Obscene SMS jokes may land you in jail

Obscene SMS jokes may land you in jail
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First Published: Wed, Jun 27 2007. 05 58 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 27 2007. 05 58 PM IST
Bangalore: Think twice before you SMS that really funny obscene joke or blindly forward a photograph — you could land yourself behind bars or unknowingly act as a conduit for a terrorist gang, warn IT experts.
“Terrorist use the net for achieving their goals. An innocent man may be unknowingly drawn into the terrorist network, when he receives a photograph of a beautiful woman from a stranger, who then asks him to forward it to 21 friends to win a prize,” Vijayshankar, consultant, Cyber Law and Techno Legal Cyber Security, said.
“The photograph could contain a hidden terrorist message encrypted within,” he said.
The attack on Parliament was linked to hidden messages SMSed to various people in the garb of a beautiful photograph of leading Indian actress, he said.
“Hence, one should not forward messages received from unknown persons,” says Vijayshankar, who is part of the IT Professionals’ Forum (ITPF) group which is organising a web seminar on June 29 on www.itpfindia.org to warn people on cyber crimes.
“Cyber crime is no longer happening only to people working with higher technology. It has begun to affect ordinary people and was reaching the smaller cities and towns as well,” Vijayshankar told PTI.
Even a person who has never used the net could become a victim of cybercrime.
Citing an example of housewife in Coimbatore, he said that the housewife who did not know how to use a computer began receiving obscene calls. Investigations revealed that her phone number had been posted on the net by a relative from her own house since the two were not on good terms, he said. (MORE) PTI JD RA BN BKM
Youngsters, who often threw caution to the winds and indulged in ‘cyber adventure´, could land themselves in the grip of law, says Vijayashankar, quoting an instance where an employee of a leading company hacked into the e-mail of his friend and sent an obscene e-mail to his friend’s new employer even before his colleague could take up the job.
“The innocent colleague on landing at the office was handed over a sack order even before he joined the company. However, with subsequent help from the cyber crime cell, he was able to prove his innocence and track down the offensive e-mail to his friend, who has now lost his job,” he said.
Sending obscene jokes also may no longer be a laughing matter, if a person offended by the joke decided to take action against the sender under the new cyber law.
“Anything within the domain of an electronic document including cell phones, e-mail, blogs can provide evidence in cyber crime. An employee of a leading company who wrote defamatory words against a rival organisation on his blog, was taken to task by the rivals, who demanded punitive action against him and the company was forced to ask him to resign,” says Vijayashankar.
“Replace adventure with caution and do not ‘freak out’ on the net because in cyberspace, there is no concept like anonymity. Anything and everything can be tracked down,” he said adding it was easier to track a cyber crime compared to physical crime because one left behind electronic documents and secondly because the investigator sitting in one place could track you down no matter where you are.
The virus ‘I love You’ which hit the net was tracked down to a student in Phillipines. “You can’t escape no matter how smart you think you are,” he said.
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First Published: Wed, Jun 27 2007. 05 58 PM IST
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