‘Revamped legal framework needed to take on children’s online exploitation’

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Kolkata, Dec 14 (IANS) Expressing concern over rising online sexual exploitation of children in India, a panel of experts said here on Friday that to tackle the challenges, a revamped legal framework needs to be created for cyber crime investigation.

“In our country, we have a very good Act, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). But in cyber crime mainly due to the virtual and border-less nature often there is a compromise when the perpetrator is from another country”, Ajey Mukund Ranade, IPS, IGP(I), CID, said at the first international conference on “Sexual Exploitation of Children in Digital Era”.

Ranade suggested a revamped legal framework that would take care of different legal connotations of laws in India and in a foreign land.

Mentioning the increased challenges, Sebastian Edassery, Cyber Security Head of India, Deloitte said: “If we count the challenges of cyber forensics, a study says there are as many as 65 challenges. Some of them would be — area to search has increased manifold, evidence are stored in cloud and in India the data logs are not maintained for more than 90 days.”

By the time a crime is reported, the online data is already overwritten if it crosses 90 days and if the content is stored in cloud, then it becomes difficult for investigating officers to seize anything, he said.

“The service providers must store the data for at least two years. Also while investigating the dark web, one has to be very smart and make sure that the IP address does not reveal that you are a police,” Edassery, a former CBI officer, said.

International Justice Mission (IJM) Kolkata’s Director of Operations Saji Philip mentioned the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children reported that over 24.46 lakh children were abused in 2017 in India.

“We must include the concept of digital hygiene in our education as small children learn to use mobile phones and social media very early said Children must be taught about not to leaving a trace of privacy online, he said.

The investigators need to be sensitised to deal with child abuse cases.

“When dealing with a child, one cannot make them feel that something negative has happened. It creates a communication barrier,” James Robert Collins, Canada Police, said.

Eric Bradshaw, a judge of Kern County Superior Court of California mentioned that the jury members should also hear the victims patiently when they share their ordeal.

–IANS

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