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‘Schoolgirls’ not spared in cyberspace

17 March 2013 05:35 pm - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team | Coordination Centre (Sri Lanka CERT|CC) said they were not able to take any effective action against the administrators of the Facebook page ‘schoolgirls’ that had featured unauthorised images of young girls in an offensive context, as the privacy policies of social media sites prevented them from obtaining the personal details of the offenders.

These views were expressed as a response to the Daily Mirror inquiry concerning available action that could be taken against the rising local trend where Facebook pages were created including the content of unauthorised uploads of schoolgirls’ images. In the most recent case, a page titled ‘schoolgirls’ contained images of young girls in school uniforms.

The subscribers of the page had made offensive comments on the pictures while some had gone so far as to include their phone numbers in the comments, asking the girls in the pictures to contact them.

Sri Lanka CERT|CC Information Security Engineer Roshan Chandragupta said, “The immediate action that can be taken is to report the page to Facebook administration. If a significant number of complaints are made against the page, the administrators would take steps to shut down the page,” he added.

Although Facebook users vigilant of such offenses take action to encourage other users to report the page to the administrator and block them, the incidents kept recurring as it was not an action taken directly against the offenders.

According to Mr. Chandragupta, the available course of action to file charges against the offending parties or individuals was to lodge a complaint with the CID Cyber Crimes Unit. However, he admitted most victims of Facebook crimes were not keen on opting for that choice as it involved lengthy bureaucratic procedures.

“The Computer Crimes Act of Sri Lanka was introduced in 2007. Since then the complexity and the nature of cyber crimes have changed drastically and Sri Lanka is in need of a timely framework of regulations that would enable effective action against offences committed in cyberspace during present times,” he added.  

Meanwhile, Police Spokesman SP G.M.H.B. Siriwardena commenting on the situation said there were two courses of action that could be taken by a victim or an individual who wished to lodge a complaint against offences on social media sites. “They can either lodge a complaint to the Cyber Crimes Unit of the CID or make a complaint to the Sri Lanka CERT|CC.”

However, both these methods did not seem to have been proven effective before the recurring offences that took place on social media sites.

Meanwhile, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) Chairman Anoma Dissanayake said she was planning on seeking advice from experts on how to combat the issue and ensure school children didn’t fall prey to cyberspace offenders. “Although we are equipped with a cyber-watch unit, that branch is specifically established to probe into child pornography sites etc. Since this incident is of a different nature, I am also planning to write to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) requesting their assistance,” she added.  (Lakna Paranamanna)
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  Comments - 3

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  • Amda Monday, 18 March 2013 03:35 AM

    If you cant take actions, how can we still report. Useless people.

    Nipun Wednesday, 20 March 2013 11:03 AM

    IF THEY LEFT THE PHONE NUMBERS CAN THE POLICE CALL THEM AND HAVE A CHAT

    hussain shamil Monday, 18 March 2013 06:58 AM

    Pls kindly try to take some action againest this page ialso came across this page on fb its totally bullshit rubbish they have cheap pics of school girls try to find out who created this page and arrest them because i think they have not been born with sisters its a sick page pls take action


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