CYBER LAWS IN INDIA AND NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY POLICY -2013
Cyber Law also called IT Law is the law regarding Information-technology including computers and internet. The laws for cyber crime protect citizens from dispensing sensitive information to a stranger online. Ever since the introduction to cyber laws in India happened, IT Act 2000 was enacted and amended in 2008 covering different types of crimes under cyber law in India It is related to legal informatics and supervises the digital circulation of information, software, information security and e-commerce. Cyber law is any law that applies to the internet and internet-related technologies. Cyber law is one of the newest areas of the legal system. IT law does not consist a separate area of law rather it encloses aspects of contract, intellectual property, privacy and data protection laws. Intellectual property is a key element of IT law. According to Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, Government of India:
CATEGORIES OF CYBER CRIME
Generally, there are three major categories of cybercrimes that you need to know about. These categories include:
CRIMES AGAINST PEOPLE. While these crimes occur online, they affect the lives of actual people. Some of these crimes include cyber harassment and stalking, distribution of child pornography, various types of spoofing, credit card fraud, human trafficking, identity theft, and online related libel or slander.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY. Some online crimes happen against property, such as a computer or server. These crimes include DDOS attacks, hacking, virus transmission, cyber and typo squatting, computer vandalism, copyright infringement, and IPR violations.
CRIMES AGAINST GOVERNMENT. When a cybercrime is committed against the government, it is considered an attack on that nation’s sovereignty and an act of war. Cybercrimes against the government include hacking, accessing confidential information, cyber warfare, cyber terrorism, and pirated software.
TYPES OF CYBER CRIMES
Different types of cyber crimes have different punishments in India Following are main cyber crimes prevalent in India
HACKING ( 66 IT ACT)
Hacking is recognized as one of the most common forms of cybercrime. Hacking in general refers to unlawful access to a computer system. It has been often categorized as one of the oldest computer related crimes. Some examples of hacking include breaking the password protected websites and circumventing password protection on a computer system, it also includes use of faulty hardware or software implementation to illegally obtain a password to enter a computer system. Three main factors that have supported the increasing number of hijacking attacks: inadequate and incomplete protection of computer systems, development of software tools that automate the attacks and the growing role of private computers as a target of hacking attacks
IDENTITY THEFT (66 C IT ACT)
Identity Theft refers to crimes wherein a person fraudulently obtains another person’s personal information and uses it primarily for economic gain Identity theft is broadly defined as the unlawful use of another’s personal identifying information .Using only a name and a social security number an identity thief can borrow money, acquire credit, obtain employment or even obtain a criminal record. Victims are often unaware of their victimization. Calls from collection agencies and denied loans are frequently first signs of trouble. This can also be categorized as one of the simplest form of cybercrime, for instance making a social media account/profile in the name of someone else
CYBER STALKING ( 72 IT ACT)
Stalking means to “pursue stealthily” and cyber stalking is a behaviour in which an individual, group of individuals or organisation uses information and communications technology to harass one or more individuals. Cyber stalking is online threat and there is no direct relationship between the victim and cyber stalker. On the other hand, offline stalking is a direct physical threat to the victim and there may be some relationship between the victim and the stalker.[i]
HATE SPEECH ONLINE
The substance behind regulation of hate speech in India was underlined in Supreme Court’s verdict in the case of Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India & ors., wherein the Apex Court observed that the issue of hate speech deserved deeper consideration by the Law Commission of India. The Court in the case requested the Commission to consider defining “hate speech” and make recommendations to the Parliament to curb the menace of hate speech in India.
In pursuance of Supreme Court’s above direction, the Law Commission in March last year issued Report on Hate Speech which recognized the perils of hate speech on internet. The Report stated that in the age of technology, the anonymity of internet allows a miscreant to easily spread false and offensive ideas. Thus, incitement to discrimination is also a significant factor that contributes to the identification of hate speech.
CYBER PORNOGRAPHY (67 IT ACT)
This is another threat to the female netizens. This would include pornographic websites; pornographic magazines produced using computers Cyber Pornography is considered an exceptional case which has been covered by the IT Act 2000 to ascertain extent by Section 67 of the IT Act 2000.The punishment is upto five years and fine. Along with IT Act the perpetrator can be punished under various Sections of IPC ,Section 290 for committing public nuisance, section 292 for sale of obscene books etc, and section 292A for printing or publishing grossly indecent or scurrilous matter or matter intended to blackmail, section 293 for sale etc of obscene objects to young persons and then section 294 for doing or composing, writing etc of obscene songs and finally under section 509 for outraging the modesty of women..Cyber pornography is in simple words defined as the act of using cyberspace to create, display, distribute, import, or publish pornography or obscene materials. With the advent of cyberspace, traditional pornographic content has now been largely replaced by online/digital pornographic content.Child pornography is dealt under Section 13 of POCSO that provides for imprisonment for a term of up to five years and in case of subsequent conviction, for a term up to seven years and a fine Section 15 provides for punishment for storage of child pornography for commercial purposes with up to three years of imprisonment or a fine. The Supreme Court recently imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and WhatsApp for online child pornography
In February 2018, the Indore cell of MP’s cyber police arrested a man from Dhar for being involved in a child auction pornography group.The police, acting on information from Inter pol, said the group is named Groupo De Leila (an auction group) operating from Portugal.[iii]
CYBER BULLYING ( 67 B IT ACT)
Cyber bullying is intimidation, threat or harassment using an electronic form of contact by the use of computers, mobiles and the internet. It is punishable under Section 506 of the IPC. It provides for imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, a fine or both. If the threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, it can lead to imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years.In an Ipsos survey in 2014, India topped the list of 254 countries for cyber bullying.Blue whale challenge and other viral challenges such as cinnamon are the most brutal form of bullying.
CYBER SEXUAL DEFAMATION ( 499 IPC)
Defamation is another common crime against women in the net. This occurs when defamation takes place with the help of computers and the Internet. E.g. someone publishes defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e-mails containing defamatory matters to others. With the invention of the internet the life of a common man has changed a lot. U/S/499 IPC imprisonment upto 2 years and fine is imposed in case of defamation
HARASSMENT VIA EMAIL (67 A IT ACT)
Harassment includes blackmailing, threatening, bullying, and even cheating via email. E-harassments are similar to the letter harassment but creates problem quite often when posted from fake ids. Email spoofing is the forgery of an email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Email spoofing is a tactic used in phishing and spam campaigns because people are more likely to open an email when they think it has been sent by a legitimate source. U/S 67 A punishment upto 5 years is imposed for harassment via e mail.
Trolls spreads conflict on the Internet, criminal starts quarreling or upsetting victim by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intention to provoke victims into an emotional, upsetting response). Trolls are professional abusers who, by creating and using fake ids on social media, create a cold war atmosphere in the cyber space and are not even easy to trace.[ii]
NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY POLICY -2013
Cyberspace is a complex environment consisting of interactions between people, software and services, supported by worldwide distribution of information and communication technology (ICT) devices and networks.
This policy, therefore, aims to create a cyber security framework, which leads to specific actions and programmes to enhance the security posture of country’s cyber space.
To protect information and information infrastructure in cyberspace, build capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats, reduce vulnerabilities and minimize damage from cyber incidents through a combination of institutional structures, people, processes, technology and cooperation.
Thus with more cyber laws awareness among citizens and strict law enforcement agencies we will have better society that would be free from cyber criminals and crime.
Advocate Shruti Bist,Supreme Court Of India
[i] Cyber Stalking –Fatal Attraction-Shruti Bist,November 2018
[ii] Victimization Of Women In Cyber Crime And Investigative Challenges In India, Shruti Bist, 2019