The computer-generated world of the internet is known as cyberspace and the laws prevailing in this area are known as Cyber Laws and all the users of this space come under the ambit of these laws as it carries a kind of worldwide jurisdiction. Cyberlaw can also be described as that branch of law that deals with legal issues related to using of inter-networked information technology. In short, cyber law is the law governing computers and the internet.
The growth of Electronic Commerce has propelled the need for vibrant and effective regulatory mechanisms which would further strengthen the legal infrastructure, so crucial to the success of Electronic Commerce. All these governing mechanisms and legal structures come within the domain of Cyberlaw.
Cybercrimes are broadly categorized into three groups such as crime against:
1) Individual: This type of cybercrime can be in the form of cyberstalking, distributing, trafficking and “grooming”. In the present situation, law enforcement agencies are considering such cybercrime very serious and are joining forces worldwide to reach and arrest the committers.
2) Property: Same as in the real world where a criminal can steal and pickpocket, even in the cyber world, offenders resort to stealing and robbing. In this case, they can steal a person’s bank details and drain off money; misuse the credit card to make frequent purchases online; run a scam to get naive people to part with their hard-earned money; use malicious software to gain access to an organization’s website or disrupt the systems of the organization. The malicious software can also damage software and hardware, just like vandals damaged property in the offline world.
3)Government: Crimes against a government are denoted to as cyber terrorism. If criminals are successful, it can cause devastation and panic amongst the citizens. In this class, criminals hack government websites, military websites or circulate propaganda. The committers can be terrorist outfits or unfriendly governments of other nations.
Cyber Laws In India
The density of personal computers in India is 1.8 per one thousand persons. India’s position in the world is 10th with 165 lakh internet users. India has been famous in the world because of its progress in the Information technology industry and because of the large number of Indian I.T. professionals working abroad.
In India, cyber laws are contained in the Information Technology Act, 2000 which came into force on October 17, 2000. The main purpose of the Act is to provide legal recognition to electronic commerce and to facilitate filing of electronic records with the Government.
The existing laws of India, even with the most compassionate and liberal interpretation could not be interpreted in the light of the emergency cyberspace, to include all aspects relating to different activities in cyberspace. In fact, the practical experience and the wisdom of judgement found that it shall not be without major threats and pitfalls, if the existing laws were to be interpreted in the scenario of emerging cyberspace, without enacting new cyber laws. Hence, the need for enactment of relevant cyber laws.
None of the existing laws gave any legal validity or sanction to the activities in Cyberspace. For example, the Net is used by a large majority of users for email. Yet till today, email did not in our country. There is no law in the country, which gives legal validity, and sanction to email. Courts and judiciary in our country have been reluctant to grant judicial recognition to the legality of email in the absence of any specific law having been enacted by the Parliament. As such the need has arisen for Cyber law.
Today, criminals that indulge in cybercrimes are not motivated by ego or expertise. Instead, they want to use their knowledge to gain profits promptly. They are using their capability to snip, deceive and exploit people as they find it easy to generate money without having to do honest work. Cybercrimes have become a major threat today.
Curbing of Cybercrime
An Advisory is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the State Government and Union Territory on Cyber Crime. Also, the State Government is advised to build techniques like cyber police stations, technical infrastructure and trained manpower for detection, registration, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime.
Providing advanced and basic training to Law Enforcement Agencies, Forensic Labs and Judiciary regarding procedures and methods to collect, analyse and present digital evidence by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).
At the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), training of Forensic Lab has been set up to give training to Cyber Crime Police Officers. And also, in the states of Kerala, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir government has set up training forensic labs.
NASSCOM, DSCI (Data Security Council of India) have been set up at Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Kolkata for creating awareness regarding Cyber Crime.
CERT-In has published guidelines for securing the websites which are available on www.cert-in.org.in and also conduct regular training programs to make system administrators aware regarding cyberattacks.
Through the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) Government has decided to provide a centralized citizen portal for registering online cyber complaints.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also set up an Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to fight against cybercrime in the country and generated an open platform to raise complaints by the victims.
With the Government it is our duty also to take some measures and precautions wherever required like reducing the use of alcohol and drugs. As 51% of crimes occur because of the influence of alcohol and drugs. Aware people who are uneducated and if possible give them training regarding using the internet, computer, credit card, debit card etc. Also, make them aware of Government initiatives, cyber laws etc.
Users of the internet should use unique passwords, run anti-virus software, watch suspicious emails and do not open such types of programs coming from unknown sources.