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Juveniles and cyberspace
Society owes collective responsibility towards juveniles as they may be smart, but are immature enough to understand the results of their online activities. They may find themselves in trouble, violating the provisions of cyber law IT Act, 2000.
THE PRESENT generation of kids is spending more and more time in cyberspace that is both good and bad, and has raised certain cyber law issues.


It is good, as it provides the contemporary expertise to them. At the same time, it is dangerous as well. Recently a news story revealed that a teenage girl committed suicide because a classmate’s mother bullied her online. Similarly, social network sites are the favourite place for cyber criminals. While most kids are aware about the requirements of safeguarding personal information, not putting photos on their networking site or talk to online strangers, yet many fall into the web thinking why would anyone harm them. This is, of course, a false notion. The law enforcement has to make an arduous effort to prevent mishaps and unfortunate incidents to these kids.


The matter does not end here. Some kids are even technology savvy and indulge in criminal behaviours, though out of curiosity and hobby. This results in severe damage to the victim of these offences. The law provides a special protection to these juveniles in almost all the jurisdictions of the world. However, there is no protection from the trauma that has to be undergone once the crime of these juveniles has been detected.


This situation requires keeping a watch over juveniles at school, home and other places. The teachers, parents, etc have an obligation to monitor the online activities and habits of their kids. Further, various softwares are available that keep a check upon the potentially dangerous activities of juveniles. These include restricting access to pornographic contents on web sites, limiting the time that these juveniles can spend online, etc.


The broadcasting and satellite transmission are also a cause of concern for parents in many jurisdictions. Unless parents employ some technical measures, it is very difficult to regulate and filter the contents transmitted by these mediums.


According to Praveen Dalal, the leading techno-legal internet combat team (ICT) and cyber law specialist in India, “These factors require a special effort on the part of society at large. The legislature must enact good laws that can safeguard the interest of these juveniles. The information technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000) of India is deficient in this regard and needs suitable amendment. Parents must keep an active vigil over their child so that a timely action can be taken. At the school level, the teachers must assist these juveniles while surfing. The society, at large, owes a collective responsibility towards juveniles as they may be smart, but definitely not mature enough to understand the results of their online activities. They may find themselves in trouble by violating the provisions of cyber law of India (IT Act, 2000).”


He informs, “While we have a good law like juvenile justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2000 on the one hand, we need a complete overhaul of the IT Act, 2000, as it is highly deficient in many aspects.”


Till the time the IT Act, 2000 of India is reformulated, the parents and teachers are required to take care of the surfing habits of juveniles to safeguard their interests.
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