Thursday Sep 28, 2023
Thursday Sep 28, 2023

Is Nepal lacking Cyber security law enforcement?

With the shift of society into the digital world, it has become hard for the Nepal Police to keep track of cyber bullying, but what can they really do?

2022 Dec 28, 7:25, Kathmandu

The use of information technology (ICT) for different purposes is very popular among the Nepalese urban population. Much of business, education, and communication is being operated through digital platforms which demand the cyber security laws of the country to be equally enforced as other laws.

According to Dipesh Joshi, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Cyber Bureau, people are committing cyber bullying for fun, money, virtual sexual pleasure or to threaten or prank someone. Perpetrators often operate from fake accounts and display wrong information about themselves on the internet. “ It is more difficult to find the suspect in cyber crime and bullying than in physical harassment as the suspect could be anyone, even people close to the victim,” says Deputy Superintendent Joshi.

“ In two years the number of cyber harassment cases have doubled,” he adds. As many are aware, registration of cyber harassment cases has also been increasing. More awareness guarantees increased reporting of cases. As for people looking to report their own personal cases, one residing at Kathmandu valley can make a visit to the bureau located in Bhotaiti, Kathmandu to file a complaint whereas those residing outside can do it via mail as well. Most of the cases the bureau has been receiving involve character assassination and defamation through social media.

As UNICEF defines it, cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behavior, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted.

Previously, women from Morang and Jhapa districts of Nepal reported to have faced blackmailing and online harassment repeatedly from a man. It was later revealed that the man who was harassing multiple women from Nepal was a Nepali migrant worker currently living in Malaysia. The arrest of the man seems quite impossible with the current way of policing executed in Nepal.

“ The offices of all popular social media sites are outside of Nepal and they are not obliged to give away data to the cyber bureau in Nepal. Even if we request data from them it usually takes more than 35 to 40 days for the data to arrive,” says the deputy. Many times the perpetrators of cyber bullying and harassment are based abroad making it difficult for the Nepali police to arrest them, even though they do come to Nepal later the case is already closed giving the perpetrators a leeway to avoid facing any consequences from law in account of their previous actions.

Online harassment can have serious detrimental effects on the survivors. A research published in 2021, ‘Cyber Stalking, Cyber Harassment, and Adult Mental Health: A Systematic Review’, has found a significant link between mental health issues and people who have faced cyber stalking and harassment.

A study conducted in Nepal, ‘ Cyberbullying : An emerging challenge for Nepal ‘ found the problem of cyber bullying to be highly prevalent among urban school children in Nepal. The misuse of technology is rampant among Nepali school children who are often unaware of the possibilities of such crimes or are themselves involved in it. Teens have expressed their concerns regarding the delayed strengthening of law enforcement in Nepal regarding cyber security.

This brings us to wonder, if Nepal is actually lacking Cyber security law enforcement!


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