Protecting children in cyberspace


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With the advent of Social Media and Internet Technology, children have become vulnerable to cybercrimes such as cyberbullying, cyber stalking and childabuse. This presentation is an eyeopener and spreads awareness about the cyber threats prevalent on internet and gives tips on best practices for ensuring cyber safety and educates the children and the parent on how to deal with such problems .This presentation was delivered recently by Cyber law expert, Karnika Seth in Thiruvanthpuram at a National Consultation on Legislative and Executive measures required to safeguard children online.

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Protecting children in cyberspace

  1. 1. KERALA STATE COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS Expert Consultation on Legislative and Executive Action to Improve Security of Children in Cyber Space. Karnika Seth Cyberlaw Expert & Partner, Seth Associates © SethAssociates, 2014All Rights Reserved Protecting Children in cyberspace
  2. 2. •93% of teens (12-17) go online •75% of teens (12-17) have cell phones •1 in 3 teens (12-17) have experienced online harassment. •73% of teens (12-17) have profiles on social networking sites.[ •97% of teens (12-17) play computer, web, portable, or console games •4% of cell-owning teens (12-17) say that they have sent sexually suggestive nude/semi-nude messages to others via text message. •93% of teens (12-17) go online •75% of teens (12-17) have cell phones •1 in 3 teens (12-17) have experienced online harassment. •73% of teens (12-17) have profiles on social networking sites.[ •97% of teens (12-17) play computer, web, portable, or console games •4% of cell-owning teens (12-17) say that they have sent sexually suggestive nude/semi-nude messages to others via text message. Source: Lenhart A. Social Media and Young Adults. Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2010. Children using Internet-2013
  3. 3. Types of Cyber crimes  Credit card frauds  Cyber pornography  Sale of illegal articles-narcotics, weapons, wildlife  Online gambling  Intellectual Property crimes- software piracy, copyright infringement, trademarks violations, theft of computer source code  Email spoofing  Forgery  Defamation  Cyber stalking (section 509 IPC)  Phising  Cyber terrorism Crime against persons Crime against Government Crime against property
  4. 4. Internet & Child Exploitation  Internet addiction • Cyber bullying • Cyber stalking • Child pornography • Child abuse • Identity theft cases • Cheating & fraud • Lured into criminal activities • Theft of personal information  Blackmail and harassment frauds  Child Extortion
  5. 5. General concerns for children online May inadvertently or intentionally access adult pornographic or violent material Links or emails with innocent subjects that actually contain pornography Links contain malware –keyloggers that steal personal information Children being approached or observed in chat rooms Children’s identities, location or vulnerability being sourced from material available online Social networking sites may introduce child pornography, cyber harassment or stalking . Internet is becoming an addiction if unsupervised
  6. 6. Exploitation of children on Internet –Gaps & challenges •TECHNICAL-Anonymity exists on internet-criminals prefer this medium •Nature of internet such , automatic ads or popups •Virus floats quickly •Easy access-no geographic limitations- quantity huge •SOCIOLOGICAL_Difference in cultures across globe-all types of content available •Gaps in definition of adulthood across countries •Increased generation gap •Internet addiction •Commercial trading , Peer-to-peer networks LEGAL-Lack of awareness of do’s and don’ts on internet •Low conviction rate
  7. 7. Strategies to meet Challenges • TECHNICAL-Blocking automatic popups which are inappropriate • Using strong antivirus • Frequent change of passwords • Use of protection settings and software such as Netnanny,etc • Role of govt bodies/ ISPs /NGOs in reporting child abuse /child pornography • Blocking of illegal websites by CERT • SOCIAL- • Encourage reporting of child abuse cases • Allow internet use for limited hours and under supervision • Act as friend to your child • Checking webhistory files • school workshops,role of school counsellor
  8. 8. Strategies to meet Challenges • Involve NGOs on reporting child abuse • Set up Rehabilitation centres for victims LEGAL- create cyberawareness of rights and duties in cyberspace Setting up helpline for reporting abuse Punish the offenders of law Storage of logs-no time period prescribed by central govt Sign a cybercrime convention for effective extradition of criminals abroad Police & Media to adopt a child centric approach
  9. 9. International instruments on child protection  Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) ●● Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC, 2000) ●● Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking against Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (‘Palermo Protocol’, 2000) ●● Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (2001) ●● Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (2007) In India, IT Act,2000 deals with safety of children in the online environment.
  10. 10. Cybercrimes under Information Technology Act,2000 Hacking – Section 66 Sending of offensive false messages(s.66 A) Identity theft (s. 66C) Cheating by personation (s.66D) Violation of privacy (s.66E) Cyber terrorism (s.66F) Publishing sexually explicit content(s. 67A) Child pornography (s.67B) Stolen computer resource(s.66B) Attempt to commit an offence (s.84C) Abetment to commit an offence(s.84B) Publishing obscene material (Section 67)
  11. 11. Types of child pornography offences ( section 67B)  View  View + collect child pornography  View, collect + distribute+publish+transmit+causes to be published or transmits child pornography  View, collect and distribute child pornography + download+exchange+advertises+promotes commit contact offences  View, collect and distribute child pornography, commit contact offences + produce child pornography  Facilitate abusing children online  Records own abuse or of others pertaining to sexually explicit act with children-  Punishable with imprisonment of 5 years and fine upto 10 lacs  Blocking of illegal websites –Section 69A IT Act,2000
  12. 12. Cyber café Rules,2011 Maintenance of log register Photo identity card requested Minor without photo identity card to be accompanied by an adult History of websites accessed by a user kep by café for one year Computers in café equipped with commercially available filtering software to avoid acess to child pornography or obscene content Board declaring computers not to be used for illegal activity to be displayed Regular inspections of cybercafes
  13. 13. Case studies DPS MMS case ( Adnan murder case-orkut case Noida MMS scandal Air force Bal Bharati School case According to latest NCRB statistics in 2012 there were 589 cases registered under IT Act & IPC dealing with transmitting obscene information and 497 persons were arrested in India
  14. 14. The Noida MMS Scandal  In February 2009, an MBA student in Noida a boy circulated video clip of his 23 -year-old-girlfriend doing striptease for him to his classmates using the girl's e-mail id.  After the girl refused to marry him, the boy who had access to the girl's mail id and circulated that MMS clip to fellow students.  Police registered a case of criminal intimidation following a complaint filed by the girl's family
  15. 15. Air force Bal Bharati School Air force Bal Bharati School case , Delhi; class(XII) student created pornographic site as revenge against his classmates (girls) and posted pornographic images of his classmates and lady teachers on internet. He was then suspended by school and arrested by Police under IPC and IT Act; though Juvenile Court allowed his bail thereafter.
  16. 16. Possible reliefs to a cybercrime victim- strategy adoption  A victim of cybercrime needs to immediately report the matter to his local police station and to the nearest cybercrime cell  Depending on the nature of crime there may be civil and criminal remedies.  In civil remedies , injunction and restraint orders , blocking of websites, may be sought, together with damages, delivery up of infringing matter and/or account for profits.36 hr deadline for blocking or approach court.  Call police helpline  In criminal remedies, a cybercrime case will be registered by police if the offence is cognisable and if the same is non cognisable, a complaint should be filed with metropolitan magistrate  For certain offences, both civil and criminal remedies may be available to the victim
  17. 17. Before lodging a cybercrime case Important parameters- Gather ample evidence admissible in a court of law Fulfill the criteria of the pecuniary ,territorial and subject matter jurisdiction of a court. Determine jurisdiction – case may be filed where the offence is committed or where effect of the offence is felt ( S. 177 to 179, Crpc)
  18. 18. Preparation for prosecution  Collect all evidence available & saving snapshots of evidence  Seek a cyberlaw expert’s immediate assistance for advice on preparing for prosecution  Prepare a background history of facts chronologically as per facts  Pen down names and addresses of suspected accused.  Form a draft of complaint and remedies a victim seeks  Cyberlaw expert & police could assist in gathering further evidence e.g tracing the IP in case of e-mails, search & seizure or arrest as appropriate to the situation  A cyber forensic study of the hardware/equipment/ network server related to the cybercrime is generally essential
  19. 19. Precautions for online safety -Secure online connections Install and keep up-to-date anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool FamilyId=AD724AE0-E72D-4F54-9AB3-75B8EB148356&displaylang=en CCleaner (Free) Anti-Spyware – A-Squared (free) AVG Free Use Commercial Web Filtering Software Free - Net Nanny (2007 best) Check internet cache @winspy (free) Spector Pro to track everything done on a PC
  20. 20. Useful softwares Monitoring Software  or 1-888-598-2788  or 1-800-513-1916  or 1-866-345-8371  (search “parental monitoring”)
  21. 21. Enabling protection through filters- IE browser protection
  22. 22. Enabling protection through filters- IE browser protection 4. Select filter settings for the categoriSelect filter settings for the categories shown: Language, Nudity, Sex, Violence. The further right you push the slider, the more content is allowed. 5. Click on the Approved Sites tab. Here you can type in any specific websites that you might want to be treated specially. You can come back and change this list later, perhaps after feedback from your family. 'Approved Sites' list 6. Navigate to the General tab, and click on Create Password. This will set you up as Administrator, and prevent other users from altering the Content Advisor settings. Change the Rating Settings to block types of content  es shown: Language, Nudity, Sex, Violence. The further right you push the slider, the more content is allowed. Change the Rating Settings to block types of content
  23. 23. Enabling protection through filters- IE browser protection
  24. 24. The ten commandments of child protection in cyberspace- 1. Rules from “real” life apply: courtesy, kindness, modesty, dignity, respect for the law and for others, etc. 2. Don’t talk to strangers 3. Keep your private information private 4. Never agree to meet an online friend without your parents 5. There are no guarantees that what you say or post on the Internet is private
  25. 25. The ten commandments of child protection in cyberspace- 6. Information (including photos, videos, etc.) posted on the Internet can last forever 7. Tell your parents if you encounter something uncomfortable 8. Don’t reply to unknown screen names on IM 9. Never open e-mail from strangers or click on any attachments 10. Find the “good” online – good friends, good Web sites, good games – and enjoy
  26. 26. Do’s and dont’s- bestpractices on social media Express yourself but not use abusive language Donot invade privacy of others Verify friend/follower requests Check downloads etc for viruses Donot disclose other person or your own sensitive personal information Communicate with strangers cautiously Use strong passwords and privacy protect features Read terms of use and how your information is used by service provider before you use a service
  27. 27. Thank you! SETH ASSOCIATES ADVOCATES AND LEGAL CONSULTANTS New Delhi Law Office: C-1/16, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110002, India Tel:+91 (11) 65352272, +91 9868119137 Corporate Law Office: B-10, Sector 40, NOIDA-201301, N.C.R ,India Tel: +91 (120) 4352846, +91 9810155766 Fax: +91 (120) 4331304 E-mail:
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