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Cyber Safety and Security for Women

A presentation on Empowerment of Women, this presentation highlights on:

  • Cyber Space and Social media
  • Relevant Legal Provisions in Information Technology (IT) Act
  • Awareness Creation

Cyberspace characteristics:

  • Virtual, borderless and offers anonymity
  • Complex environment of people, software, hardware and services on the Internet
  • social media including messaging platforms have emerged as one of the important public communication and interaction channels.
    (i) brings social groups together in one virtual place for interaction in real time.
    (ii) can also be used for cyber crime especially against women.
    (iii) No clear jurisdiction Internet
    (iv) Global issue

Growth of Social Media in India:

  • India has about 56.0 crore users on Internet (2019) as per TRAI.
  • Social Media users in India
    (i) About 30 crore monthly active users on FB
    (ii) About 22 crore users on Youtube
    (iii) More than 40 crore on WhatsApp
    (iv) About 3.4 crore Twitter users
  • Around 24 lakhs on Android and 20 lakhs on Apple Store.
  • Some Popular Apps in India: WhatsApp, Youtube, Facebook, TrueCaller, Chrome Browser, Instagram, UC Browser, Tiktok etc.

Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) Initiatives

  • Legal framework
  • Advisories, alerts and orders
  • Technology solutions through R&D
  • Awareness creation

Legal Framework: Information Technology Act, 2000

  • An Act to facilitate e-Commerce and e-Governance
  • India is the 12th nation in the world to give statutory recognition to digital signatures
  • The Act applies to the whole of India and also applies to any offence or contravention thereunder committed outside India by any person irrespective of his nationality, if such act involves a computer, computer system or network located in India
  • Act was amended through the Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 which came into effect from 27th October , 2009
    Amendment also included punishment for pornography, violation of privacy (video voyeurism)

Objectives of IT Act, 2000

  • Legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange
    Digital Signatures and Regulatory Regime for Digital Signatures
    Admissibility of Electronic Documents at par with paper documents
  • E-Governance
    Electronic Filing of Documents and E-Payments
  • Define Civil wrongs, Offences, punishments
    Investigation, Adjudication, Cybercrimes including crime against women and children
    Appellate Regime
  • Amend existing Acts to address IT Act provisions
    Indian Penal Code & Indian Evidence Act-1872
    Banker's Books Evidence Act-1891 & Reserve Bank of India Act-934

Specific provisions in IT Act for cybercrime against women

  • Violation of privacy (section 66E)
  • Obscene material (section 67)
  • Pornography & sexually explicit act (section 67A)
  • Child pornography (section 67B)

Section 66E — Punishment for violation of privacy
Whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years or with fine not exceeding Rs. 2 lakh, or with both".

Section 67 - Punishment for Publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form
Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Section 67A - Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form
Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Section 67B-Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form

  1. publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted material in any electronic form which depicts children engaged in sexually explicit act or conduct; or
  2. creates text or digital images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges or distributes material in any electronic form depicting children in obscene or indecent or sexually explicit manner; or
  3. cultivates, entices or induces children to online relationship with one or more children for and on sexually explicit act or in a manner that may offend a reasonable adult on the computer resource; or
  4. facilitates abusing children online; or
  5. records in any electronic form own abuse or that of others pertaining to sexually explicit act with children, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.”

Intermediaries due diligence rules under section 79

  • Intermediary" with respect to electronic records means any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits that record or provides any service with respect to that record and includes telecom service providers, network service providers, internet service providers, web-hosting service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online-auction sites, online-market places, and cyber cafes"
  • The IT (intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011 requires that the intermediaries shall observe due diligence.
    (i) Terms and conditions to be published including informing users about their dos’ and don’ts.
    (ii) Inform users not to upload content which is grossly harmful, harassing, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, invasive of another‘s privacy
    (iii) Publish the name of the Grievance Officer and his contact details as well as mechanism by which users or any victim who suffers can complain.
    (iv) The Grievance Officer shall redress the complaints within one month from the date of receipt of complaint.

Intermediaries due diligence rules under section 79

Section 79(3)B read with Shreya Singhal Vs. UOI order.

  • Empowers Appropriate govt. or its agencies (Law Enforcement Agencies) to issue notice to any intermediary where an unlawful activity relatable to article 19(2) is going to be committed for an expeditious removal.
  • Article 19(2) includes obscenity, defamation....

Other Measures

  • Blocking of Child Sexual imagery on internet
    (i) Blocking of Interpol based “Worst of-list"
    (ii) MeitY issued an order to lSP’s to adopt and implement Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) resources to prevent the distribution and transmission of online Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM) into India
  • DoT issued advisory (27.3.2017) to lSPs to spread awareness for use of parental control filters.
  • MeitY blocked 827 pornographic websites (on the orders of Hon'ble Uttarkhand High Court).
  • MHA has already made a National Portal on Cyber Crime for reporting from anywhere in the country.

Other measures — Committee to explore feasibility of disablement of RGR videos on Internet

  • Actions taken based on Hon’ble Supreme court case (Suo Moto Criminal Writ Petition Prajawala Vs .... ..)
  • MeitY in co-ordination with all major stakeholders submitted a detailed report and recommendations in July 2017.
  • As a follow-up of this report and recommendations being accepted by Hon’ble Court in totality, various initiatives have been initiated
    (i) Portal for reporting CP/ RGR and extreme obscene Imagery through an online Portal namely
    (ii) Search Engines have put a Warning on certain Key Words. (in English, Hindi and other vernacular languages)
    (iii) MHA has also developed a detailed SOP for issue of notice on section 79 of lT Act.
    (iv) Ease of reporting of obscenity on Social media platforms.
    (v) Close interaction with Social media.

Other initiatives

  • MeitY also works closely with MWCD, NCPCR and MoHFW.
  • MeitY issued an Advisory on 6"“ June 2016 under IT Act, 2000 for Online Matrimonial Websites service providers.
  • Blocking of Online Advertisements related to sex determination of an unborn child (PCPNDT Act).
  • MeitY has been working closely with MHA on their Security of Women Mission.
  • Training and Awareness.

Citizen Awareness Through CERT-IN

  • CERT-In issues Advisories and Vulnerability Notes specifically targeted to ClSOs, Specific organizations and also for Public.
    CERT-In issued in 2019 till Oct Advisories/ Vulnerability Notes: 203
  • CERT-in has issued 59 Advisories/ Vulnerability Notes for citizens to secure digital payments and safeguards in social media and securing mobile phones
  • CERT-In has issued "security tips for common users" in its website To spread awareness about cyber security among the citizens, awareness programs are organized by NIELIT centres at lmphal, Gangtok etc.
  • CERT-In has organized and delivered 15 cyber security awareness lectures in 2019.
  • 10.5 lakhs downloads of bot removal tool available in CSK for cleaning of infected systems.

Citizen Awareness ISEA Project

  • Dedicated Online Portal
  • 1,033 awareness workshops have been conducted covering 1,33,990 participants under Direct Mode
  • 10 Cyber Security awareness weeks resulting in large indirect impact
  • cyber security curriculum - designed for 3-12 standard & submitted to Central Board of Secondary Education/ National Council of Educational Research and Training for adoption
  • 1473 school teachers trained as master trainers;
  • 20 editions of bi-monthly newsletters published;
  • 40 programs broadcasted through Doordarshan/All India Radio;

R&D and Technology Solutions

  • Development and Deployment of an electronic Personal Safety System (ePSS) at Police Control Room, Jaipur by CDAC Trivandrum
  • Design and Development of an affordable Electronic Personal Safety Device (ePSD)
  • Panic Switch based safety device for public transport

Electronic Personal Safety System (ePSS)

  • A personal safety system to provide emergency support to persons in distress.
  • When person in distress presses SoS button of his/her electronic Personal Safety Device (ePSD)/Smart Phone, Police Control Room (PCR) is notified with the emergency message.
  • Victim's location & information is displayed on the city map in the Police Control Room
  • Dispatches this information to the nearest PCR vehicle based on vehicle tracking information.
  • Ensures fast PCR vehicle movement to the incident location and thereby reducing the response time.
  • Keeps logs and report of the entire event.
    (i) Developed by CDAC.
    (ii) Implemented at Jaipur Police Control Room

ePSS System configuration:
The system has 3 components

  • Backend system deployed in the Control Room consisting of servers, PCs, Network Components etc.
  • PCR vehicles fitted with Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) in the field.
  • Personal Safety Devices to activate SoS (Smart phone, GPS tracker etc.)

Electronic Personal Safety Device (ePSD):

Design and development of various models of ePSD with different features.

  • Basic Device : Emergency SOS with GPS, SMS
  • Mid Level Device: Basic Device with integrated Camera
  • Advance device: Mid Level device with voice and Anti Tamper strap and glass breakage
    (i) Project at llT Delhi
    (ii) ePSD developed in various wearable/small form

R&D and Technology Solutions
Panic Switch based safety device for public transport

  • MeitY has sponsored a project at llT Delhi to develop a panic switch based safety device for public transport vehicles under Nirbhaya fund.
  • The objective is to develop a safety device for the passengers travelling through public transport like Cabs and Taxis, in the form of a panic button, which when invoked would transmit an SOS signal to predefined locations including Police using "112" dialing service

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