Introduction: Online Blackmailing
In 2023, we have seen online blackmailing is emerging as an unfortunate reality of our digital age. It's a cybercrime where a person is threatened with exposure of their private information, images or videos unless they pay a certain sum of money. Online blackmailing is a traumatic experience, causing emotional distress and leading to financial loss. However, it is essential to know that you are not alone, and there are ways to fight back and regain control of your life.
Do not accept demands of online blackmailers:
First of all, it's important to know that giving in to what a blackmailer wants is always a bad idea. If you give them money, it will not only encourage them to keep doing bad things, but it will also make you easier to blackmail in the future. It's important to remember that these people can't be trusted, and they have no plans to do what they say they'll do. They might even ask for more money after you've paid the first amount..
Collect crucial information:
If you are being blackmailed online, the first thing you should do is try to get as much proof as you can. Save any messages or emails the blackmailer sends you, take screenshots of any social media posts, and write down any other communication. This proof can be used later to tell the police about the blackmailing and take legal action.
Report it to Cyber Cell/Cyber Police Station:
The next thing that needs to be done is to report the event to the cyber cell of the police station that is geographically closest to you. As a major criminal infraction, blackmailing is taken very seriously by the law enforcement officials that investigate these cases. You should provide them all of the evidence that you have gathered, and they will look into the problem after they have received it. Although it may be difficult to come forward and report the incident, it is essential to keep in mind that the police authorities are there to help you, and they will do everything in their power to bring the blackmailer to justice. Although it may be difficult to come forward and report the incident, it is essential to keep in mind that the police authorities are there to help you.
Report to online hosting services:
It is essential to alert the internet platform or service where the blackmailing is taking place, in addition to filing a report with the local law enforcement agency regarding the event. The vast majority of websites and social media platforms have stringent regulations against blackmailing, and they will take the required action to remove any content that is deemed to be in violation of those standards, as well as ban the blackmailer from using the platform. The platform will be able to improve its security procedures as a result of the incident being reported, which will reduce the likelihood of future instances of a similar nature.
Seek Support from friends and family for online blackmailing:
You have the option of seeking assistance from a reliable friend or member of your family if you do not feel comfortable reporting the incident to the authorities or the platform directly. It is essential to have someone you can share your experience with and receive emotional support from. In addition, there are a multitude of support groups and organisations available to assist individuals who have been victimised by internet blackmail. These groups are able to offer you counselling services, legal guidance, and assistance in navigating the process of reporting the incident to the authorities. If you contact them, you can receive all three of these benefits.
Steps to protect yourself:
It's also essential to take steps to protect yourself online. This includes being cautious about sharing personal information and images with others online. You should also use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Regularly checking your privacy settings and restricting access to your personal information is also crucial. Finally, it's important to keep your antivirus software and other security measures up to date to protect yourself from malware and other cyber threats.
Judgment of Delhi High Court, April 2023 (Download the judgement from below link).
The Hon'ble Delhi High Court has issued directions for approaching it for a takedown order in a matter involving "non-consensual intimate images" content, requiring the petitioner to file a sealed affidavit identifying the specific audio, visual images, and keywords being complained against. The Grievance Officer appointed by the intermediary must be sensitized to non-consensual intimate images abuse and interpret it liberally to include sexual content obtained without consent or intended for private relationships. The Online Cybercrime Reporting Portal must have a status tracker for complaints and display redressal mechanisms in all languages specified in the Eighth Schedule, with contact details for each District Cyber Police Station in Delhi on the cybercrime.gov.in website.