers and young adults had fallen victims of this. Especially high school teenagers, who may have started experiencing the adventurous, daredevil days, may be in the high risk zone. No wonder, in some cases women are also the vulnerable victims especially when they are novice internetters and befriend one and all through chatrooms, social networking sites or even dating sites. Sextortion could happen in ways one can only think of in his/her bad dreams ……may be peer networking and then hacking or may be simple data mining from ‘unprotected’ online profiles. My quick research on this topic lead me to a news clipping “Man pleads in apparent sextortion case” (could be found in and I was nearly shocked to find this man was pleaded NOT GUILTY for a train of federal charges which he confessed to have done on the instigation of some over zealous cautious male intimate partners.
What could have been the case as per Indian laws? Well, seen from a holistic legal point of view, extortions such as these could be a complete NO as per our laws. There are several penal provisions both from the Indian penal Code and also from the Information Technology Act 2000 (amended in 2008) which could team up to give a good lesson to these sorts of accused. Note that these provisions may push these types of cases to non bailable offence also especially when the harasser decides to play over smart.
But do not think these are new ‘games’ in the Indian cyber space. Such tricks are already experimented and many innocent victims do tend to fall in the trap. Hence be careful.
*see Sextortion. (2010, August 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:48, September 1, 2010, from and also see “Feds: online sextortion of the teens on the rise” .Retrieved from
** see Sexting. (2010, August 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:24, September 1, 2010, from
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. (2010), “Extortion of different kind”, 1st September, 2010, published in"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Abuse of intimate moments in the cyber ways


Often I am asked why plight of adult women in the internet bothers me more than children. It is disheartening to note that adult women often suffer more than children do and few understand the problems. There are many vicious windows which portray women in nasty styles .Earlier when I was researching on these sites, especially on adult entertainment sites, I noted that these sites present apparently “very legal” pictures; for instance, the viewer needs to certify that he/she is not a minor, the sites display that models have acted with their free will and none are minors even though some may look like minors. But what whirled around in my head was……… are these models playing really as per their free wills? Well, in certain circumstances I doubt and I have every reason to doubt. As a cyber crime researcher and counselor, I get to see many cases where releasing either original or morphed  intimate pictures, videos etc, showcasing women especially, has become a fashion for showing revenge taking power for many broken hearts. Couple of months back, I wrote a blog on ‘forced pornography’. Well, in this blog I wish to discuss about some ‘real breach of trusts’ through adult entertainment sites, ‘storage websites’ with capacity of store huge MBs of files , peer to peer networking etc. Often men and women enter into ‘forbidden experiments’ either coerced by emotional needs or just for experimenting. In such intimate moments either both of them consent or one is forced to consent by the other partner for emotional needs. What the female partner do not consent for, is clicking her in this ‘too much private’ situation. These people are mostly not married couple but may be committed or may not be. Well, this had never remained new phenomena, but what emerged as a new fashion is to take undue advantage of this situation in the very cyber way.  Often these pictures or videos are offered to many unwanted sites which are possibly the best revenge for breaking hearts one can think of. A year back I came across an article which pointed out how possibly internet helps to carry on trafficking of women for sex industries. Perhaps this is one of easiest ways to traffic women virtually. Now, where does the breach of trust or abuse of intimate moments arise here?
Internet has become a way of life for us. Internet provides every single information we need. Practically after the internet revolution many people forgot the ways to real life libraries, smell of old and new books and even the patience to read the good old books. Well , well…….definitely I belong to one of those who now rarely visit libraries. People of my sort love to stay in the internet as long as it is possible and no wonder, several men and also women love to get sexual pleasure from such adult entertainment sites. Imagine the plight of those innocent women who would have popped up in these sites without their knowledge and even consent. How much humiliation these women may go through when some inquisitive, caring friend or relative  makes an international call/long distance call /lands up at the door step suddenly  to let  such victims know what has happened…!
Do our Indian laws say some thing? Well, off course yes. The Indian Penal Code, the century old caretaker of Indian victims’ rights may be mentioned as foremost. Section 509 strictly prohibits harming the modesty of women with a penal punishment  which may run to one year imprisonment or fine or both. The mischief was given a more strict approach through  Indecent representation of women (prohibition) Act 1986, which through section 3 and 4 aims to prohibit indecent representation of women; this Act writes a stronger note  when such women victims are depicted in that particular indecent  fashion without their consent and knowledge. Quite in the same line, Indian information Technology Act (Amended) 2008 also prohibits intrusion into the privacy of women ( and also men) in the cyber way through section 66E which prohibits voyeurism and prescribes punishment for three years and also a huge monetary fine; the Act further prohibits publishing obscene materials under section 67 and materials containing sexually explicit materials under section 67A . Note that   the later section prescribes a noncognizant, non bailable imprisonment for a term of maximum 7 years.
 Readers, don’t be surprised to note that even though these ‘seems to be strong laws’ operate in our country, innocent women are still being  exhibited in these adult entertainment sites. Humiliation piles up, victimization leaves a deep trauma and those behind these nasty activities feel this is the magic of cyber space. People don’t forget, one moment’s mistake can land you in legal trouble for ever……………no matter whether it is cyber space or real space, law will never forgive such mischief mongers.

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. (2010), “Abuse of intimate moments in the cyber ways”, June  2010, published in"  

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cyber victimization: We can prevent it…..and we will


In India, cyber victimization remains a hush hush issue when it comes to individuals. In 2009 I, a lawyer and a Ph.d candidate of NLSIU myself, along with my criminologist husband created “Centre for Cyber Victim counseling”© for the cause of cyber crime victims of India. We are happy to note that our organization’s website proves useful to many. Indeed, me as a woman and as an internet user also, have been ridiculed and teased several times in the internet and I know there are several men and women who have been victimized like me in the cyber space. I have learnt to use my bad experiences, my knowledge of   law and my legal background for good and I dedicate my experiences for the cause of betterment of the society through “Centre for Cyber Victim counseling”© . Our organization will be celebrating it’s first birthday in July this year and as a first anniversary celebration, we have revamped our organization website and it can be seen @ We help victims through online counseling and we have teamed up with our national and international knowledge partners to work towards prevention of cyber victimization. We are now spreading our wings and we will be arranging awareness programmes.  As our first initiative, we will be the “support partner” for the first international conference of South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology (SASCV) ( We are also requesting the print media to contact us for more information in this regard which will be a fruitful effort towards prevention of cyber crime.
From my own personal experiences I can say “being a victim” is the hardest truth one may have to come across. I started ‘interneting’ since 2005 .As a new owner of a personal computer and the broadband connection; I loved to mail my friends and cousins in different cities and countries. I was practically confined in a house with a two year old baby and some arrears in for my   Master of Law (ML) degree examinations. I felt ridiculous with no law teachers who can guide me for the study materials, no fellow students with whom I can discuss and no friends around to whom I can confide how hard it is write exams with a two year old baby. I didn’t take to depression –drugs , instead I went for internet. I started getting huge study materials and friends .Well,   I did pass the exams well, but I didn’t leave internetting even after I was conferred ML degree. Those days privacy in the internet was relatively little known issue. I became members of couple of social networking sites and within days my inbox was swept with teasing, vulgar messages. I loved to fuss about my husband and I prominently displayed “married” status every where. No wonder, he started getting unwanted mails and bullying attacks soon. In fact I remember a particular occasion when I demanded a dinner outside because he “won a lottery”. Fortunately he is well read and he told me no dinner because that was a fake mail. I really didn’t believe it as long as one of our friends reported to have lost nearly Rs. 25,000/-  .Well, that was one of my first encounters with cyber crime. Slowly my interest grew in this area and I found so many victims of similar incidences around me. I know I may sound odd, but it is a bitter truth …....many don’t know how they are being victimized online and many individuals willingly become victims. “Centre for cyber victim counseling”© is build upon the trust that the victim’s immediate need would be looked after. I call all the victims who fear to face the reality, to really face it bravely. Consider our organization at as your friend ……we are there to help you. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

How secure are female cyber crime counselors?


This blog is dedicated to all female cyber crime counselors who may have come across numbers of harassments in the cyber space for their noble fights to help other victims.

Way back in 2007 when I started experimenting my writing skill with the e-journals and mags ,I never thought what I may have to face finally. I was a very new writer and I approached a cyber law magazine named “Cyber” for publishing my thoughts. The editor, Ankur Raheja,  an accomplished lawyer himself, was very kind to give me some space in his new venture, the law magazine, to express my ideas about cyber crime against women. Couple of days after my article was published; I started getting mails from individuals asking for “help” and “suggestions” for their own problems in the cyber space. I thank each of these individuals because they were the very first persons to make me understand how grave the problem of cyber crime against women could be. I started developing my own interest in the subject and started my own independent research. I came across numbers of blogs, as well as personalities, professors, lawyers and human right activists who are working on prevention of cyber crime all over the world. I started following blogs and write ups of several female cyber crime activists like Jayne Hithcock, Parry Aftab, Emma , Lynn Roberts, Citron ……to name a few and I was more surprised to see how many of such women activists had been attacked in their personal lives because they are women and they work against cyber criminals. Well, I too have joined the gang of these brave and bold  women and I did taste how it feels to be wounded in their way.
            I read Jayne’s experiences in the cyber space in many of her interviews and her own website @ Well it was not because she was a “she” that victimization took place in many occasions, but her being a “she” also contributed to a certain extent in the victimization process. Citron in her article “Cyber civil rights” wrote about numerous law students and female activists who were “Man- handled” for their works in the cyber space……The story actually begins here ……as cyber crime counselor and cyber right activists, many women had to sail  in the rough weather. The very common of all these harassments is probably receiving threatening mails from anonymous individuals. Next in line are obviously defamatory and bullying messages, of which I myself am a victim. Many times my husband, who himself is very much into cyber security issues, has to hear “made up” stories and ‘complains’  about me. Fortunately I haven’t come across any severe cyber sexual threats still now, but the story may not be the same with other female cyber activists. The other big disturbing factor is getting to hear not –so- funny comments about our own ability to carry on the mission because we are “women after all”.  It is really disheartening to see such messages in the inbox or message boxes ……many of you there would be smiling now , thinking “weird … come such silly teasing-remarks   can become crime?”…….. well, off course it is “wrong” to insult any woman in this way. Some call it “gender harassment” and  I love to term it “unwanted harassment”.
            Women are not safe….. even if “she” is into prevention /protection unit. Funnily enough, men and women both ‘love’ to  harass women cyber crime activists when it comes to save their own misdeeds .I had  mentioned in my earlier blog in  “When men turn victims  and women the offenders”, (March 2010, published in as how women also become "cyber harassers". However,as it has always remained….when a woman cyber crime counselor/activist boldly brings up the issue to the law and justice machinery, often “Lady Justice” turns a mute spectator initially,  because  the reporting agency may never understand what the hell has happened that this woman is making such a big fuss out of that small issue…………Well….blame on us ‘human beings’…..we really never think it is not always the children who need protective internet laws but also adults who need little sense of understanding and decency to not to play with fellow human beings with internet as a 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. (2010), “How secure are female cyber crime counselors?” March 2010, published in"

Monday, March 22, 2010

First conference of SASCV

With immense pride, it is announced that South Asian Society for Criminology and Victimology is going to have its first international conference at Jaipur, India. Students, academicians, professionals ...........all are welcome to  participate in the conference. Please visit for more informations.Please note, you can present your paper/s on any one of the  themes which are announced in the website and not necessarily cyber crime alone.The  papers would be selected after a high level peer review and you may even get a chance to publish your paper in the "International journal of criminal justice sciences" ( Please visit for more informations). 


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Celebs and crime

This is in sequence of my earlier blog on female actors and their plight in the cyber crime arena posted on titleled "Cyber harassing the women , saga continues for Indian cine stars".to day morning I noticed this particular blog has been copied in another site without clearly giving the original source, i.e, the name of the author, the web resource etc. What I understand  is , probably in my earlier blog in question, I had taken names of few well known glamorous  female actors and that caused my blog and myself to be taken away from me.Sounds funny? well, that's it... woman is again in trouble. This is what I wanted to prove as how female celebs attract unwanted onlookers and also perpetrators in the cyber space.

However, I want to clearly mention that if some one is interested to use my blogs or for that instance, any blog of any individual, the work must be properly cited.please do mention the author's name , the blog's original address and then explain how it really affects you for good or bad.
Hope this creates an awareness again for cyber crime against women in India and world as well..
Debarati Halder, Advocate

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Centre for Cyber Victim Counseling (CCVC): A committed organization to help Cyber Crime Victims


It had been eight long months since we started Centre for “Cyber Victims Counseling” (CCVC). I felt this is the right time to write a few words about this brain child of ours……me and my husband. We are basically a “Trust”, an all voluntary not for profit NGO with social service agenda, working towards betterment of cyber space. Our primary concern is Indian cyber space. Being a lawyer myself, I felt this is the best way I could contribute to my country and countrymen. Indian cyber space has become more secured than before due to several organizations and individuals who are working on cyber crime issues since couple of years. On behalf of CCVC, we are proud to follow their footsteps.   
 When we conceived the idea of CCVC, I never knew there would be so many responses. Many contacted us for different sorts of help and guidance from within the country as well as outside the country. We in CCVC are thankful to all of you who consider us “worthy friends” to tell your problems. While we were building CCVC, we received many criticisms too. We consider them as treasures in disguise. Feedbacks, guidance and criticisms make CCVC stronger to help the victims, individuals, students and the researchers as well. We are growing in handling each experience of yours. I take this opportunity to thank Jayne Hitchcock, whom I consider as my mentor. I got to learn basic cyber ethics from her. WHOA and Hitchcock were our “motivators” behind starting CCVC.
I know, healing a patient with physical pain is a tough job. But healing a victim of cyber attack is neither an easy task. The pain one goes through remains for long, some times for life. Besides providing counseling to cyber crime victims, what satisfies me more is the blogs I run as a part of CCVC’s activities. These blogs creates awareness about cyber crimes and victimisation. I would be extremely happy to help all who need to know about cyber crime and laws . In the CCVC, we are planning for more activities in the coming months. Do keep an eye on CCVC’c blogs @ and to know about our further plans and activities.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Aishwarya Rai continues to be my dream actress since the day she appeared in the Indian cinemas for the first time. I have a chosen league of movie stars, television actors and media entertainment personalities whom I love to watch on the TV screen as well as in real life. Believe me, I was equally fascinated as well as shocked when I found them in the interent. I was fascinated because Facebook and Orkut helped me to connect with them, see their very private self. I was shocked because when I Google searched their names I got to see ugly sides of their public life. I know, there are thousands of “FANS’ like me who continuously lookout for new developments in their matinee idol’s lives. But there are “fans” who love to cherish these poor human beings in other ways. I saw Aishwarya’s "not wanted" pictures in some “Hot sites”. Others were also not spared,  Katrina, Ceilina Jeitly, Raima Sen …….to name a few. Go for name searching in Orkut or Facebook and you will find umpteen numbers of good, bad, worst and even worser sites depicting female actors in unwanted ways. Cyber tactics are responsible for this. Most of the ‘hot pictures’ some one gets to see of these actors are doctored pictures .Some victims get to know this to their utter shock and , some feel the best way to reduce the menace is to avoid and ignore the paparazzi. But the problem is not limited to sexual depiction only. There are sites to hate them ,there are sites made *with* these poor human beings to show women from all walks of life what mutilation of virtual life could be, and there are people who love to let other know “see this woman of silver screen can beg for virtue”. Stalking, spreading bad gossips, threatening and blackmailing with already available pictures of these actors by cyber assistance have become a cake walk for perpetrators. What amuses me more is these women are even not spared when they want to network with their friends and family through social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace. Way back, I came across such impersonated profiles of leading TV stars which promised to give a “good time” once chatting session starts. My own cousin being in the film fraternity, I know personally how these poor victims of cyber crime can react.
The question is who does it and why it is done? One truth which surprises me is, the perpetrator could generally be a die hard fan who wants to come in touch with the actor by hook or crook. Again, doing pornography business with already available avatars of “wanted” faces is off course a lucrative venture…….well, once the technology works for the entrepreneur, there is no need to hire real life “models” .Ex spouses also fill the fuel sometimes.
When a fraction of these cases get reported, most of the time, more than the police, media investigates the issue and these piles up the humiliation. Imagine when the victim is an upcoming star having a good academic background (especially those who have chosen profession in media and entertainment leaving conventional job offers) and an erudite family and friend circle to lie upon, what psychological stress her peers could go through, leave her own mental state of affairs. No doubt, many times such types of cases are registered faster and given good priority for the name sake. But that does not solve the problem always. A personal meeting with the ‘heart throb’ and ‘promises’ to remove the links may end the case before the Judiciary gets the chance to experiment the case with newly formed protective laws. The story does not end here, this sets an example for other die hard fans to find out better ways to interact with the chosen actors. 

Does any one care that this adds up to cyber harassments and the law remains mute spectator?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Defaming women in the Indian cyber space; does anybody bother about penal laws?


When I was a new internet user, I loved to experiment with my virtual avatar by befriending one and all. I never used to think this may bring unwanted “danger” or “perpetual nuisance”. At first, it was hotmail where I created an account and way back in 2004/5 , my email was the only identity for me in the cyber space. There were no social networking and no online chatting options available to me other than the yahoo messenger which I used to talk to my sister who stays over seas. Well, I had very limited knowledge about networking then. But slowly internet addicted me. I became quite a darling to internet predators who invaded my yahoo id…..I started getting funny mail messages and I sometimes ignored them, sometimes answered very foolishly. But, “they” never crossed their limits. In a way, probably these “senders” understood that I am not a good dish either for them or for the purpose of serving to others as I never shared any of my pictures or informations online and I was never interested in “intimate chattings”. But never mind, I won’t lie….. Sometimes, I loved those pranky messages. In no time, I was introduced to social networking and I used to hit the sites at least twice a day. I found a new world altogether. This time also, I never minded to choose friends randomly whoever peeped in. I felt quite comfortable to share my informations this time, as I believed, most of them out there are telling the truth. But yes, by the third month, I understood why it is called the “vicious net”. I saw quite a lot of groups or communities making fun of women…………..ordinary individuals as well as celeb women. I was not surprised when I saw some filthy comments in my own scrap book too. I knew it was time for me to close doors to unknown visitors. I did exactly that. But I still I cant accept when I see people making fun of women in the internet. Sadly, Indian women are humiliated by their counterparts not only in the real world, but in the “unreal world” too. It has become quite a fashion to use the computer keyboard to undress a woman and tell a tale about her to others. Remember “pen is mightier than sword” theory? Some “nuts” execute the theory in a digital fashion in most unwanted way.
But hey, come’ on. We have a strict law against it. The Indian Information Technology Act 2008 voices the concern .Remember, if some one wants to defame the woman online with false “stories” (enough to make the victim “annoyed” and the recipient “confused”) and sends it to a huge audience for cherishing the “gossip”, Section 66A will promptly sentence him/her for imprisonment which may extend to two to three years; If the perpetrator prefers to put on filthy “lascivious” words and pictures of his victim/s by doctoring her/their picture, then section 67 awaits for you with imprisonment sentences which may lock you in for two to three years; if the perpetrator wants to make the victim “ashamed”, “disgusted” or “traumatized” by publishing compromising pictures where he claims to accompany his victim, no matter what, be prepared to be “in” for minimum five years under section 67 A. Perpetrator, you may not be allowed to move freely because if section 67A tames you, there may not be any bail. And, do not forget the monetary fines along with imprisoning sentences. Your bank balance may become NIL . Ohhhh..wait.. Indian Penal code will play a foremost role to book the perpetrator under several strong sentences too; sections 500,501 and 509 will be the foremost of them when the question involves defamation and ruining the modesty of the woman. Section 292 A also awaits to be “employed” in, if the perpetrator plans to circulate doctored pictures, pictures of intimate moments or ‘please keep secret’ stuff to blackmail his victim.

So, next time if you want to hurt a woman in the most chosen mischievous fashion, remember, it is no more a “child’s play”.