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Cyber Cell – Most flopped initiative in India

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Delhi Police had set up a dedicated center to analyze the content of various social media websites in an effort to monitor provocative postings and take preventive steps to check any negative fallout. The decision to set up the center was taken in the backdrop of the increasing influence of social media, which was misused by anti-social elements. I wonder how many times this initiative was taken by police in India as this is the most flopped venture by all state cyber crime police. In India, Cybercrime cell officials are flooded with complaints that do not even have a flake of connection with their field, handling cases of sexual harassment, threats, and abuses just because a cell phone was used. The police wing diverts such cases back to police stations. In such complaints, just NC (Non-Cognizable offence) is registered but no action ever is taken, and if the police want to take action even then there is no special mechanism to deal with such issues in the department. The police department lacks the expertise to deal with cybercrime. The overt absence of cyber in these crimes and that the nature of these offences are covered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and not Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. In a number of complaints, police officials of different police stations transfer the cases to the cyber cell merely because the accused issued threats or abused someone over a cell phone. The cyber cell is here only to provide them assistance, like who was using the cell phone, on whose name the number was registered, and what was the location of the offender.

In the recent past, Social media has turned a little brutal in spreading violence and hate. Already the cybercrime cell is struggling hard to deal with complaints related of sexual harassment, abuse, and offensive languages that the local police can directly deal with. Inciting hatred disseminated on social media is an ongoing dangerous trend. A hate campaign against one another, from a political party to a leader and journalist to a common user is on the rise. There are many examples of how social media is slipping towards provocation are proliferating day after day, some just spread false information to instigate hatred against each other. Many times, simple issues are made complicated and discussed. When arguments are harsher than the basic conversation there starts the quarrel. We have forgotten to debate or do reasoning. Today we are divided on social networks; we talk about unity, united nation, and brotherhood but there are many issues that have alienated us in groups. Incitement to hatred can occur when an individual or group threatens to harass a person or a group of people because of their orientation or ideology. That could be in words, pictures, videos, and even music. It also includes information posted on websites. Laws are written to allow freedom of speech/expression and to define illegal content there is no proper mechanism. Many people don’t register such complaints. For example, if you are against a leader or a political party, you raise the issues concerning her or his performance and governance, scam scandals, or brutality that they committed to this nation and its people. We are bypassing the freedom given to us and violating the rules calling our leaders, waitresses, mass murderers, Maun Mohan to MaunModi, Feku, Pappu penguin, etc. above all there are many religious hate posts that have brought shame to the nation and unrest to human lives.

The attacks are very personal. However, even today such fabric does not seem to be illegal in our country. To find a solution for such issues, the government launched many initiatives whereby people at large protested against this. Only about 164.81 million Indians have access to the internet, and only 143.20 million over mobile phones according to official figures released by the Telecom and Regulatory Authority of India in March 2013. Given this scenario, both the reach in terms of positive and negative impact is still quite limited in India. The prime minister, however, chose to focus on social media’s role on fanning hatred. The majority of chief ministers, then, favor social media regulation. Ideas were thrown forward included taking action within the current legal framework, setting up ‘social media laboratories’ to monitor posts under intelligence departments, and even mobilizing NGOs and prominent citizens to counter social media anecdotes. The irony is that almost all these ministers who were endorsing restrictions on the social networks could not control their own workers going haywire on this platform. If these ministers or the government bring censorship on social networks, how will they promote their agenda? How will they survive without it? However, the real question is the kind of regulation India chooses to favour? In China, a new law can charge people with defamation if a rumor started by them gets reposted over 500 times. In India, current laws allow citizens to go to court over information that has even caused them “annoyance” under Section 66A of the law. To ensure this is not abused, the government has now mandated that a senior police officer looks at individual cases before allowing charges to be filed to avoid nuisance cases. The constitution of India allows for freedom of expression, although with restrictions. The potential for abuse is too great. Unfortunately, as it seems today – social media has become a war filed. It is a virtual battleground, forgetting that we have real-world breathing somewhere.

Anyways there is a lot to talk about on social networks, like Maligning people, False Propaganda, Abuse and threat, fake profiles; Non-political tweetrati’s suffer from censorship. One person holds multiple accounts, with no information. Remaining anonymous they create a ruckus and random assaults and harassment. In the world of viral promotions and millions of fake profiles, how can we ever truly measure the value of social media sites? There are two kinds of Fake followers, one having multiple accounts by one user. They are active and take part in interactions. Another is having twitter followers bot. They can add to the follower count but of no use. They get added and get dissolved, pretty much dummy followers. Now, Under the new programme, police will monitor content on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

These days YouTube is a new platform that supports hate speech, abuses, and religious attacks but nothing is much done to stop it. Meanwhile, in a pronouncement that reiterates the constitutional protection to freedom of speech and expression, the Supreme Court has said that unwitting or careless “insults” to religion should not be prosecuted as this would amount to a misuse of the law. Concerned by the misuse of Section 295A of IPC, which provides up to three years’ jail term for hurting religious sentiments, the Supreme Court limited the applicability of the penal provision to deliberate and malicious acts rather than casual observations that are not driven by malicious intent. Maybe this is the reason, netzines lack deterrence and they randomly attack each other’s deities.


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Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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