Cyber Victimization of Women and Cyber Laws in India

Cyber Victimization of Women and Cyber Laws in India

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-830-9.ch009
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This chapter provides a situational analysis of cyber crimes against women in India and laws that prevent cyber victimization in general and women in particular. The Chapter is divided in to three parts. The part one provides a Situational analysis of cyber victimization of women in India where a pilot study on cyber victimization is also discussed. The Part two of this chapter deals with the current legal protection that are available to women victims in India for cyber crimes such as Offensive communication, Offences against cyber privacy, hacking, stalking and related crimes, Cheating by impersonation, Voyeurism, Pornography, obscenity and indecent representation of women in the cyber space. The part three discusses on various loopholes that exist in Indian laws especially the Indian Information Technology Act and suitable solutions are provided.
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9.1 Introduction

In India, cyber crime against women is relatively a new concept. It can be noted that when India started her journey in the field of Information Technology, the immediate need that was felt is to protect the electronic commerce and related communications and not cyber socializing communications. The drafters of the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, created it on the influence of the Model Law on Electronic Commerce, which was adopted by the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1997. The Act turned out to be a half baked law as the operating area of the law stretched beyond electronic commerce to cover cyber attacks of non-commercial nature on individuals as well. While commercial crimes and economic crimes were moderately managed by this Act, it miserably failed to prevent the growth of cyber crime against individuals including women (Halder & Jaishankar, 2008). However, it took nearly eight years for the Indian parliament to create a modified all exclusive information technology law which tries to regulate illegal cyber activities with prime focus towards protection of electronic commerce. During this gap of eight years of the chaotic lawless situation, India witnessed growth of cyber crimes and watched helplessly the perpetration of cyber crime against women in particular. Often the laws that were used to combat such crimes set a wrong example and confusion; women victims were hugely discouraged to report the crimes by peers; immediate media attention and the attitude of confused government reporting agencies made women victims more traumatized than they were due to cyber crime meted out to them.

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