GUWAHATI, March 17 � Call it tempting advantage of concealment or changing social mores, malicious use of the internet is growing in Assam, and the number of victims is on the rise.
Reports have been coming in about illicit content being uploaded on the internet by users in Guwahati and other places of the state. The highly objectionable material comprises a range of items such as sexually provocative content and malware.
Recently, Radhika (name changed), a young mother, had obscene messages posted on her Orkut account. It was only after a friend had alerted her that she was able to remove the explicit messages. The incident has left her traumatised and she has left social networking for good.
No less shocking was a case in which a manipulated photo of a teenage girl was posted on another site along with her personal details. There were insinuations that she was looking out for male companionship in Guwahati, which brought in unwanted attention from a number of men. It was weeks before she became aware of her unenviable situation and got the content removed. But by then the damage was done.
According to Dr Chiranjiv Kakoty, who is aware of the scenario, the effects of such incidents can result in shock, anger and desperation. �You never know, in some cases it took more than five years for victims to recover from the trauma because they did not have the emotional resources to cope with the situation�.
Trawling the net for communities involving Guwahati also throws up some bizarre details, which include communities promoting night life, dating, substance use, and sex with no commitments. Members of some communities have posted their phone numbers, while few others have described themselves in ways that leave little to the imagination. Such aberrations, according to experts, are new in cities of Assam.
Hacking of accounts and pilferage of personal details, also appear to be increasing from the number of people complaining about the trend. K Basumatary, a government employee, had his account broken into and had his income details stolen, but was fortunate to detect the theft before serious damage was caused.
Intrusions on the net are getting bolder in Guwahati as malicious acts have also threatened reputed organisations. Recently, malware was detected on the site of a major newspaper read by more than a lakh of people everyday. Web managers had to take immediate action to stop the attack, which could have affected many computer users.
A lecturer in Guwahati University believed that it was time that authorities concerned started monitoring the net, and its misuse. Unless that was done, computer users with spiteful intent will not only damage the social fabric but endanger economic and financial operations in the region.
Customs dept to order probe into Officials-smugglers link
GUWAHATI, March 17 � The Customs department, following the rise in the number of smuggling cases by air route via North East, has now decided to probe the link between the airlines officials and the international smugglers.
This was revealed by a senior Customs department official a day after red sandal woods worth several lakhs of rupees � purportedly being smuggled to foreign countries via Imphal � were recovered from the cargo of a private airline at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi international airport at Guwahati.
�This is not the first time that such an incident has happened at the Guwahati airport. The incident of a Nigerian national carrying brown sugar, who was later arrested from the airport by our department, is one such incident,� sources in the Customs department stated.
�Such incidents, it seems, are just the tip of the iceberg. Preliminary investigation into the recent smuggling cases has indicated that there has been a spurt in smuggling of items to foreign countries via the region, especially via airway� the sources stated.
�Airports are one area where security arrangements of the highest order are put in place and such recurring incidents of smuggling bids certainly pose a question mark on the officials concerned,� the sources pointed out.
�We are trying to unearth the involvement, if any, and necessary action would be taken once things become clear,� the sources informed, adding that that the department has gathered some vital clues during the course of the ongoing investigation and is working on it.