Thursday, 1 December, 2022

Cybercrime - a formidable challenge

Technology is proving to be a double-edged sword. While the influence of the internet and digital devices has significantly changed our lives for the better, its harmful effects are also coming to the surface gradually. Hacking, fraud, cyberbullying and internet addiction are some of the downsides of internet-based lifestyle, which are making life difficult as much as easy.

A recent study of the National Girl Child Advocacy Forum (NGCAF) found that some 35 girl children are facing cyberbulling every day. Sexual predators are making these girls’ life miserable by positing sexually explicit pantographs, most of which are doctored. They do so in order to blackmail the girl in various ways.

Another growing threat of the internet is the exposure to pornography. It is probably the scariest aspect of the internet access that has no surefire remedy. Likewise, the information overload, the growing burden of fake news, and the lure of terrorism and extremism are constantly tugging impressionable minds towards the dangers of brainwashing and confusion.

All in all, the technological advancement that has brought us many benefits is also taking much away from our lives. It seems that the more we harness the technology to connect ourselves, the more we are becoming alienated from each other. The isolation and health risks associated with a lifestyle are being fostered by this contradiction as an alarming crisis looms ahead.

However, this crisis is not peculiar to Bangladesh alone, but a global phenomenon. All countries are facing it, some more than others. Bangladesh, therefore, can simply adopt the best practices from other nations in tackling cybercrimes. But what is important right now for Bangladesh is to recognise this crisis and take it as a formidable challenge.

The reality is that the internet and its implications have come to stay in our life. In the coming days, the penetration of this technology is going to grow and at some point perhaps the entire population of Bangladesh will use the internet. The greater penetration will involve a bigger chunk of the population, which will multiply problems manifold. Solutions must be urgently sought before the problems get out of hand.

The government, however, has taken some steps like introduction of Digital Security Act and Cyber Police to check cybercrimes. But ironically, this mechanism is apparently being used more in muzzling dissent than holding cyber criminals accountable. It is hoped that the authorities will soon realise the gravity of the problem and take comprehensive action.