CYBERCRIME – A SERIOUS THREAT TO SOCIETY

INTRODUCTION

Imagine one day you wake up and saw a strange message on your phone and your whole life tumbled upside down later you realize that you have been a victim of cybercrime. In today’s digital world where the internet has become an extremely important part of our daily life every activity in some way, or another is linked with the internet. The crisis of pandemic and lockdown has done a major contribution to this due to pandemic people are restricted to work from home students’ practical exposure to schools has been limited to online all of these has impacted our lives and has done a major contribution to the expansion of the world of internet. Especially for thousands of unemployed people, the internet and social media Are a miracle for them. As everything in this world has a positive and a negative picture similarly internet also has a negative picture and dark side of it which is mostly termed as ‘Cyber Crime’.  With multiple uses of the internet and multiple logins there comes a risk of hacking social media accounts hacking of passwords of profile users. In recent years, a great hike in cybercrimes, frauds, and frauds can be seen in India and the most vulnerable victims of it are old age people, teenagers. Lack of awareness has impacted the rate of increase in cybercrimes. Hence, awareness of cybercrime is of utmost importance in today’s internet world.[1]

WORKING ON CYBERCRIME

Cybercrime refers to any kind of illegal activity in cyberspace that occurs by the use of electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, tablets, and other kinds of networks. Hackers steal private confidential information of users which they enter while logging in to various websites through the internet though this information is password protected multiple logins can make it accessible to hackers to misuse the information through devices that causes harm to the profile users. As per NCRB data during pandemic times cybercrime rate increased to 12%. Since the establishment of NCRB by the government in 2019 there has been approx. 3.17 lakh cases and five thousand Firs got registered for cybercrime till 2021.[2]

TYPES OF CYBER CRIME

These are the following types of cybercrime these are the most common types of cybercrimes.

  • Cyberstalking
  • Cyberbullying
  • Cyberespionage
  • Cyberwarfare
  • Cyberterrorism
  • Cyberextortion
  • Identity theft

CYBER LAWS IN INDIA

Cybercrime is a serious threat and with the increasing number of cases in cybercrime and use of the internet thus challenges to deal with it has been increased which has increased the importance of awareness of significant  Cyber Law that has been enacted by the government firstly The Information Technology Act, 2000. The main objective of the act was to regulate and prohibit the wrongful activities that took place over the internet and keep the track of electronic transactions that took place and for the filling in electronic records with the government. IT act has segmented cybercrime into two divisions. The first part comprises Ch IX from sec 43 to 47 deals with penalties and adjudications, second part comprises offences from Ch XI from sec 65 to 75. Along with other types of crimes following are the cybercrimes broadly punishable under the IT act

  1. Hacking
  2. Sharing and publishing of prohibited content
  3. Illegally tempering with documents

Cybercrimes like data theft are also punishable under sec 424 of IPC there are various provisions of the IPC And IT act that provides punishments for common crimes such as sec 411 and sec 66B of the IT Act which convicts an individual for illegally receiving stolen computer devices and resources. Other than the IT act cybercrime is also penalized under various sections of IPC act 1860 such as sections 411, 419, 463, and 468. The provision of the acts is not only limited to individuals but extends to corporates and organizations which negligently fail in making adequate policies and systems to protect the data of any individual[[3]]. And such corporates and organizations were made liable for compensating the aggrieved parties. Other than the IT act government also has the control to inactivate or block any type of electronic device that they seem might cause harm to the public in general.[4] Apart from provisions of the IT Act and IPC, there are other acts such as the Indian Evidence Act 1872; the bankers book evidence act 1891 and the reserve bank of India act 1934 amendments were made in these acts after the releasing of the IT act and provisions for cybercrime were added to make them compatible with the IT act two thousand.

JUDICIAL INTERPRETATIONS

Judiciary has always been surrounded by challenges while solving the cases of cybercrime. due to lack of proper electronic evidence because cyberspace is the only place where evidence can be removed multiple instances have occurred in cases wherein the judiciary has taken an adequate stand for the parties in the case of Shamsher Singh Verma vs State Of Haryana on 24 November 2015 a child sexual abuse case wherein the supreme court permitted the plea of the accused by denying the decision of the apex court and allowed to treat CDs as electronic evidence for the accused to prove his innocence. In the famous Aarushi Talwar murder case defence counsel challenged CBI in the court and the prosecution conducted by them against the main accused Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar that CBI has not gone through detailed investigation of electronic evidence, but the later court permitted the plea of defense counsel. Though it has been challenging for courts to resolve emerging cases of digital crimes, they have taken mostly positive approaches while deciding the lacuna of the cases and have always emphasized the importance of electronic evidence has always been an important part of an investigation in such type of cases which cannot be ignored and required to be considered.[5]

CONCLUSION

The increasing need for cyberspace has also raised the bar of cybercrime. Though various legal rules and acts have been established by the government, it seems the legal framework prepared is not enough and adequate to deal with the complex web of cybercrime. lack of awareness among the citizens is also one of the contributing factors for the increment in rate. Therefore, appropriate rules and framing of the separate act are immediately required to maintain proper supervision and control in cyberspace to limit the number of crimes.

Author(s) Name: Ayushi Goyal (OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat)

References:

[1]P Datta, S.N. Panda, S.Tanwarand R.K. Kaushal. A Technical Review Report on Cyber Crimes in India. In 2020 International Conference on Emerging Smart Computing and Informatics (ESCI) (pp. 269-275). IEEE. ( March 2020) 

[2] IP leaders <Critical analysis of cybercrime in India – iPleaders> accessed 7 March 2022

[3] Abhijeet Deb, ‘Cyber Crime and Judicial Response in India’ (2012) 3 Indian JL & Just 106

[4] Ruchi Nehra, cybercrime and cyber laws in India, ProBono India Blog ( Mar 7, 2022, 3:42) , <Cybercrimes and Cyber Laws in India | ProBono India (probono-india.in)> accessed 7 March 2022

[5] Archana Sharma, Cyber stalking, and the plight of women in India – a legal perspective (2017) 19 RMNLUJ 175

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