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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Am I protected by the Cyber law in India?

I once attended an interesting talk that a lawyer had given on Cyber law in India and how it's implemented..and sometimes even misused. He went to on tell us the way that people get caught by cops and booked under the IT Act 2000. He told us that some of his clients had actually been arrested for things like drunk driving, but when their mobiles were confiscated and with what was found on it, allowed the cops to book them under the IT Act as well.

Here's a list of things he warned us about, that we should never have on our cellphones.

1. Porn and downloaded dirty jokes.
2. Pirated movies and MP3 music that has been illegally downloaded.
3. Pictures of children in a nude or semi-nude state. (This is even if your the parents/relatives of the child.)
4. Office work files, if downloaded on to a smartphone for any reason. If these files are copied onto a USB and taken out of the premises, then it is also a problem. (He actually said that even looking over a colleague's shoulder while he/she works, might be considered an infringement of the Act!)
5. Misusing free tools like Google Maps to pinpoint locations of people, which may look like stalking to cops (and to a lot of us sane people as well).

And this is before we even get to how social media sites may be allowing a lot of the above behaviour to be broadcasted anyway. So, all countries around the world have to deal with this new form of disseminating information, and to protect people who may become victims of it too. In fact, people are acting like vigilantes already. Just the other day, someone tweeted a picture of a man saying that if he was spotted anywhere, then the cops should be called immediately. This was in Delhi.

I felt good that finally mobile phones are being put to good use! I mean, for all the things that people can get arrested for having on their phone, what about men taking pictures of women whom they photograph surreptitiously in public, without our knowledge and certainly without our permission? Is this also a crime? I wish I had remembered to ask this vital question...

In my opinion, it obviously should be. If every creepy male gets away with taking such pictures, then we'll be in all their family albums..at least the ones they maintain on their phones! And the chances of them misusing the photos is practically a moot point. Now imagine Google Glass hitting the market in India..

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