Published by The New Nation on 25th March, 2017 (Link Above)
Barrister Miti Sanjana :
Fayaz lives in abroad for higher education. He met a girl from Dhaka randomly online. Her profile said she was a graduate from a reputed private university in Dhaka. They used to have long conversation online. Gradually they became good friends. Fayaz saw her beautiful photos in Facebook. She apparently was a very beautiful and innocent looking girl to impress anyone. Fayaz shared his every personal details with her. Eventually he felt connection with that girl which compelled him to visualize meeting her, hanging out with her and even spending the rest of their lives together. All these thoughts making him realize that he finally found someone to start an entirely new happy journey. Few months later he proposed her and that girl gladly accepted the proposal. They had started seeing each other on webcam but the girl was always careful enough to conceal her face. Fayaz used to share every minor moments of his everyday life with the girl. However, when he asked her personal details or phone number, she technically avoided the topic. Slowly few things became very clear to Fayaz – that she was hiding her true identity and using a fake Facebook id. The boy was broken emotionally as he truly trusted her. He stopped making any communication with her and was trying to forget what happened to him in past few months. A few weeks later, she messaged him saying that she recorded some of their personal video chats and was thinking she would disseminate it to his close relatives and friends. He was shocked and panicked. He asked her to delete everything but she said she would only do so if only he pays her an amount of money as per her demand. She kept demanding the money and she believed she deserves a reward for not exposing his personal videos and pictures to the world. She also said that, that she’ll have to punish him for what he has done to her if he didn’t end things with her by fulfilling her pecuniary demand. Finally he discovered that girl has disseminated the screenshots and video chats to his friend and family members. He suffered severe depression out of shame and panic.
With increasing access to the technology, cyber crimes have also increased proportionately. Parliament has enacted Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act 2006 (Amended 2013) to combat cyber crimes. 57 (1) of ICT Act says: “If any person deliberately publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the website or in any other electronic form any material which is false and obscene and if anyone sees, hears or reads it having regard to all relevant circumstances, its effect is such as to influence the reader to become dishonest or corrupt, or causes to deteriorate or creates possibility to deteriorate law and order, prejudice the image of the state or person or causes to hurt or may hurt religious belief or instigate against any person or organisation, then this activity will be regarded as an offence.”
S.57(2) states that whoever commits offence under sub-section (1) of this section, he shall be punishable
with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and with fine which may extend to Taka one crore.
We often stereotype men as shameless and the notion that a man is never ashamed for exposing himself to public is not always true. Fayaz decided that he had to tell someone in his family about his trouble. He could no longer keep blaming himself for something that was not his fault. It is true that, he was careless. But that doesn’t give someone the right to blackmail him and threaten to exploit the evidences. He felt he did not give anyone else the right to judge him and his character either. He was able to convince his friend and family that he was trapped.
There is a need for legislation and enactment of laws but at the same time internet users need to educate themselves on matters of online crime and need to learn how to avoid such steps and how to protect from being a cybercrime victim. We all want to get acquainted with the digital world. Sometimes trivial actions from our side can lead to be a victim of cybercrime.
We always have to maintain online privacy and security of our data by not providing any personal information to any unknown person, smartening up, getting educated about various applications that can help us to be safe and secure online. Providing personal information to an unreliable and unknown person blindly can bring serious consequences. This is not something that can be left to government alone. Each one of us must take the internet security very seriously and should contribute to the fight the cyber crime unitedly.