So, we’re all aware of what blackmail is, right? It is a game of emotional fear, fear of reputation, fear of losing something, or fear of not having the same life as before. Is this correct? That is why I call it “Blackmail- a filthy game of fear.” Actually, it’s a game of distractions as well as fear. We all face distractions, we all want to try something new in our lives, we all want to connect with new people in our lives, we want to attract, we want peace, we want love, and in order to find love and a valuable relationship, we download dating apps, scroll social media, talk to strangers, and so on. We are lacking in real connectivity, the real innocence of love, in today’s era, innocence is under question, we can’t trust someone easily by simply connecting them virtually, no matter for what intention we are connecting them, we must accept that truth, once accepted, you are 100% safe from any threat or blackmailing.
The digital trap
During the recent decade, India has seen an increase in cybercrime and sextortion, which is effectively blackmail for sexual advantage. Sextortion is typically carried out by a blackmailer who has access to a victim’s personal films or photographs. Victims are blackmailed for money, sexual favours, or new compromising material, with the threat of the blackmailer publicising the material if they do not cooperate. Revenge pornography is fairly prevalent when one partner saves explicit material from a relationship. Victims are usually compelled to stay in relationships because to the risk of those explicit photos/videos being released online. Sextortion and revenge pornography are commonly mixed with cyberstalking. Social networking platforms and dating websites have significantly increased the number of such crimes. Because users of video-calling apps are unaware that they are being videotaped, smartphone applications contribute to the risk.
Indian legal provisions concerning blackmail
• Blackmailing is a form of criminal bullying defined by Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code as ‘anybody else who threatens anyone with any injury to his or her person, reputation or property or to an individual or reputation of any person interested in, in order that he or she is alarmed or does not perform any act legally entitled to perform, by way of a means of alarming him or her or her.’ Any sort of prison that can last for up to two years or a fine or a combination of the two can lead to crime bullying.
• Section 384 can also be used to define it: extortion can be punished through any sort of prison, a fine, or both. Up to three years. The sentence is three years and in any magistrate the offence cannot be levied and trialed.
• The victim is entitled to contact the magistrate in her area and inform him or her of the person who she suspects would dispense obscene matter in accordance with Section 108(1)(i)(a) of the Criminal Procedure code. The judge has the power to detain these persons and to ask them to sign a bond which prohibits their dissemination. This can be a disincentive for the accused. The victim can submit a complaint with the judge without any actual evidence against the defendant. This is a quick redress section.
• Section 66E of the IT Act, 2000- – Violation of Privacy – bans capturing or sharing photographs of people without their consent.
• Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000- Transmitting obscene electronic material- Sharing photographs or videos to slander someone is a crime.
• Section 67B of the IT Act, 2000-Child pornography applies- If the victim is a minor, below 18 years.
• Section 67A of the IT Act of 2000 – Electronic content containing sexually explicit acts- It is a serious offence to use concealed cameras to record and exchange video clips.
• If a photo of a lady is taken obscenely and distributed without her knowledge, a voyeurism case under Section 354C of the IPC can be filed.
How to file a complaint about a cybercrime?
Because cybercrime has no jurisdiction, a complaint can be filed anywhere. According to the ARDC (Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission), anyone in any city can file a complaint on a suspect at one of three locations:
• Cyber cells: These units have been established particularly to deal with victims of cybercrime. They are under the supervision of the criminal investigation division of the police department. If your area does not have a cyber cell, you can file an F.I.R. at a local police station. If you are unable to register an F.I.R., you may contact the police commissioner. An F.I.R. must be reported to a police station.
• The National Commission for Women is a non-profit organization that helps victims of Internet abuse engage with legal enforcement. The Commission has the jurisdiction to create an inquiry committee with the authority to conduct spot investigations, gather evidence, examine witnesses, and call the accused in order to expedite the investigation.
• Reporting on social media websites: If both of the above alternatives are impossible to implement for any reason, reporting on social media websites is a possibility. Most of these websites have the option of reporting the crime because the IT legislation of 2011 oblige them to take action within 36 hours of receiving the information to prevent the spread of offensive items.
To ensure that everyone may report cybercrime securely and politely, the system must be a formal and secret method for receiving and registering complaints, ensuring that the event is investigated in the promised confidentiality. More significantly, legal, institutional (sexual harassment committees at universities and schools), and community protection mechanisms (such as NGOs) for these victims, as well as legal and psychological support to encourage victims to come forward and hold abusers accountable, must be established. Rather than marginalizing victims, society should be aware of them and accept them. Individuals confronted with this situation must take the bold step of coming forward and speaking up.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge