A cyber crimecould also be defined as any illegal felonious exertion that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or means of negotiating farther crime. In other words, cyber crime is an unlawful act wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both.
Cyber crime is any crime that takes place online or primarily online. Cyber culprits frequently commit crimes by targeting computer networks announcement bias. Cyber crime can range from security breaches to identity thefts and include ‘vengeance porn’, cyber stalking, harassment, bullying and child sexual exploitation. Terrorists unite on the web to hold out their illegal conditioning in cyberspace. Cyber crimes continue to evolve with new pitfalls surfacing each over the world.
In India, cyber-crimes are covered by the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860. It is the Information Technology Act, 2000, which deals with issues related to cyber-crimes and electronic commerce. Still, in the time 2008, the Act was amended and outlined the description and discipline of cyber-crime. Several amendments to the Indian Penal Code 1860 andthus the Reserve Bank of India Act were also made.
Types of Cyber Crimes
The following are considered to be the types of cyber crimes –
Child pornography or child sexually abusive material (CSAM) –
In its simplest sense, child sexual abuse materials (CSAMs) include any material containing sexual images in any form, wherein both the sprat being exploited or abused could also be seen. There is a provision in Section 67(B) of the Information Technology Act which states that the publication or transmission of material depicting children in sexually unequivocal acts in an electronic form is punishable.
A cyberbully is someone who harasses or bullies others using electronic bias like computers, mobile phones, laptops, etc. Cyberbullying refers to bullying conducted through the use of digital technology. The use of social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms, and mobile bias may be involved. Hourly, this involves regular gestethat’s intended to scarify, wrathfulness, or shame those being targeted.
Cyberstalking is that the act of harassing or stalking another person online using the internet and other technologies. Cyberstalking is completed through texts, emails, social media posts, and other forms and is frequently persistent, regular, and deliberate.
Online job fraud –
An online job fraud scheme involves deceiving people that require employment by promising them a far better job with advanced stipend while giving them false hope. On March 21, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) advised people not to fall prey to job swindles. By this, the RBI has explained the way during which online job fraud is executed, also as preventive the consumer should take when applying for any job opportunity, whether in India or abroad.
Online sextortion –
The act of online sextortion occurs when the cybercriminal threatens any individual to publish sensitive and private material on an electronic medium. These culprits threaten in order to get a sexual image, sexual favour, or plutocrat from similar individualities.
Credit Card or Debit Card Fraud
In master card or debit card fraud, unauthorized purchases or recessions from another’s card are made to gain access to their finances. When unauthorized purchases or recessions of money are made up of a clients account, they’re considered credit/debit card fraud. Fraudulent exertion occurs when a criminal gains access to the cardholder’s debit/credit number, or personal number (PIN). Your information arefrequently obtained by unconscionable workers or hackers.
PREVENTIVE LEGAL MEASURES AGAINST CYBER CRIME
It is recommended that companies adopt national or international technical standards that provide a high level of protection. These general prevention measures are recommended for companies that currently lack the necessary technical or financial capabilities. The following is the list of preventive measures –
- Applying multiple layers of defence, beginning with physical security, followed by management policies and procedures, firewalls and network architecture, computer policies, account management, security updates and finally antivirus applications.
- Implementing a principle of least privilege, which restricts information and access to only those set of people who needs to know that particular information.
- Implementing network-hardening measures, assuring patch management is sufficient and is proactively reviewed.
- Securing critical systems by utilizing technology such as protocol-aware filtering and segregation.
- Ensuring that removable devices are encrypted and that any USB used with any other device is tested for viruses.
- Furthermore, in order to prevent the negative impact of a cyberattack from further escalating and restoring business operations, it is important to develop business continuity plans, identify key personnel, and implement processes.
- Compliance audits of third-party service providers will also be beneficial.
In terms of cybersecurity, there are five main types of laws that must be followed. Cyber laws are becoming increasingly important in countries such as India which have extremely extensive internet use. There are strict laws that govern the use of cyberspace and supervise the use of information, software, electronic commerce, and financial transactions in the digital environment. India’s cyber laws have helped to enable electronic commerce and electronic governance to flourish in India by safeguarding maximum connectivity and minimizing security concerns. This has also made digital media accessible in a wider range of applications and enhanced its scope and effectiveness.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000 ( IT ACT)
However, as cyber-attacks become dangerous, along with the tendency of humans to misunderstand technology, several amendments are being made to the legislation. It highlights the grievous penalties and sanctions that have been enacted by the Parliament of India as a means to protect the e-governance, e-banking, and e-commerce sectors. It is important to note that the IT Act’s scope has now been broadened to include all the latest communication devices.
The Act states that an acceptance of a contract may be expressed electronically unless otherwise agreed and that the same shall have legal validity and be enforceable. In addition, the Act is intended to achieve its objectives of promoting and developing an environment conducive to the implementation of electronic commerce.
The Important Provisions of the Act
The IT Act is prominent in the entire Indian legal framework, as it directs the whole investigation process for governing cyber-crimes. Following are the appropriate sections –
Section 43, this section of the IT Act applies to individuals who indulge in cyber crimes such as damaging the computers of the victim, without taking the due permission of the victim. In such a situation, if a computer is damaged without the owner’s consent, the owner is fully entitled to a refund for the complete damage.
In Poona Auto Ancillaries Pvt. Ltd., Pune V. Punjab National Bank, HO New Delhi & Others (2018), Rajesh Aggarwal of Maharashtra’s IT department (representative in the present case) ordered Punjab National Bank to pay Rs 45 lakh to Manmohan Singh Matharu, MD of Pune-based firm Poona Auto Ancillaries. In this case, a fraudster transferred Rs 80.10 lakh from Matharu’s account at PNB, Pune after the latter answered a phishing email. Since the complainant responded to the phishing mail, the complainant was asked to share the liability. However, the bank was found negligent because there were no security checks conducted against fraudulent accounts opened to defraud the Complainant.
Section 66 – Applies to any conduct described in Section 43 that is dishonest or fraudulent. There can be up to three years of imprisonment in such instances, or a fine of up to Rs. 5 lakh.
In Kumar v. Whiteley (1991), during the course of the investigation, the accused gained unauthorized access to the Joint Academic Network (JANET) and deleted, added, and changed files. As a result of investigations, Kumar had been logging on to a BSNL broadband Internet connection as if he was an authorized legitimate user and modifying computer databases pertaining to broadband Internet user accounts of subscribers. On the basis of an anonymous complaint, the CBI registered a cyber crime case against Kumar and conducted investigations after finding unauthorized use of broadband Internet on Kumar’s computer. Kumar’s wrongful act also caused the subscribers to incur a loss of Rs 38,248. N G Arun Kumar was sentenced by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. The magistrate ordered him to undergo a rigorous year of imprisonment with a fine of Rs 5,000 under Sections 420 of IPC and 66 of the IT Act.
Section 66B – This section describes the penalties for fraudulently receiving stolen communication devices or computers, and confirms a possible three-year prison sentence. Depending on the severity, a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh may also be imposed.
Section 66C -The focus of this section is digital signatures, password hacking, and other forms of identity theft. The section imposes imprisonment up to 3 years along with one lakh rupees as a fine.
Section 66D – This section involves cheating by personation using computer Resources. Punishment if found guilty can be imprisonment of up to three years and/or up-to Rs 1 lakh fine.
Section 66E – Taking pictures of private areas, publishing or transmitting them without a person’s consent is punishable under this section. Penalties, if found guilty, can be imprisonment of up to three years and/or up-to Rs 2 lakh fine.
Section 66F – Acts of cyber terrorism. An individual convicted of a crime can face imprisonment of up to life. An example: When a threat email was sent to the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange, which challenged the security forces to prevent a terror attack planned on these institutions. The criminal was apprehended and charged under Section 66F of the IT Act.
Section 67 – This involves electronically publishing obscenities. If convicted, the prison term is up to five years and the fine is up to Rs 10 lakh.
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF THE IT ACT
- Several companies are now able to conduct e-commerce without any fear because of the presence of this Act. Until recently, the development of electronic commerce in our country was hindered primarily due to a lack of legal infrastructure to govern commercial transactions online.
- Digital signatures are now able to be used by corporations to conduct online transactions. Digital signatures are officially recognized and sanctioned by the Act.
- Additionally, the Act also paves the way for corporate entities to also act as Certification Authorities for the issuance of Digital Signature Certificates under the Act. There are no distinctions in the Act as to what legal entity may be designated as a Certifying Authority, provided the government’s standards are followed.
- Furthermore, the Act permits the companies to electronically file any of their documents with any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the appropriate government by using the electronic form prescribed by that government.
- It also provides information on the security concerns that are so crucial to the success of the use of electronic transactions. As part of the Act, the term secure digital signatures were defined and approved, which are required to have been submitted to a system of a security procedure. Therefore, it can be assumed that digital signatures are now secured and will play a huge part in the economy. Digital signatures can help conduct a secure online trade.
It is common for companies to have their systems and information hacked. However, the IT Act changed the landscape completely. A statutory remedy is now being provided to corporate entities in the event that anyone breaches their computer systems or network and damages or copies data. Damages are charged to anyone who uses a computer, computer system or computer network without the permission of the owner or other person in charge.
NEED FOR CYBER CRIME LAWS IN INDIA
Cyberlaw is of particular importance in countries such as India, where the internet is used widely. In order to protect both individuals and organizations against cyber crime, the law was enacted. The cyberlaw allows other people or organizations to take legal action against someone if that person violates and breaks the provisions of the law.
Cyberlaw may be required in the following circumstances:
- Due to the fact that all the transactions associated with stocks are now executed in demat format, anyone who is involved with these transactions is protected by cyber law in the event of any fraudulent transactions.
- Almost all Indian companies have electronic records. A company may need this law to prevent the misuse of such data.
- As a result of the rapid development of technology, various government forms are being filled out electronically, such as income tax returns and service tax returns. Anybody can misuse those forms by hacking government portal sites, and thus, cyberlaw is required under which legal action can be taken.
- Shopping today is done through credit cards and debit cards. Unfortunately, some frauds perpetrated by means of the internet clone these credit cards and debit cards. The cloning of a credit or debit card is a technique that allows someone to obtain your information via the Internet. This can be prevented by cyberlaw as under Section 66C of the IT Act, there is 3-year imprisonment along with a fine up to one lakh rupees if anyone tries to make use of any electronic password fraudulently or dishonestly.
- Business transactions are typically carried out by means of digital signatures and electronic contracts. The misuse of digital signatures and electronic contracts can be easily accomplished by anyone involved with them. Cyberlaw provides protection against these types of scams.
With the advancement in technology, disturbing elements are appearing on the dark web that is disturbing. The Internet has become a tool of evil deeds that are exploited by intelligent people for evil motives and sometimes for financial gain. Thus, at this point in time, cyber laws come into the picture and are important for every citizen. Due to the fact that cyberspace is an extremely difficult territory to deal with, some activities are classified as grey activities that cannot be governed by law.
In India as well as across the globe, with the increasing reliance of humans on technology, cyber laws need constant up-gradation and refinement to keep pace. There has also been a significant increase in the number of remote workers as a consequence of the pandemic, which has increased the need for application security. There is a need for legislators to take extra precautions to keep ahead of the imposters so that they can act against them as soon as they arise. It can be prevented if lawmakers, internet providers, banks, shopping websites and other intercessors work together. However, ultimately, it is up to the users to participate in the fight against cyber crime. The only way for the growth of online safety and resilience to take place is through the consideration of the actions of these stakeholders, ensuring they stay within the confines of the law of cyberspace.
NAME – FARHEEN INTAKHAB
INSTITUTIONS – JAMIA HAMDARD UNIVERSITY
COURSE – B.A.LLB
YEAR – 4