If there can be an age limit for driving a car, then why shouldn’t there be one for using the internet? This was one of the suggestions given by an expert on cyber security and law at a discussion on Wednesday to curb cyber bullying and threats to children.
Ruing the poor response to cyber threat cases and awareness about online security, the experts called for updating laws and improving response of law enforcement agencies. They also suggested the use of smarter technology to avoid cybercrimes liking child pornography, Catfishing, revenge porn and other online sexual harassment of children.
Karnika Seth, a cyber-law expert and Supreme Court advocate, said, We see kids aged 10-14 years using the internet today. If there’s a rule of not allowing children to drive before they turn 18, then they should also be taught netiquettes (the correct way to use the internet) at the school level.
Child rights activist Sonal Kapoor said that though India has several laws against sexual harassment of children, including POCSO Act, there was not been effective implementation. There is a need to improve awareness of people, especially from the slum areas, she added. She was speaking at the CSR Leadership conference organised by Nasscom Foundation.
Kapoor also explained that many Indian laws are protectionist in nature and they need to be protective. Seth added, There is an urgent need to amend the laws to make them compatible with the changing times where we see new kinds of cybercrime taking place.
Technology expert Deepak Maheshwari said proper use of technology could stop cases of cyber harassment and tech firms should include safety, security and privacy as the default settings in applications and software. One such method was internet browsers having a safety feature in which settings would need to be changed to access certain websites.
Seth suggested using Photo DNA technology that can block child pornography on the internet. Consumers can also complain to internet service providers who have a public grievance redressal in case of online abuse, she added.
Nasscom Foundation CEO Shrikant Sinha said that such programmes are necessary as they provide ideas to corporates for corporate social responsibility.