CYBER CRIME

Published by The Daily Star on 30th December, 2014 (Link Above)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies.
Query:

Recently I have lost my mobile phone. I was logged in to my google accounts. Right after I lost my mobile phone someone went into my account and posted many private photographs of me. My account was also used in posting many obscene pictures and videos. I have tried to change down the password but before I could do it, the password was changed. I do not have access to the account now and the person who is using it right now, have not yet stopped posting obscenities. I need your advice as to what can I do and whether the person doing such things have committed any crime or so?

Anonymous

Response:  
Thank you for soliciting me to provide legal advice on the aforesaid matter of yours. From your query what I understood is that your mobile phone was lost and someone else now is using your mobile phone and other accounts of yours to post obscenities, but the user is unidentified and unknown. At the beginning, I urge all the readers to secure their passwords of all internet based accounts.
I would like to start by saying that whoever is using your mobile or account to post obscenities and private pictures and information of yours have committed offences under Information and Communication Technology Act 2006. The name that is commonly used to address such offences is Cyber Crime.
Over the years many has been using technologies, like computer systems, mobile systems etc. to commit crime via the cyber world, however, the government and the authorities are now being more vigilant regarding such.
The offence is dealt under Chapter 8 of the ICT Act 2006 in which section 57(1) of the Act says that if any person deliberately publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the website or in electronic form any material which is fake and obscene or its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, or causes to deteriorate or creates possibility to deteriorate law and order, prejudice the image of the State or person or causes to hurt religious belief or instigate against any person or organization, then this activity will be regarded as an offence.
From the facts it is clear that the person who has been using your mobile and your accounts has clearly committed an offence under section 57(1) of this Act and therefore if that person can be identified and later tried and found guilty by the courts of Bangladesh, such person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to ten years and with fine which may extend to Taka One Crore.
Further, the person may also be charged under section 54, 55 and 56 of the ICT act 2006 for damaging computer network, tampering with computer source code and hacking with computer system respectively as the person has changed, altered or destroyed information which caused disruption in your accessibility to your accounts and computer networks.
However, the person who has been using your mobile and accounts here in your case is unknown. So it is my advice that you go to your local police station and lodge a formal complaint stating all the detailed facts. I expect that the police will take all necessary steps in tracking down the current user of your computer accounts. It may be mentioned that the person may also be guilty of theft and related offences under the Penal Code, is he has stolen your phone. Besides, all are advised to contact with your mobile phone service provider so that they can block the SIM to avoid further unauthorized activities. However, you should do so after consulting with the police as active SIM may be required to trace the perpetrator.
I hope that the aforesaid information and advice answers your queries.

For detailed query contact: omar@legalcounselbd.com.