International Laws On Cyber-crimes Still Remain porous, Warn experts
Leading social scientists today advocated for robust international laws to compellingly deal with cyber-crimes ranging from hate speech to spiteful prejudices, at the 5th International Conference on South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology (SASCV), hosted here by RV University, India’s new-age, tech-driven global university for liberal education.
Over 260 academics from across the globe, including from India, the USA, the UK, Nigeria, the Philippines, Malaysia, Kosovo, Italy, Dubai, Bangladesh, and Nepal participated in the two-day conference where 60+ papers were presented on topics related to cyber criminology such as trafficking, cyber terrorism, digital foot-printing, transnational crimes, among others.
Organized in partnership with International Institute of Crime and Security Sciences (IICSS), the conference was marked by engaging deliberations among speakers, delegates and academics on “zero tolerance for hate speech, both offline and online”, as propounded in the keynote address by Dr. K.P.Ashwini, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism. She expressed serious concerns over the rampant spread of online hate speech that has led to an increase in violence across the world, and called for fail-proof international laws to check the malaise.
Stressing the need to address prejudices based on gender, caste, race and geography, Dr. Ashwini voiced the global disquiet about discrimination, casteism and islamophobia in cyberspace, warning that these could lead to misogyny, mass shooting, mob lynching and even ethnic cleansing.
Echoing her views, Dr A.V.S. Murthy, Pro Chancellor, RV University and Hony. Secretary, RSST, observed that India had become one of the most attacked and breached countries in the world. Underling the need to address the inadequacy of the existing data protection Bill and the cyber laws in protecting the information and rights of citizens, he said, “Several sections of our population have been victims of cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, technology-facilitated sexual violence, and the authorities often neglect the victimization faced by them. There is general lack of awareness when it comes to knowledge of the rights of cyber victims. Some rules and mechanisms exist under the present legal system but these rules do not cover all strands of victim justice and the effectiveness of these mechanisms is questionable.”
Among other leading speakers were, Dr. Michael M Losavio, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Louisville, USA, Dr. K. Jaishankar, General Chair – SASCV 2023, Dr. Jasmeet Gulati, Vice-Dean, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University and Dr. Keerti Bollineni, Vasavya Mahila Mandali.
The conference, with renowned academics and accomplished practitioners offered a unique and valuable opportunity to explore in-depth the critical issues related to the holistic theme. In his message to the participants, Professor Y.S.R. Murthy, Vice-Chancellor, RV University, Bengaluru, said, “Although there are legislations in place, they have not been able to match up to the magnitude with which cybercrime is increasing. Therefore, Criminal Justice Institutions must be critically examined as to how well-equipped they are to deal with the growing threat of Security Concerns. Investigative Process and Evidentiary Challenges must be looked into in the context of Cyber Forensics. Victim Assistance needs to be made more accessible, sensitive and personable in the context of Cyber Victimization.”
Dr. Jaishankar made interesting points as he said: “We need to understand the interrelationship between Cyber Criminology, Legislative Framework in relation to Cyber Crimes, Security Measures to counter Cyber Threats, Cyber Forensics and in the end, work towards a better institutional arrangement for effectively delivering Justice to those who are victimized online. The Fifth International Conference of SASCV was a platform to address these issues.”
The objective of the conference was to bring together experts from various fields to address newer issues that emerge as a result of the dynamic nature of cyberspace. The conference mainly focused on the interconnected nature of cybercrime, laws and regulations, security and forensic techniques, and the impact on victims.