Friday, April 20, 2012

Beware What You Speak Online In India

A very peculiar factor about online behaviour is that people tend to forget everything, including laws, and engage in activities that they would seldom do in real life. There seems to be a false sense of security and anonymity in cyberspace and netizens fall into the trap of engaging in defamation, accusations, misbehaviours, etc in cyberspace without a second thought.

A majority of uncensored rants, posts, accusations, writings, etc are done through social media websites. Very few are aware that we have a stringent social media due diligence in India that all companies and individuals are required to follow. Even there is a stringent cyber law due diligence for press and media in India. So media, companies, social networking websites and individuals must be aware that the cyber law of India can make their acts or omissions punishable.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of ICT law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of Asia, a single episode of Defamation, False Accusations, Misbehaviour, Cyber Bullying, etc may attract Civil and Criminal Liabilities on the part of those involved in the making, uploading, publication and circulation of the same in an Electronic Form. The Cyber Law of India prescribes stringent Due Diligence Requirements that must be followed by all concerned, opines Praveen Dalal.

Take the recent example of Vishal Dadlani. In order to teach Prem Marhe a lesson, Vishal Dadlani tweeted Marhe's number to his 1.4 lakh followers on Wednesday. If this was not enough, Vishal also expected a retweeting of the same and posting of the number on porn sites.

When contacted, Vishal said, "I wanted to teach him a lesson." On the other hand, Marhe still claims that his claims are right and it is he who has been threatened by the film's team when he asked for credit to his song.

Clearly, Vishal has crossed the line of legality by not only revealing the phone number of Prem but also urging others to retweet and post it on porn websites. Let us see how Prem would react to this act of Vishal.