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When we talk about technology and crime, or technological crime, we probably refer to crimes using new technologies, that is information and communication technologies (ICTs).
It is very difficult to define, as new technologies continue to emerge and the examples become redundant. In some cities in some countries, burglary is a forgotten thing, thanks to burglar alarms.
Closed-circuit TV cameras solve a lot of problems but they create quite a few. Surveillance helps, serving as a powerful deterrent. But all these prying eyes of cameras installed in the name of security become a huge nuisance for some of us; citizens’ groups often raise their voice about invasion into our privacy.
At times, these surveillance cameras have caught images not authorised by the law. We have one recent example in Bangladesh. Grooming and other personal service provider, Persona, was allegedly, going beyond limits and suddenly found itself in the news headlines.
Carjacking once became very common even in countries where the car population outstripped the human population. There came the technology – alarms, tracking devices, keys with ability to read its owner’s fingerprints – to supplement all the other existing ways of finding or tracking down a stolen car.
For someone who is neither a techie, legal professional, nor a law enforcer but merely a newsgatherer and publisher, the perspective is different. In my struggle to put something together in this particular case, I consulted my colleagues and friends who take interest in such matters.
The first thing that came to mind in most cases was: The tragedy at Ramu.
My colleagues worked overnight to tell the story to the world – the Prime Minister was then out of the country. In New York, meeting world leaders, the Prime Minister ordered immediate response to support the victims and find out the culprits.
But no one had any idea what triggered the incident. Very soon, it emerged that someone used his Facebook page to say something that provoked the angry outbursts of zealots. Then it was confirmed that a certain someone did exist but the Facebook page in particular had not been created by that someone. Yes someone else had done it. This was a clear case of incitement of religious hatred using the opportunities created by cyberspace.
And then, how can anyone forget the ill-fated blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider?
The slain blogger was called all sorts of names by the fanatics. That he was an atheist and that he had committed blasphemy, defamed the Prophet through his blog posts.
A colleague of mine did some investigation to prove that the blog site which was claimed to be Rajib’s was not in fact his, and that the posts were uploaded after his death.
Someone or a group of people with a terrible mind did it all. They used technology and committed a crime.
A female colleague came up with this as I asked her for a few examples, especially on whether she had any personal experiences.
Shamima Binte Rahman studied archeology at Jahangirnagar University and became a journalist working for some of the top news outlets in Bangladesh for the last 15 years or so. She’d just returned from India, having finished a second two-year Master’s degree there.
Sometime in October, 2014, she received this on her Facebook inbox.
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