By Nitish Pattanaik
In simple terms it is a repeated or continuous use of any electronic device/ electronic communication which can be used as a key factor to cause harm on someone either by harassing or threatening for certain specific purposes.
Cyber stalking is mainly followed by offline stalking or we can say simply by following or chasing in real life. It is considered as criminal offence in almost every country in the world. Cyber stalking is stalking or harassment which is done over the internet. It might target an organization or group or may be a single person i.e. individual. It may take various forms which includes slander, threats and mainly defamation. It’s mainly about gathering information about a certain body to conduct a small or a serious crime.
Laws and provisions which are made for stalking are not properly functioned across the world. In India we can notice that no such serious steps were taken to stop this type of crime. Apart from stalking in this modern world we should also concerned about Cyber Stalking which is growing rapidly in recent years. As we can notice in this 21st century there is a rapid growth in the use of technology around us and we also notice that there are many social media accounts, sites etc which can be proved as a key object of stalking in near future.
Although Information Technology Act 2000 was made we can nit see any strict acts or rules that is decided for cyber stalking and section 354D also do not provide any proper provision for Cyber Stalking. With growing in techniques of modern crime world there is a need which should deal with all these sorts of Cyber Crime which should deal with all these sorts of Cyber Crime.
No exact information is available when the history of cyber stalking stalked but according to the experts it gradually increased when the number of computer and internet used increased. It is said that the first Cyber Stalking took place in United States of America in the year 1990.Still now there are no reports where and how the Cyber stalking takes places and how big damage it can cost to an individual. After the first Cyber Stalking the govt. of United States adopted stalking laws and gradually the whole country was protected under laws which prohibits stalking. In India the history of cyber stalking is not so old to be described exactly but the first case where the judgment of the Supreme Court was given was the case of a 30-year-old software engineer, Manish Kathuria, who has been arrested by the Delhi Police for harassing a woman in online chart. Two of the major legislations which is related to the crime of cyber stalking in India are Section 354D of the IPC and Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2008.In United Kingdom, The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 also mentions harassment as offences for causing distress and depression to the victim .In United States it is mainly covered under-
· 18 U.S.C. 875(c) – it deals with and addresses to threats. Communication through electronic gadgets comes under this law. Evidence is the main thing which is required to get prosecuted under this statue.
· 47 U.S.C. 223 –It deals with both harassment and threats. It mainly deals with one to one harassment. It does not work when a group of people harasses a victim online.
· 18 U.S.C. 2425 – It deals with the communications which is caused by using electronic devices specially which are used to commit sexual violence against children. It is a good and tough law but it cannot be used in every Cyber Stalking or Harassment Case.
This topic is a crucial topic and still it is neglected in many parts of the country as well as in this modern world. With the evolution in Technology one can be more dependent on technology but still there are the chances of increasing the crime rate which can be performed or done in very modern way after all we say Crime has no origin it can arise in any situation any place and any platform be it a online or be in realistic world. After all this problem is arising Day by Day mainly in India we can say there are reported cases of cyber Stalking which led to very Big crime but it is neglected sometimes on behalf of the cyber crime branch of police department and sometimes by the court.
Some of the challenges are-
· There is no proper Stalking Law in UK and India as well as many other countries of the world.
· Every country needs a separate stalking law which can be really beneficial for the interest of the citizens.
· The Extradition Law in India is very weak it needs renovation and change which should be the upmost priority of the Indian government.
· The information Technology act has no special provisions regarding Cyber stalking and section 354D is up to certain limits.
· The enforcement of stalking law is still too weak.
· There is no fear of punishment from the stalker’s side.
· Sometimes Police do not take any strong Action on these cases. There are many cases where the Criminal is spared out due to Lack of proper Investigation from the police and sometimes the victims commit suicide due to that.
We live in a civilized society where there is a rule, a method how to live a life, if a crime is increasing before us then we are the ones who should try to stop this. Every time when crime takes place victims gets the justice when everything is over so in order to stop this it is only us who should make people understand the consequences of this crime. I’m sure one day this world will be a crime free world.