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Need to recognise emerging forms of cyber crimes against women: Sr CBI officer

·2-min read

Noida, Oct 22 (PTI) Online stalking and image manipulation are common forms of harassment that cause great damage to women and affect their confidence, a senior CBI officer said on Thursday, stressing the need to recognise these emerging forms of crimes in order to act against them.

Superintendent of Police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Kiran Sivakumar said stories of assaults on women and girls are an everyday occurrence across the world and strata of society.

“Technology-related violence against women is often not reported and how technology instead of becoming a saviour for women becomes a hindrance as it aggravates such crimes,” Sivakumar said at a webinar on 'Harassment of Women in Digital Space', jointly organised by the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Amity Law School, Noida.

“There is a need for recognising the emerging forms of crimes and categorizing them to further act on them,” he added.

He called on students to flag such acts and speak out to stop them while stating that there were laws for the cyber world through the Intellectual Property Act and it was essential to make people aware about them as technology-related crimes were “on the rise”.

NCW member Chandramukhi Devi said since technology has taken centre stage in people's lives, cybercriminals have made women their target, according to a statement from Amity.

She asked the victims to come forward, share and report the crimes and seek help from cybercrime cells, it said.

She also called for efforts to aid the victims, spread awareness, and sought stringent laws to prevent harassment of women and children in the digital space, it added.

Supreme Court advocate and cyber law expert Pavan Duggal said the law was not formulated to protect women or children in the cyberspace.

He said it was in 2008 when the Indian cyber law was last amended, and social media has now become a central part of people's lives which needs to be addressed in the Information Technology Act.

“There is an increasing reliance on dark net (which) is allowing the perpetrators to gradually target women and children,” Duggal said.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic with its increasing reliance on technology has also added to the vulnerability of women and children against cyber harassment and stressed on “inculcating a culture of distrust and mistrust” to prevent misuse of privacy and personal data.

He called for sharing information on a need-to-know basis and asked people not to record any self-incriminating content, according to the statement. PTI KIS RHL