Beware, you are being watched!

Cyber Crime

Beware, you are being watched!

Cyberspace may be virtual territory. It could be anyone’s as well. Have you ever wondered if your pictures are safe on these networking sites? Each time you excitedly post your picture, there is someone just stalking your posts just to abuse your picture. Your picture is usually taken off the site and pasted in other hot triplex sites where guys use and abuse your picture many times over.

Metrolife spoke to a few girls and boys in the City who have had their share of bitter experiences after having posted their pictures on these networking sites. They find that their pictures have been carefully worked on and changed in photoshop and pasted on to other sites. “There are a couple of sites that promote and popularise sleaze and these sites have also floated a forum where guys can paste just about any girl’s picture and start a discussion on the girl, her body and how hot they find her,” says Azeez Khan, who regularly surfs these sites.  

There are a few sites and forums that have been designed exclusively for these kind of things. There are several forums like exbii, debonairblog, zimbio, yahoo groups that encourage its visitors to post photos of Indian women.

Men and women, who are victims of their pictures being misused and in some cases abused as well, say that they were ashamed and shattered by the way their pictures were worked on and changed. It’s revenge at its best for there have been instances where men have posted images of their ex-girlfriends on some sites which have an open policy of sharing adult content and pictures.

“They claim that they are not responsible for the content that their users upload. Once a photo is made public, it quickly spreads on the web and is posted on hundreds of other sites and blogspots, making it difficult to trace the origin of the photo posted or uploaded from,” says a top officer with the cyber police station.

Sujatha Menon, whose picture was misused by a man whose proposal, she had rejected says, “I later discovered that my face was cut and pasted on the body of a naked woman and it was posted in another site. I was surfing the net and happen to see the picture. I was stunned and didn’t know how to react,” she says. She says she had to go through a long winded procedure to get her picture removed from the site and from the matrimonial site.

It’s hard to believe that men could be victims but Rahul says it was sheer revenge, “my face was pasted on the body of  a naked woman and this was pasted on the walls on Facebook, Orkut. This was done by one of my friends. It took some time before I could get over it all,” says Rahul. 

Cyber police say there are no specific laws to deal with specific cases.
Police sources say that it is criminal to post or smuggle explicit material into an individual’s private account. “The service provider can help us trace the hacker. But it’s tough to trace people who lift pictures from networking sites and post it in triplex sites,” says a top police officer.

The cyber police in the City say that these things are done from a cyber cafe and it’s hard to trace the person. “We have decided to monitor the cyber cafes in the City and will issue orders that people must not be allowed to use the system unless proof of identity and address is taken,” says the officer.

Punishment
* For posting obscene material, there’s a three-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs five lakh. 
*  Transmitting sexually explicit material calls for a five year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh.
*  Promoting child sex calls for five years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh.

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