CYBER CRIME IN THE ERA OF SOCIAL MEDIA By Amisha Updhyay

The disruption caused by COVID 19 has given rise to great opportunities, the entire county will be leapfrogging into digital universe. Necessity they say is the mother of all learning. This situation has been an unprecedented event in history of humanity. As now the nation is moving toward digitisation and automation, cyber law will become mainstream. To deal with crimes associated with technology, Information Technology Act 2000 has been formulated. The crime online ranges from creation of fake profiles, revenge-full content, making non- consensual content/images to spoofing, credit card fraud to even cyber terrorism. Here, in this blog we will stick to cybercrimes related only to social media. Cyber-crime can be defined as an offensive attack against a computer, computer resource or data stored within it. There is no static definition mentioned in the IT Act 2000 nor in any other Indian legislation.

Social media is influencing society, economy and public activity of the individuals and has become a piece of everybody's life. Internet based life empowers people to partake and share images and videos, audios, texts and so forth through websites or an application. These are cloud-based big data content, these can be viewed in different forms. Some of the social media platforms popular today are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. The flourishing and fast pace engagement of these platforms have given fertile ground to cyber criminals and their illegal activities.


CRIMES RELATING TO SOCIAL MEDIA


Plenty of crimes are committed on the platform, here are a few:

1.Profile Hacking: When a user is unable to log in to their account. It means that someone else has total control over the account and as changed all the credentials. One of the most hacked social media platform is Facebook.

2.Photo Morphing: Permits an individual to morph or transform one picture or shape into another. It is simple for a programmer to utilise these pictures, alter it and afterward use it for pornography or coercing for money related/sexual additions.

3.Cyber Bullying: Posting any sort of abusing content on the web-based social networking platform or sending inappropriate messages online, or blackmailing of child pornography, stalking via calls, messages etc. is termed as cyberbullying. There are numerous Indian laws that permit a victim to manage this with the assistance of Indian police.

Use of technology and social media had engaged the public to see more wrongdoing all through the Internet raising a simple path for offenders to submit their offenses, for example, fraud, phishing and cyberbullying. The lack of knowledge and information about social networking makes a person an easy focus of cybercrimes and misrepresentation.


LEGISLATION TO PROTECT THE VICTIM:


Cyber defamation is an offence under Section 499 of IPC and Section 4 of IT Act. Prior to this, Section 66 A of the IT Act would also penalise any defamatory content but it was struck down by the Supreme Court as it was not held to be in accordance towards Article 19, freedom of speech and expression. In the case of Ranjeet Udeshi v. State of Maharastra, the Court interpreted and gave a definition to the word ‘obscene’ as ‘offensive to modesty or decency, lewd, filthy and repulsive’. Thereby, obscenity cannot claim protection under free speech without a social purpose or profit. ICANN (Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has recognised cyber pornography by providing them with an acknowledgment of ‘.xxx’ domain. Nevertheless, child pornography under Section 67B IT Act is penalised. Cyber Stalking, deemed with the act to harass or contact another person in ways of stalking another anonymously using the social media platforms. This has been penalised under Section 354 D Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. Hacking which can be defined as virtual trespass wherein to prove offence mens rea (criminal intention) is vital. IT Act Section 43 punishes the offenders for unauthorised access to a computer resource committed “dishonestly or fraudulently”. National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal has been set-up by the government to report on cybercrime complaints online pertaining to online Child Pornography (CP), Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) or sexually explicit content such as Rape/Gang Rape (CP/RGR) content and other cybercrimes such as mobile crimes, online and social media crimes, online financial frauds, ransomware, hacking, crypto currency crimes and online cyber trafficking. The portal also provides an option of reporting an anonymous complaint for reporting online Child Pornography (CP) or sexually explicit content such as Rape/Gang Rape (RGR) content. While reporting such crime, the complainant must select the place where the incident/publication took place, in case of a website or unknown place the complainant must put his place of resident for jurisdiction.

Another alternative method include, to report such obscene content on the respective platforms by reporting or flagging the objectionable contents. The platform will take appropriate measures based on the contents reported to them as per their content policy. Other measures that need to be taken are to be mindful of what we share/post in order to avoid misuse of pictures, kids must be educated on social media cybercrime. Website owner and intermediaries should regulate and monitor traffic.


CONCLUSION

Cybercrimes have been threatening the internet based life since its origin. This is showed in type of false exchanges, hacking, online assault, and digital stalking. Despite the fact that India has powerful laws to manage these violations, the conviction rate is insignificant. More than often, it is seen that the victim of these crime in panic either try to contact the offender or destroy the contents like the photographs, messages etc. which might act as evidences to track down the criminal thereby, making the case against them weak and making the criminal even stronger. Digital Forensics is a developing region. It must be elevated to decide strategies to recognize Cyber Evidence. Further, fundamental revisions must be made in Indian law to be perused agreeably with IT Act so as to control Cybercrimes.


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