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India Bans Posting Private Sex Tapes on Internet|
Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 @ 09:10:30 CST
Under a tough new law, those convicted will face three years in jail or a
heavy fine of up to half a million rupees (£7,140).
The new act has been passed in response to concerns over the growing
popularity in India of websites featuring clips of young women performing
sexual acts with their boyfriends, often recorded on mobile phones. Many of
the clips are posted on these sites by former boyfriends in "revenge"
after the women have ended their relationships.
It comes into force amid a controversy over the recent case of a young
university student whose former boyfriend posted a clip of her performing a
striptease for him. They were both MBA students, and the boy posted the clip
in anger after the girl refused to marry him.
Commentators said the girl will now be stigmatised for the rest of her life,
and find her chances of a successful career and marriage blighted. Her case
has been taken up by the National Commission for Women, which is helping the
victim to bring a case against her former boyfriend and his father. "So
far we have received three similar complaints but we are aware of the fact
there are hundreds of cases which remain unreported," said Manju
Hembrom, a member of the commission.
"We will try to educate girls particularly in colleges to desist from
The case follows another scandal in India in 2004 in which a mobile phone
video clip of a schoolgirl performing a sexual act with a fellow pupil was
posted on a popular Indian website.
"It has damaged their reputation for their lifetime. Men in India do not
want wives who have do*****ented sexual pasts," said Pavan Duggal, an
expert in cyber-law. "Indians do a lot of video voyeurism because it is
forging ahead in technology, but society's values have not changed as fast.
People do not know where the boundaries are."
The new law and its tough punishment – 500,000 rupees is equivalent to what an
Indian graduate might earn in two and a half years – has been welcomed by
women's rights campaigners.
But according to Mr Duggal, the new act is a "toothless tiger" which
will automatically grant bail to those charged, giving them time to erase
the incriminating evidence.
"We have had only three convictions for cyber crimes in India in 14
years. We have no privacy laws for people or data. We need far more
stringent measures," he said.
*******The Guardian.co.uk, Feb 23 2009
Indian police guard woman after video of her undressing appears on internet
Debate provoked about how the law deals with morals and technology
woman has been given police protection after a video clip of her
undressing in a bedroom was circulated on the internet, provoking a
debate about how the law deals with morals and technology in India.The
short film is thought to have been taken by an MBA student who decided
to release it to his friends when his girlfriend refused to marry him.
The pair, who were classmates at a local college, fell out and to take
revenge the man broke into his former girlfriend's email account and
sent out the video. It has become India's most searched item on Google.The
National Commission of Women has asked police to investigate the case,
which has seen allegations surface that the 23-year-old girl was being
threatened by her ex-boyfriend's family. "We have asked for two police
to guard the girl. She is in a vulnerable position especially given the
allegations of threats," said Manju Hembrom, a member of the commission.Women's
organisations have repeatedly warned of the rising tide of sexually
explicit video clips that are emerging after failed relationships. "It
is getting to be a big problem. In the past we have not had such love
affairs being exposed like this," said Hembrom.Lawyers say that the problem first surfaced in 2005 when mobile phones
with video cameras – or Multimedia Messaging Systems – became widely
available in India. Eighty per cent of victims of these "MMS
misdemeanours of passions" are young woman.There have been cases
highlighted of young women being blackmailed and beaten up. Others have
reportedly committed suicide – ashamed by being exposed by their own
naivety. In most instances women and men are willing participants in
making the video clip – without realising the implications for their
personal privacy when the relationship sours.The most recent
case comes just as India is about to make "online viral video
voyeurism" a crime, with both the uploading and transmitting of such
clips an offence being punishable in the first instance by three years
in jail or a half a million rupee (£7,400) fine.However, experts
say it will not work because India has no privacy law. "The new law
does not recognise that the victim's privacy has been violated. It
allows the accused out on bail where he will delete the data. It does
not recognise the irreparable damage caused to the girl's reputation.
It does not understand what goes on in private homes needs to be kept
private. That's a fundamental flaw," said Pavan Duggal, a supreme court
lawyer specialising in cyber crime in Delhi.******
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