Cyber is the world of technology and works related to technology which is based on virtual reality. Before we start discussing over the topic ‘cyber law’ we need to ponder over ‘Cyber-crime’, the concoction of two words ‘cyber’ & ‘crime’. The crimes done by the mode of virtual reality i.e. technology and by taking the help of technology is termed as cyber-crime. To protect oneself from such malpractices, cyber laws were introduced.
Information Technology is drastically modernising and gaining popularity in most of our aspects of lives. Computer holds vital significance in today’s era, but that also includes the people involving in the commission of crimes using computers. The law enforcers must become more alert in the cyber sector to keep up with all these criminal elements. One of the major concerns is about educating people and individual of every sector on cyber laws and security practices, such as handling sensitive data, records, and transactions, and implementing sturdy and secured security technology, such as firewalls, anti-virus software, intrusion detection tools, and authentication services on the computer systems. It is important for every individual who uses the internet to be aware of the cyber laws of their country and local area so that, they know what activity is legal online and what is not.
It also implies that cyberlaw, is a legislation focused on the acceptable behavioural use of technology including computer hardware and software, the internet, and networks. Cyber law helps to safeguard users from harm by enabling the investigation and prosecution of online fraud or any criminal activity with the use of cyber technology. It is actionable to the activities of every individual, groups, the public, government, and private organizations. Not to forget if anything happens to any individual online, they know the remedy they can act regarding that matter accordingly.
- DEFINITION AND IMPORTANCE OF CYBER LAW
Cyber law is the term used to describe a law that deals with the problems in relation to the internet, technology, including computers, software, hardware and information systems. It is the generic term that refers to all criminal activities dealing or using the medium of communication technology components, the internet, cyber space and the world wide web (www).
It is important because: –
- Cyber law is concerned with everyone these days. This is primarily because we all use internet in same or other form daily. Internet is used when we create any account online, while performing e-commerce transactions, net banking for e-mails etc.
- Cyber law is important because it touches all kind of transactions in every aspect and activities on and concerning the internet, the world wide web and cyber space.
- It protects every individual from getting trapped in any cyber violations.
- REASONS OF CYBER-CRIME CAN BE SUMMARIZED AS FOLLOWS:
- The computer has a unique feature for storing data in a very small space. This allows you to find and retrieve information using physical or possible information easily.
- The computer is easily accessible so unauthorized access to the use of sophisticated cyber space technology is easily possible through the security system.
- Computers work on complex operating systems and are made up of millions of codes. Cyber-hackers take advantage of the corruption of the human mind and enter into a computer program.
- One of the most important aspects of a computer program is that evidence is destroyed instantly. Criminals find it easy to destroy evidence quickly after a crime has made it difficult for investigative agencies to gather relevant evidence to prosecute the offender.
- The slightest negligence on the part of the computer user in ensuring the security of the computer system can lead to disastrous consequences as the cyber hacker can gain illegal access and unauthorized control of the computer system to carry out its malicious design.
- FORMS OF CYBER CRIMES:
Cybercrime can be categorized mainly in two ways:
- Using the Computer as a Target:- Using a computer to attack other computers.Example: Hacking, Virus/Worm attacks, DOS attack etc.
- Using the computer as a weapon:- Using a computer to commit real world crimes.Example: Cyber Terrorism, IPR violations, Credit card frauds, EFT frauds, Pornography etc
Common forms of cybercrime include:
- Child sexually abusive material (CSAM) refers to material containing sexual image in any form, of a child who is abused or sexually exploited. Section 67 (B) of IT Act states that “it is punishable for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form.
- Cyber Bullying: A form of harassment or bullying inflicted through the use of electronic or communication devices such as computer, mobile phone, laptop, etc.
- Cyber stalking is the use of electronic communication by a person to follow a person, or attempts to contact a person to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such person; or monitors the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication commits the offence of stalking.
- Cyber Grooming is when a person builds an online relationship with a young person and tricks or pressures him/ her into doing sexual act.
- Online Job Fraud is an attempt to defraud people who are in need of employment by giving them a false hope/ promise of better employment with higher wages.
- Vishing is an attempt where fraudsters try to seek personal information like Customer ID, Net Banking password, ATM PIN, OTP, Card expiry date, CVV etc. through a phone call.
- Smishing is a type of fraud that uses mobile phone text messages to lure victims into calling back on a fraudulent phone number, visiting fraudulent websites or downloading malicious content via phone or web.
- Credit card (or debit card) fraud involves an unauthorized use of another’s credit or debit card information for the purpose of purchases or withdrawing funds from it.
- Impersonation and identity theft is an act of fraudulently or dishonestly making use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person.
- Phishing is a type of fraud that involves stealing personal information such as Customer ID, IPIN, Credit/Debit Card number, Card expiry date, CVV number, etc. through emails that appear to be from a legitimate source.
- Spamming occurs when someone receives an unsolicited commercial messages sent via email, SMS, MMS and any other similar electronic messaging media. They may try to persuade recepient to buy a product or service, or visit a website where he can make purchases; or they may attempt to trick him/ her into divulging bank account or credit card details.
- A data breach is an incident in which information is accessed without authorization.
- Cyber-Squatting is an act of registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with an intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.
Some laws are formulated to protect or to defend people online from malicious activities, some laws explain the policies if using computers and the internet in a company. All these wide range of activities fall under the cyber laws. Some of the wide areas covering the cyber laws are:
Scam/ Treachery: Cyber laws complies to the protection of people from online frauds and scams, these laws prevent any financial crimes and identity theft that happen online.
Copyrighting Issues: The Internet holds multiple types of content, but not to forget, it has no right to copy the hard work of any other person. There are strict rules and policies in cyber laws against copyright that protects the creative work of companies and individuals and safeguards their interest.
Online Insults and Character Degradation: Online platforms including social media are the best platform to speak your mind freely but there is a thin line between the liberation of using the right to speak and defaming someone online which must be kept in mind. Cyber laws nominate or deals with the issues like online insults, racism, gender targets to protect a person’s reputation.
Online Harassment and Stalking: Harassment is not only the violation of civil but criminal laws as well. This crime is a major issue in cyberspace. The legal system holds strict laws to prohibit these despicable crimes.
Data Protection: People using the internet risk their privacy and data stored while being online and are often dependent on cyber laws and policies to protect their secrets. Also, corporate world and companies should maintain the confidentiality of data of their users.
- LAWS IN RELATION TO CYBER-CRIME:
Cyber laws in India prohibit any cybercrime, where the computer is a tool of cybercrime. Cyber-crime laws protect citizens from transmitting sensitive information to a stranger online. Since the introduction of cyber laws in India, IT Act 2000 has been enacted and amended in 2008 which covers various types of crimes under cyber law in India. The law defines forms of cybercrime and punishment.
Since the IT Act is a cyber-security law, introduced to protect cyber-space, the IT Act was amended under:
- Indian Penal code
- Indian Law of Attraction
- Banker’s Book evidence Law
- The Reserve Bank of India
The main focus of cyber law in India is to prevent:
- computer crime
- e-commerce data fraud and e-commerce recording
- electronic transactions
Provisions governing IPC and IT act: Many of the cyber-crimes penalised by the IPC and the IT Act have identical ingredients and nomenclature. Here are a few examples:
- Hacking and Data Theft:Sections 43 and 66 of the IT Act. Section 378 of the IPC relating to “theft” of movable property will apply to the theft of any data or online Also sections – 424 and 425 of the IPC, talks about dishonesty and mischiefs respectively
- Receipt of stolen property:Section 66B of the IT Act while section- 411 of IPC which talks about dishonestly stealing property.
- Cheating– section 66D of IT act and section 419 of IPC. While sections -463, 465 and 468 of IPC talks about forgery.
- Obscenity: Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act; while section- 292 and 294 of IPC deals with it, etc.
- WAYS TO PREVENT CYBER-CRIME:
Undoubtedly the cyber laws in India provide protection from cybercrime. However, prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, we ought to take the following measures to reduce or prevent cybercrime:
- Unsolicited text message – We all receive messages from an unknown number. One should be careful and try to avoid replying to messages or instant messages from an unknown number.
- Mobile Downloads – Download everything on the mobile phone from a trusted source only.
- Rate and feedback – Always check the seller rating and customer feedback on the seller. Make sure you look at current issues. Also, be aware of 100% refunds sold by merchant or on the same day.
- Personal Information Request – Everyone should have received a call or email. There, someone on the other hand asks for personal details. This includes your CVV card or email containing attachments, which require you to click on embedded links. Make sure you do not respond to any emails or calls.
- STEPS TO FILE A COMPLAINT
Steps to file a complaint:
- register a written complaintwith the cyber-crime cell. If you cannot find a cyber-cell in your area, you can file an FIR in the local police station. Further if the complaint is not heard, you can refer the complaint to the commissioner or judicial magistrate of the city.
- address the written complaint to the Head of the Cyber Crime Cellof your city or where you are filing the cyber-crime complaint. You should provide your name, contact details, and address for mailing.
- In case you are a victim of online harassment, approach a legal counsel to assist you with reporting it to the police station of your area.
- Get an FIR registered- various cyber-crime comes under the provisions of IPC, so get them mentioned, recorded in the police station. The police have to register the Fir under section -154 of Crpc irrespective of the jurisdiction of the case.
- Most of the cyber-crimes are a cognisable offence so warrant is not required for arrest or investigation.
- How to register an online cyber-crime complaint:
The ministry of home affairs has launched a centralized online cyber-crime registration portal:
- Documents required for filing cyber-crime complaint:
Here are a few details of documents required for various complaints-
Complains which are social media based
- A copy or screenshot viewing the alleged profile/content
- A screenshot of the URL of the alleged content
- Hard/soft copies of the alleged content
- The soft copy is provided in a CD-R
Complains which are email based:
- A written brief about the offense
- A copy of the suspicious email as received by the original receiver (forwarded emails should be avoided)
- The complete header of the suspected email
- Hard and soft copies of the alleged email and its header
- The soft copy is provided in a CD-R
Complains which are done through mobile app:
- A screenshot of the alleged app and the location from where it was downloaded
- The bank statements of the victim in case any transactions were made after the incident
- Soft copies of all the above documents
For Business relation complaint:
- A written brief about the offense
- Originating name and location
- Originating bank name and account number
- Recipient’s name (as in bank records)
- Recipient’s bank account number
- Recipient’s bank location (not mandatory)
- Date and amount of transaction
- SWIFT number
- JURISDICTION TO FILE A COMPLAINT FOR CYBER-CRIME:
According to the section 4(3) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860; one can easily file a complaint against cyber-crime which deals with computer related crime as well. After the amendment of this section, it gave way to penalise the extra territorial offences. This includes to any person residing at any place “without and beyond boundary” , who commits any crime targeting a computer/ online source located in India.
When the offence committed won’t fall under the ambit(jurisdiction) of the police officer, where the complaint is filed, he may record it as a ZERO FIR and transfer it to the concerned police station who has the jurisdiction over that matter of the concerned offence
- BENEFITS OF CYBER LAW:
- Organizations are now able to conduct their own business, trade and e-commerce using the legal infrastructure provided by the Act.
- Digital signatures are legally recognized, validated and punished in the Act.
- It has opened the door for corporate digital signature certification companies to enter the business of being a Certificate Authority.
- Allows Government and policymakers to post notices on the web thus announcing online domination.
- Authorizes companies or organizations to file any form, application or other document in any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the relevant Government by e-form in a form that may be determined by the relevant Government.
- Failure to implement IT legislation that addresses important security issues, which are crucial and critical to the success of an electronic transaction.
Implementing cyberspace is an important step in creating a safe and secure environment for people on the cyber platforms. To protect from cybercrime, computer forensic science should focus on ethical training and the use of cyber security programs that address people, the process, and the technical issues that arise these days. Strict cyber rules are a necessity at this time when technology is growing rapidly because budgets have not been expanded to keep pace with this rate of change in technology.