Special emphasis on cybercrime against women & children; plaints can be lodged anonymously at designated cybercrime police stations
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set up a dedicated platform for reporting cybercrime from anywhere in the country. Though it caters to all types of cybercrime, it puts special emphasis on cybercrime against women and children. Once a complaint is filed on this portal, it is forwarded to the relevant law enforcement agency nearest to the complainant. The MHA has also started a helpline (155260) that functions from 9 am to 6 pm.
The complaint can be filed both online and offline. The cybercrime complaints can be registered with the designated cybercrime police stations in all three Police Commissionerates (Rachakonda, Cyberabad & Hyderabad) and the CID Office.
Complaining on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal:
(a) Register at https://cybercrime.gov.in/ (You will be required to register via OTP from a valid Indian number)
(b) Choose the Category and Sub-Category of complaint
(i) Report Crime related to Women or Children – (1) Child Pornography (2) Child Sexual Abuse Material (3) Sexually Explicit Content
(ii) Report Other Cyber Crimes – (1) Mobile crimes (2) Social Media crimes (3) Online financial frauds (4) Cyber trafficking (5) Ransomware (6) Hacking
Process of Reporting Crime (Both offline & online):
* Incident: (a) Mode of Communication (internet, WhatsApp, etc.) (b) Date & Time (c) Platform (internet, WhatsApp, etc.) (d) Upload Evidence (screenshots of payments / bank statements for financial frauds. For harassment or any others attach related screenshots, picture, audio, video etc.)
* Suspect details (If Available): (a) Suspect name (b) Identity (mobile, email, etc.) (c) Location (workplace, etc.)
* Complainant’s Details: (a) Full Name & Supporting Details (father, spouse, guardian, etc.) (b) Email ID / Phone number (c) Address & ID proof (Aadhaar, etc.)
Detailed step by step procedure to file a complaint:
* Report Crime related to Women or Children – https://cybercrime.gov.in/UploadMedia/MHA-CitizenManualReportCPRGRcomplaints-v10.pdf
* Report other Cyber Crimes – https://cybercrime.gov.in/UploadMedia/MHA-CitizenManualReportOtherCyberCrime-v10.pdf
Important points to remember:
* You can file a complaint at the nearest Cybercrime Police Station for a quicker response
* You can also file a complaint on the Online Cybercrime Portal anonymously without revealing your identity. The entire complaining process remains same, just that you don’t disclose who you are.
* Complainant is advised to block all communications from the fraudster and keep record of all communications as a backup. Do not delete any communication neither from the smartphone or the platform where the issue occurred.
Possible cybercrime scenario:
Few scenarios where crimes are committed using internet, computer, smartphones, SIM cards, social media or any other forms of electronic devices or digital platforms:-
* Online defamation – Publishing defamatory statements against an individual/organisation
* Cyber-bullying – Is a form of bullying that takes places using electronic technology
* Obscene – Taking obscene pictures and videos of any woman engaged in private activities with the use of mobile phone or camera
* Cyber stalking – Use of electronic means to stalk or harass an individual or a company
* Pornography content – Showing obscene / explicit pictures and videos through digital and online platforms
* Cyber theft – Stealing, data, financial information of an individual or organisation
* Sextortion – Employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favours from the victim by blackmailing, etc.
* Cyber fraud (phishing) – Is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data.
* Hacking – It is a process of exploitation of a computer system or a private network inside a computer
* Cyber terrorism – Unlawful attack against computer, network and obtain the information about sovereignty and integrity of the nation
The new Gazette on Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code-2021, introduced on February 25, will be of great help to Cybercrime Police Officers. There is a slippery slope towards surveillance culture challenging the very idea of being private and giving the opportunity for development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate censorship. However, these guidelines will help cybercrime police officers for quick (a) Removal of information declared as unlawful by courts (b) Removal of information that affects online safety and dignity of users, especially women. (c) Shorter timelines for concluding on cybercrime with support of Statutory Compliance Officers, Grievance Redressal System and Nodal Officers of respective platforms.
Stay Tuned to Cyber Talk Column to know more on internet ethics and digital wellness brought to you by Anil Rachamalla, End Now Foundation, www.endnowfoundation.org.
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