Cyber Crime refers to all criminal activities done using the medium of computers, the internet and the world wide web.
Cyber laws prevent or reduce large-scale damage from cybercriminal activities.
In India the Information Technology Act, 2000 is the mother legislation that deals with issues related to suing of computers, computer systems, computer networks and the Internet.
Cyber offences in India is investigated by a Police Officer, not below the rank of the Inspector(now) Deputy Superintendent of police (Earlier).
Information Technology Act 2000 was enacted in the year 2000 to provide :
- Legal recognition of electronic documents
- Legal recognition of electronic data evidence in a court of law.
- Legal acceptance of digital signatures.
- Punishment of cyber obscenity and crimes
- Establishment of the cyber regulations advisory committee and cyber regulations appellate tribunal.
- Facilitation of electronic filing maintenance of electronic records.
According to the India Act, 2000 the various offences are:
- Tampering with computer source documents hacking with a computer system.
- Publishing of information which is obscene in electronic form.
- E-mail bombing
- Data diddling
- Salami attacks
- Web Jacking
- E-mail spoofing
- Online gambling
- Forgery etc.
Data diddling: Involves altering raw data just before a computer processes it and then changing it back after the processing is completed.
Salami attacks: This type of offence is done for the purpose of committing financial crimes. An important feature of salami attack is that the alteration is so small that it would normally go unnoticed.
Web Jacking : The hacker gains access and control over the website of another. He may even mutilate or change the information on the site. This may be done for fulfilling political objectives or for money.
Pornography : May include the hosting of a website containing obscene materials. Use of computers for producing these obscene materials. Downloading through the internet obscene materials. These obscene materials may cause harm to the mind of the adolescent and corrupt their mind.
Email Spoofing : A spoofed mail misrepresents its origin. It shows its origin to be different from which actually it originates.
The Information Technology Act deals with the various cyber crimes in Chapter IX and XI.
The important sections are section 43, 65, 66 & 67, 71, 72, 73.
Section 43 : deals with the unauthorised access, unauthorised downloading, virus attacks or any contaminant, cause damage, disruption, denial of access, interference with the service availed by a person. This section provides for a fine up to 1 crore by way of remedy.
Section 65 : deals with ‘tampering with computer source documents’ and provides for imprisonment up to three years or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees or with both.
Section 66 : deals with hacking with a computer system and provides for imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both.
Section 67 : deals with publication or transmission of a obscene material and provides for imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and also with a fine up to ten lakh rupees.
Section 71 : deals with penalty for misrepresentation and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or with both.
Section 72 : deals with breach of confidentiality and privacy and provides for imprisonment for a term of two years or with fine up to one lakh rupees or with both.
Section 73 : deals with penalty for publishing false electronic signature certificate and provides for imprisonment up to two years or with five up to one lakh rupees or with both.
All cyber Crimes do not come under the IT Act. Some crimes come under the Indian Penal Code
- Web Jacking – Section 373 IPC
- Bogus websites, cyber frauds – Section 420 IPC
- Email spoofing: Section 465, 419 IPC
- Forgery of electronic records – Section 465 IPC
- Sending defamatory message by email – Section 499 IPC
- Sending threatening messages by email – Section 506 IPC
Further, the rapid increase in the use of computer and internet has given rise to new forms of crimes so the Government of India made suitable amendments to the existing laws and enacted Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008.
ITAA 2008 is an addition to India’s Information Technology Act 2000.
IT Amendment Act 2008 provided for more exhaustive coverage of cyber crimes in the law.
Various new cybercrimes have been added to the activities defined in Section 43 of the IT Act 2000.
The Act is administered by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in).
The new amendment has added identity theft and phishing as cyber crimes have also covered breach of privacy, child pornography as specific offences.
In IT Amendment Act 2008, interception, blocking and monitoring powers have been more detailed and elaborately stated.
The Act gives legal validity to electronic contracts, recognition of electronic signatures.
The act is supplemented by a number of rules which includes rules for cyber cafes, electronic service delivery data security, blocking of websites etc.
It also has rules for the observance of due diligence by internet intermediaries.
Any person affected by data theft, hacking, spreading of viruses can apply for compensation as well as file a criminal complaint.
Appeal for adjudicator lies to Cyber Appellate Tribunal.
Cyber Appellate Tribunal has been established under the Information Technology Act under the aegis of Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA).
The first and only cyber Appellate Tribunal in India have been established in New Delhi in 2006.
The Tribunal was initially known as Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal (CRAT).
After amendment of the IT Act in the year 2008, it is known as Cyber Appellate Tribunal.
The Tribunal is headed by a Presiding Officer who is or was or who is qualified to be a judge of a High Court.
Honourable Mr. Justice RC Jain, a retired judge of Delhi High Court was the first Presiding Officer of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal.
The Presiding Officer of the Tribunal is now known as Chairperson.
Cyber Crime Police Station, Bangalore is India’s first exclusive Cyber Crime enforcement agency.