The argument begins... and continues...
I'm not going to kid myself that I am beginning this debate, or even continuing it. While I like to steer clear of controversy, this time, I was swayed enough to turn my head to dedicate a little space on my blog to thrash it out.
It is not essential to arrive at a conclusion, I am aware of that. I'm looking to see how the blogosphere is reacting to the recent events surrounding the arrest of Baazee chief Avinesh Bajaj in connection with selling CDs of the DPS MMS incident. In fact, if you ask me, the true battle has begun only after the arrest of Bajaj. Until then, the DPS incident gave rise to a whole load of emotions: incredulity, titilation, shock, anger, disgust, surprise, and if there was a debate, it was only a moral debate.
However, we are now forced to consider the law. As did Karthik and Kiruba after an incident that we on the blog are more familiar with. You wonder why the concern. Both of them (above) have since removed all references to the incident, perhaps because a certain someone has preferred to lodge a complaint with the police, so why would I mention the unmentionables?!
But then, the point is that we are now forced to consider the law. In our ignorance of the law and its long arm, we get suspicious, some of us who talked about freedom of expression have now realised that freedom is infinitely preferable, expression be damned. Which is where we are left standing, or should I say, st(r)anding. In ignorance, though God knows, not innocence.
What are the provisions in law (the various laws including IPC and the IT Act)?
What is the extent of freedom we will be allowed to enjoy in cyberspace?
What defines propriety?
Have we expanded the panic threshold and lowered the threshold on crime?
Will monitoring be uniform and consistent in all incidents?
What is the relevance of such regulations in a medium that is distinguished by the freedom it allows?
Of course, DPS is probably the first hi-profile crime that we are exposed to. Hi-profile, considering the age of those involved in the porn MMS and the manner in which it has spread through the web. Coincidentally, Kareena Kapoor and Trisha Krishnan have been shoved onto the bandwagon. It certainly has entered the realm of sensational, now celebrity. But after the dust dies down on this sequence of events, the above questions remain.
We have to attempt to find answers for them. And meanwhile, consider the option of being a responsible cyber society.