The cyber crime is a global phenomenon. Intentional use of information technology by cyber terrorists for producing destructive and harmful effects to tangible and intangible property of others is called cyber crime. With the advent of technology this form of crime is rapidly growing around the globe. However, cyber crime also involves some traditional criminal activities such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief which are part of Indian Penal Code.
To tackle these new age crimes the Indian lawmakers bring the Information Technology Act, 2000, The Act is enacted to prevent computer based crime and to ensure security practices and procedures within the context of widest possible use of technology.
What is cyber crime?
The crime which involved computer or technology as a tool or target or both is called to be cyber crime. The misuse of computers and technology has given birth to a gamut of new age crimes like hacking, virus attacks, email fraud and so. Internet is one of the means by which the offenders can gain such sensitive information of companies, firms, individuals, banks etc. They use methods like phishing, spoofing and wire transfer etc. to commit such crimes.
Information Technology Act, 2000 enacted by the Indian government to provide protection and safeguards in the fields like e-governance, e-commerce, e-banking and to impose penalties in the field of cyber crime. The Act further amended in the year of 2008 to extend its scope and applicability.
As the new word ‘communication devices’ has been inserted which includes cell phones, other devices such as iPad or other similar devices on Wi-fi and cellular models used to transmit any text, videos etc. The other related cyber laws in India are enumerated below:-
- Information Technology (Certifying Authorities) Rules, 2000
- Information Technology (Security Procedure) Rules, 2004
- Information Technology (Certifying Authority) Regulations, 2001
Here are some important Sections of IT Act handling major cyber crimes:-
SECTION 65: As per this Section, if anyone knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or intentionally or knowingly instruct other person to conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer programme, computer system or computer network, when such computer source code is required to be kept or maintained under any law.
To Illustrate, the term ‘Computer Source Code’ means the listing of programmes, computer commands, design and layout and programme analysis of computer resource in any form. Such offence can be punished with imprisonment upto three years or with fine which may extend upto 2 lacs rupees or with both.
SECTION 66: The Section talks about hacking activity. If any person with an intention to cause wrongful loss or damage to the general public or any person destroys or deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means called to be hacking. Hacking can be punished with imprisonment upto 3 years, or with fine which may extend upto 2 lacs, or with both.
SECTION 66A: If a person is found to be sending offensive messages through communication services then he/she may be punished with imprisonment for term which may be extend upto 3 years and with fine.
SECTION 66B: Retaining any stolen computer resource or communication device is an offence under the Act, and it may attract punishment upto 3 years, or with fine which may extend upto 1 lacs or with both.
SECTION 66C: If any person dishonestly or fraudulently make use of digital signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person then such offence is punishable with imprisonment upto 3 years, or with fine upto 1 lac or with both.
SECTION 66D: If any person dishonestly or fraudulently by means of any communication device or computer resource commit cheating by personating then such person shall be liable for punishment upto 3 years, or with fine upto 1 lac or with both.
SECTION 66E: Capturing, publishing, or transmitting image of private area of any person without consent attributes the offence under this Section and punishable with imprisonment upto 3 years, or with fine not exceeding 2 lacs, or both.
SECTION 66F: Any person does any act electronically, or with use of computer with an intention to threaten unity, integrity, security, or sovereignty of India, then that person can be punished with imprisonment for life. It is also called cyber terrorism.
SECTION 67: Publishing or transmitting unwanted material in electronic form is punishable with imprisonment upto 3 years, or with penalty upto 5 lacs, or both. In case of second or subsequent conviction, such person will be punished with imprisonment upto 5 years, or with fine upto 10 lacs, or with both.
SECTION 67A: Publishing or transmitting any material containing sexually explicit act or conduct in electronic form attracts an offence and thus punishable with imprisonment upto 5 years, or with penalty upto 10 lacs, or both. And in event of second or subsequent conviction the imprisonment can be enhanced upto 7 years, or with fine upto 10 lacs, or both.
Due to the rapid climb of technology various offence associated with it also increases. Cyberspace is a common heritage as everyone takes benefit of ever growing technology. Therefore, this cyber space is required to be protected so that nobody has to face hassles while being updated with technology.
With technological evolution to prevent crime, the necessity is to be ahead of criminals. The Information Technology Act is needed to be amended as offences under cyber space are increasing day by day. The government should take some stringent actions to mitigate the misuse of technology.
Associate at Aggarwals & Associates, S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali