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Dr. Debarati Halder – Cyber Crimes Against Women in India

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Cyber Crimes Against Women in India, authored by Dr. Debarati Halder and Professor K. Jaishankar. Published by SAGE

9789385985775 copyThe book “Cyber Crimes against Women” is a long awaited answer for lawyers, police officers, policy makers, NGOs, research scholars and students of law and criminology and victimology in regard to types of online crimes  against women in India and worldwide, cyber jurisprudence, cyber jurisdiction and critical analysis of laws in this regard.  Typically in India the concept of cyber crimes against women have been interpreted to be sexual crimes like cyber pornography or cyber obscenity by many including the police officers. Online hate crimes, cyber bullying, trolling, stalking etc have remained comparatively unknown in India. Resultant, victims had to see harsh refusals at the police stations; awareness was limited in this regard and families almost never allowed victims to go ahead with investigating/trial proceedings in cases where she could have convinced the investigating officer about the occurrence of the crime. Further, we need to accept the fact that trans-women are increasing being targeted online in India and neither the police, nor the courts could help prevent escalation of harassment for this category of victims due to existing legal tangles.  I have observed that  victims in 99% cases wanted to remove the contents without knowing that present legal set up allows service providers to be liable for not taking timely action or the accused could be restrained from harassing her. This book answers all these queries.

Chapter 1 of this book is the introduction which gives a brief overview of the book. Chapter 2 speaks about freedom of speech and expression in the internet with special reference to Indian laws and online harassment targeting women.  This chapter also deals with Shreya Singhal’s case which declared S.66A of the Information technology Act unconstitutional. 3rd chapter of this book deals with online bullying and trolling and showcases how the victims including transgender victims since India does not have focussed law on cyber bullying and trolling. 4th chapter discusses with grooming. This book breaks the myth that online grooming happens only to children for paedophilic reasons. Chapter 4 shows that girls and women including trans women may also fall victims of grooming for various reasons. This may also include wishes to earn money from home, which may trap the victims for phishing crimes. Chapter 5 of the book deals with privacy infringement online. Cyber stalking remained an unknown and unrecognised offence in India till 2013 when S.354D of the Indian penal Code was introduced via Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013. This Act also included provisions to criminalise voyeurism against women. But whether the concept of privacy is satisfied with these two gender specific as well as certain gender neutral laws under Information technology Act or not, whether Indian women can really enjoy privacy online? Chapter 5 deals with these. Chapter 6 deals with online sexual offences including traditionally recognised concepts like pornography, obscenity etc and newly evolving concepts including revenge porn. In this chapter I have explained the definition of revenge porn that I have given in 2013. This chapter also deals with existing laws that can be used to tackle the crimes. Further, this chapter also deals with how to avoid victims blaming especially in cases like sexting where victim may be part of disseminating certain contents which may be later used unethically against her. Chapter 7 deals with Right to be forgotten , a right that can be found as a much suppressed and unrecognised right under the broader arena of right to privacy under article 21 and which  needs to be introduced as a separate  constitutional right in India. With this, chapter 7 also deals with liabilities of service providers that have been enlisted in Information technology Act and which needs further expansion in terms of understanding and scope in relation to cyber victimology. Chapter 8 deals with the procedural practices by police, lawyers and judges for investigation, prosecution and sentencing including arrest and detention and compensation. Chapter 9 deals with issues related to combating of the offences and provides guidelines which may be considered for implementation by government bodies and policy makers.

The book may be considered as a text book for subjects in law, criminology and victimology and also a key book for policy making bodies, judiciary and police training institutes. The Sage Publishers have provided a wonderful cover-page which depicts the true meaning of the book. Given the overall presentation of the book, it is expected that the book will fulfil the need to address the issue.

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Dr Debarati Halder is an Advocate and legal scholar. Currently, she is Research Officer, Unitedworld School of Law, Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Managing Director of the Centre for Cyber Victim Counselling (CCVC), India (www.cybervictims.org). She received her LLB from the University of Calcutta and her master’s degree in international and constitutional law is from the University of Madras. She holds a PhD degree from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, India. She has co-authored a book titled Cyber Crime and the Victimization of Women: Laws, Rights and Regulations (IGI Global, July 2011). She has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in peer-reviewed books. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals, including the British Journal of Criminology, Journal of Law and Religion, Victims and OffendersMurdoch University E-Journal of LawERCES Online Quarterly ReviewTMC Academic Journal (Singapore)Temida and Indian Journal of Criminology & Criminalistics; and edited volumes, Crimes of the Internet, Trends and Issues of Victimology, Cyber Criminology. She has presented her research works at many international conferences includ­ing the Stockholm Criminology Symposium held during 11–13 June 2012 and the International Conference on Social Media for Good, held during 15–16 May 2015 at Istanbul, Turkey. She was a resource person in various programmes conducted by the National Commission for Women, unicef, Facebook, Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development, Women Christian College (Kolkata & Chennai), Loyola College, North Eastern Police Academy, Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli. Debarati’s research interests include constitutional law, international law, victim rights, cyber-crimes and laws.

Professor K. Jaishankar is presently the Professor of Criminology and Head of the Department of Criminology at the Raksha Shakti University (Police and Internal Security University), Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Prior to this present position, he served as a faculty member at the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India. He has pub­lished more than hundred publications, including articles, books, book chapters, and editorials. He is the recipient of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) SCOPUS Young Scientist Award 2012–Social Sciences and ISC – S. S. Srivastava Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research in Criminology. He was a Commonwealth Fellow (2009–2010) at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK, and has completed a research project on victims of cyber crimes. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Cyber Criminology (www.cybercrimejournal.com) and Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences (www.ijcjs.com). He is the founding President of the South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology (SASCV) (www.sascv.org) and found­ing Executive Director (Honorary) of the Centre for Cyber Victim Counselling (CCVC) (www.cybervictims.org). He was a member of the UNODC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime) Core Group of Experts on Identity-related Crime (2007–08). He is a member of the Membership and Advancement Committee, World Society of Victimology (WSV); International Advisory Board for the Center for the Research and Development of Positive Criminology, Department of Criminology, Bar Illan University, Israel; Advisory Board for the Center for Cybercrime Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, USA; the International Cybercrime Research Centre, Simon Frazer University, Vancouver, Canada; and the Scientific Commission of the International Society of Criminology (ISC). He was a Keynote Speaker at the 15th World Society of Victimology Symposium held in July 2015, at Perth, Australia, and at the 14th World Society of Victimology Symposium held in May 2012 at The Hague, The Netherlands. He was recently appointed as an International Ambassador of the British Society of Criminology (BSC). He is founder of the academic discipline, Cyber Criminology (2007), and is the proponent of the Space Transition Theory of Cyber Crimes (2008). His areas of Academic Competence are victi­mology, cyber criminology, crime mapping, GIS, communal violence, policing and crime prevention.

SAGE India: https://in.sagepub.com/en-in/sas/cyber-crimes-against-women-in-india/book253900#halder
SAGE UK: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/cyber-crimes-against-women-in-india/book253900#halder
SAGE US:  https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/cyber-crimes-against-women-in-india/book253900#halder

© Dr Debarati Halder/Professor K. Jaishankar