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News items show widening East-West gulf (The Funny Side)
Asia contains literally four billion people. So it's kind of weird that every time I visit the West, people say: "You're from Asia? I met a guy from there once; I wonder if you know him?" The really weird thing is that I always do.
 
Talking of East-West issues, at a writers' festival in Singapore recently, the authors' panel and audience were given five minutes to answer a question: What topics should never be covered in children's books?
 
The Westerners in the room gave identical answers: Nothing should be banned! All censorship is evil!
 
The Easterners in the room wrote long lists of unmentionables including cannibalism, violence, politics, religion, sex, kissing, underpants, democracy, feelings, and so on. I asked for a second sheet of paper to list individuals and inappropriate vegetables.
 
East and West are so different. A couple of days later, a reader sent me a viral Instagram video of a man in Sydney who spontaneously tried to run up an escalator which was moving down at a high speed. The crowd, most members of which were using the escalator at the time, raucously cheered him on as he risked their safety.
 
In Asia, he would have been severely tut-tutted by observers and arrested by the authorities, possibly even facing the death penalty for incitement to commit emotions.
 
Further evidence of an East-West divide came from the announcement that the US national spelling contest was won by two boys, Nihar and Jairam, whose names are added to the winners' list: Gokul, Vanya, Ansun, Sriram, Arvind, Snigdha, Sukanya, Anamika and the like. Families with Indian roots make up less than one percent of the US population but win the spelling contests every year.
 
As a South Asian, I can reveal that we're good at spelling because of our unspellable names. Our version of Scrabble says that if your tiles don't make a word, you can still get 50 bonus points if you use them to name your child.
 
At the same time, Google revealed that the most searched for "how to spell" request in the US state of Massachusetts was Massachusetts. Internet conversations must go something like this:
 
Asian: "Hi, where are you from?"
 
Massachusetts Resident: "Hang on, let me just Google that."
 
Not that Westerners aren't smart: they are far ahead of Easterners in cultural mores. A hot new difference concerns gender. Asians have to use the toilets that match their biological gender, whereas my Western friends think that's an outrageous demand.
 
Four-year-olds at a school in the British city of Brighton are told that they are not boys or girls but can choose their gender. This strikes me as risky, as small children change their minds all the time.
 
9:00:05 "Do you need to use the toilet?" "No."
 
9:00: 25 (dancing as we get on the bus) "DAD! I need to wee! Now!"
 
But I quite like the idea of being "gender-fluid". For example, it's well known that lightning kills six times as many males as females. If all guys wore dresses on rainy days, many lives would be saved. I might write a children's book about it: The Day Mr Lightning Found No One to Fry.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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As net use spreads, cyber crimes up 19 times over 10 years
Cyber crimes reported in India rose 19 times over the last 10 years (2005 to 2014), from 481 in 2005 to 9,622 in 2014. India is now ranked third - after the US and China - as a source of “malicious activity” on the internet, second as a source of “malicious code” and fourth and eight as a source or origin for web attacks and network attacks.
 
Arrests involving cyber crimes also rose nine times from 569 in 2005 to 5,752 in 2014, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, even as more Indians logged on to the internet.
 
Internet subscribers in India crossed the 400 million mark, and are expected to reach 462 million by June 2016.
 
As many as 9,622 cyber crimes were reported in 2014, an increase of 69 per cent over 2013. Of these, 7,201 were reported as offences under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2,272 under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 149 under Special and Local Laws (SLL).
 
Under the IT Act, the most - 5,548 cases - reported were computer-related offences, of which 4,192 were under Section 66A, which allows for jail terms up to two-three years for sending “offensive messages through communication service” and related offences.
 
Section 66A of the IT Act was struck down by the Supreme Court in March 2015, saying: “Such a law hit at the root of liberty and freedom of expression, the two cardinal pillars of democracy."
 
IndiaSpend previously reported how India was following Turkey and Russia in restrictive internet laws. India ranked 136th, Turkey 149th and Russia 152nd in the 2015 Press Freedom Index, issued by Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based non-profit.
 
Obscenity, cheating, sexual exploitation-India’s leading cyber crimes
 
As many as 758 cases were registered for publication or transmission of obscene or sexually explicit content under the IT Act.
 
Cheating (1,115) was the most reported crime, accounting for nearly 50 percent of IPC crimes. Under SSL offences, copyright violation was the most reported crime (118 of 149).
 
“Greed/financial gain” were the major motives behind cybercrime cases in 2014 with 1,736 cases, followed by “insult to modesty of women (599)”, fraud or illegal gain (495), sexual exploitation (357) and “personal revenge/settling scores (285)”.
 
Maharashtra reported the most cyber crimes (1,879) in 2014, double the cases (907) of the previous year.
 
Uttar Pradesh was second (1,737), followed by Karnataka (1,020), Telangana (703) and Rajasthan (697). The top five states accounted for 63 percent of all cases in 2014.
 
As many as 5,752 people were arrested for cyber crimes in 2014 - 5,744 Indians and eight foreigners. As many as 95 persons were convicted and 276 acquitted for cyber crimes in 2014.
 
Uttar Pradesh reported the most (1,223) arrests in 2014, followed by Maharashtra (942), Telangana (429), Madhya Pradesh (386) and Karnataka (372).
 
More than 8,000 websites were hacked in the first three months of 2016, and as many as 13,851 spamming violations were reported, according to a Lok Sabha reply on May 4, 2016.
 
Cyber security crimes, such as phishing, scanning, introducing malicious code, website intrusion and denial of service, rose 76 percent over the last five years, from 28,127 in 2011 to 49,455 in 2015.
 
As many as 13,083 and 11,997 cases related to automated teller machines (ATMs), credit/debit cards and net banking frauds were reported by banks during 2014-15 and 2015-16 (till December 2015), respectively, according to a Rajya Sabha reply on April 29, 2016.
 
Cyber frauds - ATM/credit/debit cards and net banking - cost Rs 226 crore ($38 million) over the last three financial years, 2012-13 to 2014-15.
 
Cyber crimes cost India $4 billion (Rs 24,630 crore) in 2013, according to a report commissioned by the Delhi High Court.
 
The global cost of cybercrime was estimated between $375 billion (Rs 2,512,500 crore) and $575 billion (Rs 3,852,500 crore), according to a World Bank 2016 report, quoting a 2014 study. The average per person cost of data breaches ranged from $51 in India to $201 in the United States, it said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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