NEW DELHI, Dec 5 (Agencies): Social networking sites are fast becoming a hotspot for cyber criminals.
From morphed pictures to defamatory comments, police officials have their hands full with complaints from users.
Many people have already become victims of obscenity on social networking websites. The Delhi police has recorded over 200 complaints in the past one year alone, regarding morphed photos and derogatory profiles on popular sites, such as Orkut and Facebook.
22-year-old Shraddha is one of those targeted.
“A fake profile was created on Orkut and a picture was also uploaded. This person was chatting in my name to hundreds of other people whom I didn’t know, whom I didn’t have any idea about,” she said.
Cyber Law expert Karnika Seth says, “I think the percentage of reporting (of such cases) may be only close to five per cent at the moment because there are glaring instances when people are not going (to authorities). Sometimes, they are scared to take any legal action.”
Mumbai has also seen a rise in cyber crime. In August, 16-year-old Adnan Patrawala had been kidnapped and murdered by friends he had made through Orkut. Although the miscreants were apprehended in this case, experts and law enforcers feel that websites should be held accountable for the content they post.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Marya says that Mumbai’s police are on the job.
“We are investigating two cases and seeking legal opinion on them,” he said.
Under the Information Technology Act, a cyber-criminal can face up to three years in prison a fine of Rs 2 lakhs for hacking e-mail accounts. Offenders for obscenity in the virtual world face up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine or Rs 2 lakhs.
Cyber criminals can also be charged under the Indian Penal Code for defamation and criminal intimidation.
But though the State’s law machinery is set in place, its policing shall need to be equally efficient.