October 18, 2021

Cyber Crime – A challenge to India

cyberlaw

Introduction

We are living in an era of technology where anyone can make their lives easy and better through just a gadget with an internet connection. Computer is being used in most of the sectors and everyone owns a mobile phone making it easy for them.

Even though they provide solutions to everything but they also come with problems. Cyber Crime is a crime that involves a gadget and a network. Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation or mental health of the victim. India has recorded over 21,796 cybercrimes in 2017, an increase of 77% from 2016. Countrywide, 1.7 cybercrimes were committed per one lakh population in 2017. Over half of the crimes were committed to gain money by fraudent means. New crime heads such as cyber blackmailing, cyber stalking and dissemination of fake news were introduced in the 2017 NCRB report. Even we know these are just a few numbers of crimes recorded there are so many unrecorded crimes far away from reality.

As per the NITI aayog report threats to cyber space have increased drastically over the last 10 years, they generally lead to the exposure of Sensitive, Personal and Business Information. Times of India reports show that 40% of Delhi Cyber crime targets women. According to the information given by Delhi Police most of the cases have reported women receiving malice in cyber land. Superintendent of Police (Cyber Crimes) G.R. Radhika mentioned that NCRB data in 2018 releveled that 6,030 cyber crimes were registered by women. “In India 71 crore people are using the Internet, out of which, 25 crores are women. She also said 80% of people are falling prey to cyber crimes and 63% of people don’t know where to lodge complaints to cybercrimes.” It is reported that the first cyber crime case was registered three years ago where a student was arrested for putting up obscene messages of his class teacher and female class mate on a self-created website.

Teenagers tend to download copy rights music, movies, videos games etc through illegal file sharing network. According to the findings of Harris Interactive Poll conducted for the Business Software Alliance it showed that 33 percent of the teens said they have illegally downloaded software while 33% of the teens have accepted this practice, which shows the ethical attitude towards copy right law are weaker among teenagers and need proper education and training for the same. The guidance will get a positive influence on their growth as good Cyber Citizens and the respect for digital Copy Wright Works.

In India layman who have personal computers are not aware of the Cyber ethics, rules and laws governing the activities. Non-professionals and non-experts in computer don’t even know the meaning of cyber activities which lead to cybercrimes. According to the reports only 15% of the Cyber Attacks are reported to the law enforcement as this goes against them and their reputation may take a downfall.

The problem of cybercrime has taken a drastic increase in their number of cases and therefore needs a systematic investigation so that the crimes can be prevented. The first step and the most important step is to determine that whether the offender still has the control of the relevant device. If so, they may dismiss the user so that it is easy to find the intruder, but if the investigator decides to lock out the user the damage to the device is limited. To perform a full proof investigation, there are different investigation techniques used and different factors that are considered for example whether the invasion is malicious or an accident that has to be investigated. It is advised that experienced legal counsel should be consulted for advice and further action to prevent further crimes. If the crime is prima facie or a changeable crime has been attempted concerned authorities should be contacted whereas special attention should be given to preservation and custody of evidence. Updating software with the best versions and security pattern is very essential. There are different techniques to trace malicious software sent over the web and it may knock business off the net.

According to Novell Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt

“Security is a race between the lock makers and the lock pickers”

Managers say that the reason that cyber crime spreads because people accord the internet far for credibility than it deserves. Rutledge deputy Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Securities Commission said “You can get a lot of good information from the internet but 95% of what you do is bonafide.”

Nevertheless, India is one of the few countries to adopt the Information Technology Act 2000 which is a good start to combat cybercrimes. The Act includes what constitutes tampering with the computer document systems and publishing of obscene information but issues like cyber stalking or child abuse have not been covered in this act. There has been a continuous attack of computer related viruses in whole wild world, security of computers has become a serious issue for consumers and students as well. According to a research firm MacAfee about 100,000 viruses were identified.

According to the 10th United Nations Congress prevention of crime are categorized under 5 headings which are as follows –

  1. Unauthorized Access

It is a punishable offence which is punishable with up to 1 crore penalty. It includes unauthorised access of any computer system without consent.

 

  1. Damage to computer Data or programmes

If any person who has not taken permission or access from the person who owns the computer or who is in charge of the computer downloads, copies or extract information from the computer or the computer database and held the data in other computer or any removable device.

 

  1. Damage the functioning of a computer system or network

When the intruder hacks into the functioning of a computer or a network for malicious actions which are acted upon intentionally to destroy personal data.

 

  1. Computer espionage

It is a form of cyberattack that steals classified, sensitive data to gain advantage over a big successful competitive company or any government entity.

 

  1. Unauthorized interception of data to form and within a system or network.

It allows unauthorized users to access data, applications, or environments and are an attack against confidentiality.

Any crime committed in India by any person irrespective of their nationality involving a computer and a network performed in India will be punished. If any of the devices or the information is broken, they will be liable and will lead to confiscation. 

 Cyber Crime cases in India

  • State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti

The case related to posting of obscene, defamatory and annoying message about a divorcee woman in the yahoo message group. E-Mails were also forwarded to the victim for information by the accused through a false e-mail account opened by him in the name of the victim. The posting of the message resulted in annoying phone calls to the lady in the belief that she was soliciting.  Based on a complaint made by the victim in February 2004, the Police traced the accused to Mumbai and arrested him within the next few days. This is considered as the first case in the state of Tamil Nadu, in which the offender was convicted under section 67 of Information Technology Act 2000 in India.

  • The Bank NSP Case

The Bank NSP case is the one where a management trainee of the bank was engaged to be married. The couple exchanged many emails using the company computers. After some time, the two broke up and the girl created fraudulent email ids such as “Indian bar associations” and sent emails to the boy’s foreign clients. She used the banks computer to do this. The boy’s company lost a large number of clients and took the bank to court. The bank was held liable for the emails sent using the bank’s system.

 

Conclusions and Suggestions

Cyber crime is another type of crime that has arisen because of the computerization of different exercises in an association in an organized climate. With the quick development of data innovation cyber crimes are a developing danger.

Innovation has a negative angle as it works with business action. Conventionally the law stays up with the progressions in innovation however the speed of mechanical advancements in the new past, particularly in the field of data and innovation is difficult to stay up with overall set of laws. A significant concern identifies with modernizing punitive laws of numerous nations which originate before the approach of PCs. From one viewpoint, the current laws must be change to adapt to the PC related misrepresentation, for example, hacking, malignant distortion or eradication of information, programming robbery, programming assaults and so on and on the other, new enactment is additionally important to guarantee information assurance and theft.

The requirement for a law on information insurance is fundamental in case India is to support financial backer certainty, particularly among unfamiliar elements that send a lot of information to India for administrative centre activities. Information insurance is fundamental for re-appropriating courses of action that depend an Indian organization with an unfamiliar organization’s classified information or proprietary innovations, as well as clients’ secret and individual information. As Prevention is always better than cure, a smart internet user should take certain precautions while operating the internet and should follow certain preventive measures for cybercrimes, these measures can be considered as suggestions also:

  • A person should never send his credit card number to any site that is not secured, to guard against frauds.
  • One should avoid disclosing any personal information to strangers via e-mail or while chatting.
  • One must avoid sending any photograph to strangers by online as misusing of photograph incidents increasing day by day.
  • It is always the parents who have to keep a watch on the sites that your children are accessing, to prevent any kind of harassment or depravation in children.
  • Web site owners should watch traffic and check any irregularity on the site. It is the responsibility of the web site owners to adopt some policy for preventing cybercrimes as number of internet users are growing day by day.
  • Strict statutory laws need to be passed by the Legislatures keeping in mind the interest of netizens (cybercitizen or an entity or person actively involved in online communities and a user of the Internet).
  • Web servers running public sites must be physically separately protected from internal corporate network.

Note: The opinions are personal to the author, if any.

This article has been contributed by Sheen Pandita of Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

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