Thoughts about high cybercrime rate and Kerala govt's move to propose new legislation to tackle it
We are seeing an increasing frequency of online violence and abuse on social media platforms. Online abuse is more often targeted at women and persons from gender minorities for whom online spaces are a key source to collectivize and connect on their unique experiences. I participated in a TV panel discussion last year and one particular response from the Kerala police spokesman was that post-striking-down 66-A, the police is not able to take action efficiently as there are no well-defined sections to tackle this in IPC, IT act or the Kerala police act. This observation from the state representative was alarming and I tried to express my concerns about a vague law which can be interpreted any way the state wants.
I hope everyone is aware of the incident in which the activist + dubbing artist Bbhagyalakshmi, along with 2 other activists responded fiercely(and rightly according to me) to an offender when the police failed to take action upon their complaint. This incident bought the discussion back to the limelight and I've heard that the Kerala govt. is also actively seeking to amend/propose new legislation to address these issues.
I agree that the state has the responsibility to ensure the safety of women both online and offline and I too see the inefficiencies in the current legal process in addressing the issues and I think there should be concrete solutions that will ensure the safety of women and gender minorities. This issue has a profound impact on the fundamental human rights of people, in particular, the right to life and the right to freedom of expression. At the same time, the possibility of a vague law being proposed (as part of the police-act or otherwise) seems very dangerous to me.
So I think we should evaluate the current legal frameworks and propose a solution which ensures the safety of women online and at the same time safeguards other rights.