Children and Cyber Crimes in India

In the criminal consequences of computer related conducts children are the most vulnerable victims as they go through visualization the mass of materials and get confused. Incidentally the 'Cyberspace' is the environment within which a computer hacker operates. In a novel activity, a programmer over coming the physical security barriers, makes changes in the physical structure or modifies the image and releases it for viewing. Such action affects senses. Such use of physical descriptions may represent the sentiments of users particularly the young children of either sex, in the form of indistinguishable reality, no matter how exotic it may be. In a gradual process Internet became the common source of sexual and sensual entertainment for all including children. Cyber stalking, online ebrcorninq. Disseminating indecent materials to minors, sexual performance by a child, repeated and threatening behavior and consequential off-line harassment are few computer related problems that haunt children. The user may find it in the form of demand through web camera. The reason for such hacking by young children may be due to the fact that it is an indirect experience or distance contact with the opposite sex and young children of such age group feel comfortable with the electronic media in order to meet their sexual curiosity or for gratification of such desire.

Criminologists have identified the possible causes of computer crimes as Pedophilic activity; pornographic activity and stalker activity where it is most likely hood of children being victim”. In Pedophilic activity, the programmer desires to sexually exploit or solicit children for sex through electronic media. In most of the cases the offender provides identity on the services, giving false personal information, or changes the same as many times as possible. these service areas are in the nature of 'Kids Area' and are identified as 'Teens 8B', 'Games BB' and 'Chat to which a computer user makes contact with the other side through email; may be friend with and extract personal information and in gradual process may transmit mail containing sex information. In pornography, the service provider misrepresents his identity and dispatches a mail to a child user of computer for sending photographs for a carrier of fashion or modeling, with an offer of incentive or money and sometimes they assure their victims that such pictures are for personal or confidential use. When they receive such pictures they interpolate the same through graphic program and convert them to pornographic pictures such as putting the face of the victim on the nude body of the person or convert them into intimate postures and release through Modem for hacking by users, with out the knowledge of the victim. Stalkers are individuals who are obsessed and very often intimidate the victims and provide repeated messages for obtaining answers from them. Once they confirm access by the victim, they follow the victim and harass and later make telephonic contacts to develop intimacy and if possible sexually exploits them. In order to avoid identification and to that extent criminal prosecution, the service provider stipulates conditions of access as to 'Pass word' or download the message into a Floppy to avoid criminal prosecution and mostly such cyber sexual crimes are privately done or in such places where privacy is strictly maintained.


The law relating to offences which effect public health, safety and morality, more precisely resulting through the cyber system might fall in to the category of obscenity as the act might deprave or corrupt the young mind with an immoral influence"; or might jeopardize the safety of the young person, under the age of twenty on years, for being exposed to such drawings, paintings, representations of figures which might affect his/her morality': and finally such act obscenity might happen in a public place so as to cause annoyances. Thus, the Penal Law of India stands for punishing for the offences which expresses or suggests unchaste or lustful ideas or are impure or lewd or may be indecent acts. But due to complexities of proof either for the prosecution or for the defence,the victims of the cyber crimes accept the brunt, as can't but done, only to suffer silently the disgrace. Often their modesty, shyness and respectability in the society force them to remain as innocent victims. In recent times the cyber space has become a fertile field for illegal activity and often lead to violent crimes. To combat the same, India has passed an Information Technology Act, 2000,which contain provision relating to cyber stalking to certain extent. Such child pornography not only depicts the sexual assault of the child but also allows the molester to recruit, seduce and control future victims. In a cyber stalking, a person is followed and pursued online his/her privacy is invaded and his/her every move is watched. He/she is subsequently harassed only to disrupt his/her living and/or often intimidated to be afraid or threatened. Such computer sex offender's work for driving a wedge between children and their families or at exploiting their relations. Software bugs or hackers are not just annoying. But a wrong use might lead to information warfare, offences and cyber terrorism and in the process leads oneself to remain un concerned of being protected against wrongful hacking. No doubt modernity has interfaced police investigation and Computer Forensics have paved into such growing menace, yet the set tools and techniques find difficult to be accessed by many Indian police either to find, preserve and analyze the fragile digital data as a vital evidence, which can be called as "Audit-Trail' and use the same in the criminal prosecution. Besides such forensic challenges of cyber ":t' crimes, another problem usually faced by investigating agencies is caused due to jurisdiction resulting from global reach of electronic crime and accountability of the apprehended offender.


The judicial stand in the case of obscenity remains on the test that, the tendency of the matter could be considered as obscene only when such matter may pollute the mind or create an immoral influence of the user and for that purpose overall view of the entire work has to be analyzed? Again in another case between State of Punjab v. Dina Nath", it was held that, an act itself would not become obscene merely because it is shocking, disgusting, or is on bad taste, or because it is undesirable or it is corrupt as there is no immutable standard of moral values. Therefore such judicial standards put the society to re-think as to which of the acts would deprave a child's mind and for that matter be termed as obscene". Therefore such a gloomy picture of the judicial standards has obliterated the faith of people on matters of immortality and indecency. Nevertheless, if any act personates the mind as impure, unchaste or lustful might attract punishment, if proven through circumstantial evidence or resulted through indecent association.


In the absence of any cogent remedy against cyber offences, where children are the innocent worst victims, it is high time that children should be given primary education not to adventure fun and frolic within the cyber world; and if legislators have not awakened to the cause, they should forth with enact a law in terms of Computer Misuse Act11, so as to curb and control computer misuse and enable children not to become innocent victims of cyber crimes, while child porn will flood the internet, voyeurism will overdrive them to be victim and at the same time parents will cry in helplessness as laws will remain lax. For these reasons prevention tips for victims should be taken when children are harassed online or offline. Demeaning children is a grave threat to the society. Total check is no doubt impossible, yet it can be controlled by cooperative activity through parental advice and proper guidance, proper youth development strategies, awareness, education campaigns, community policing and providing help-links.