Impact of Cyber Laws in India

Impact of Cyber Laws in India: Cyber Law is a term that encapsulates the legal issues related to use of Communicative, Transactional, and Distributive aspects of networked information Devices and Technologies. It is less a distinct field of law in the way that property or contracts are, as it is a domain covering many areas of law and regulation. Some leading topics include Intellectual Property, Privacy, Freedom of Expression, and Jurisdiction. In Indian law, Cyber Crime has to be voluntary and willful, an act or omission that adversely affects a person or property. The IT Act provides the backbone for E-Commerce and India’s approach has been to look at E-Governance and E-Commerce primarily from the promotional aspects looking at the vast opportunities and the need to sensitize the population to the possibilities of the information age. There is the need to take in to consideration the security aspects.

In the present global situation where Cyber control mechanisms are important we need to push “Cyber Laws”. Cyber Crimes are a new class of crimes to India rapidly expanding due to extensive use of internet. Getting the right lead and making the right interpretation are very important in solving a cyber crime. In India, there are 30 million policemen to train apart from 12,000 strong Judiciary. Police in India are trying to become cyber crime savvy and hiring people who are trained in the area. Many police stations in Delhi have computers which will be soon connected to the Head Quarters. Cyber Police Stations are functioning in major Cities all over the Country. The pace of the investigations can become faster; judicial sensitivity and knowledge need to improve. IT Institutions can also play a role in this area. Technology nuances are important in a spam infested environment where privacy can be compromised and individuals can be subjected to become a victim unsuspectingly. Most cyber criminals have a counter part in the real world. If loss of property or persons is caused the criminal is punishable under the IPC also. Since the law enforcement agencies find it is easier to handle it under the IPC, IT Act cases are not getting reported and when reported are not necessarily dealt with under the IT Act. A lengthy and intensive process of learning is required. A whole series of initiatives of cyber forensics were undertaken and cyber law procedures resulted out of it. This is an area where learning takes place every day as we are all beginners in this area. We are looking for solutions faster than the problems can get invented. We need to move faster than the criminals. The real issue is how to prevent cyber crime. For this, there is need to raise the probability of apprehension and conviction. India has a law on evidence that considers admissibility, authenticity, accuracy, and completeness to convince the judiciary. The challenge in cyber crime cases includes getting evidence that will stand scrutiny in a foreign court. For this India needs total international cooperation with specialized agencies of different countries. Police has to ensure that they have seized exactly what was there at the scene of crime, is the same that has been analyzed and the report presented in court is based on this evidence. It has to maintain the chain of custody. The threat is not from the intelligence of criminals but from our ignorance and the will to fight it. The law is stricter now on producing evidence especially where electronic documents are concerned. The computer is the target and the tool for the perpetration of crime. It is used for the communication of the criminal activity such as the injection of a virus/worm which can crash entire networks. The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, specifies the acts which have been made punishable. Since the primary objective of this Act is to create an enabling environment for commercial use of I.T., certain omissions and commissions of criminals while using computers have not been included. With the legal recognition of Electronic Records and the amendments made in the several sections of the IPC vide the IT Act, 2000, several offences having bearing on cyber-arena are also registered under the appropriate sections of the IPC. As per the report of National Crime Records Bureau, in 2005, a total 179 cases were registered under IT Act 2000, of which about 50 % (88 cases) were related to Obscene Publications / Transmission in electronic form, normally known as cyber pornography. 125 persons were arrested for committing such offences during 2005. There were 74 cases of Hacking of computer systems during the year wherein 41 persons were arrested. Out of the total (74) Hacking cases, those relating to Loss/Damage of computer resource/utility under Sec 66(1) of the IT Act were 44.6 % (33 cases) whereas the cases related to Hacking under Section 66(2) of IT Act were 55.4 % (41 cases). Tamil Nadu (15) and Delhi (4) registered maximum cases under Sec 66(1) of the IT Act out of total 33 such cases at the National level. Out of the total 41 cases relating to Hacking under Sec. 66(2), most of the cases (24 cases) were reported from Karnataka followed by Andhra Pradesh (9) and Maharashtra (8). During the year, a total of 302 cases were registered under IPC Sections as compared to 279 such cases during 2004 thereby reporting an increase of 8.2 % in 2005 over 2004. Gujarat reported maximum number of such cases, nearly 50.6 % of total cases (153 out of 302) like in previous year 2004 followed by Andhra Pradesh 22.5 % (68 cases). Out of total 302 cases registered under IPC, majority of the crimes fall under 2 categories viz. Criminal Breach of Trust or Fraud (186) and Counterfeiting of Currency/Stamps (59). Though, these offences fall under the traditional IPC crimes, the cases had the cyber tone wherein computer, Internet or its related aspects were present in the crime and hence they were categorized as Cyber Crimes under IPC. Out of the 53,625 cases reported under head Cheating during 2005, the Cyber Forgery (48 cases) accounted for 0.09 %. The Cyber frauds (186) accounted for 1.4 % out of the total Criminal Breach of Trust cases (13,572). The Forgery (Cyber) cases were highest in Andhra Pradesh (28) followed by Punjab (12). The cases of Cyber Fraud were highest in Gujarat (118) followed by Punjab (28) and Andhra Pradesh (20). A total of 377 persons were arrested in the country for Cyber Crimes under IPC during 2005. Of these, 57.0 % (215) of total such offenders (377) were taken into custody for offences under 'Criminal Breach of Trust/Fraud (Cyber)', 22.0 % (83) for ‘Counterfeiting of Currency/Stamps’ and 18.8 % (71) for offences under ‘Cyber Forgery’. The States such as Gujarat (159), Andhra Pradesh (110), Chhattisgarh and Punjab (51 each) have reported higher arrests for Cyber Crimes registered under IPC. Bangalore (38), Chennai (20) and Delhi (10) cities have reported high incidence of such cases (68 out of 94 cases) accounting for more than half of the cases (72.3%) reported under IT Act, 2000. Surat city has reported the highest incidence (146 out of 163 cases) of cases reported under IPC sections accounting for more than 89.6 %. The latest statistics show that Cyber Crime is actually on the rise. However, it is true that in India, Cyber Crime is not reported too much about. Consequently there is a false sense of complacency that Cyber Crime does not exist and that society is safe from Cyber Crime. This is not the correct picture. The fact is that people in our country do not report Cyber Crimes for many reasons. Many do not want to face harassment by the police. There is also the fear of bad publicity in the media, which could hurt their reputation and standing in society. Also, it becomes extremely difficult to convince the police to register any Cyber Crime, because of lack of orientation and awareness about Cyber Crimes and their registration and handling by the police. A recent survey indicates that for every 500 Cyber Crime incidents that take place, only 50 are reported to the police and out of that only one is actually registered. These figures indicate how difficult it is to convince the police to register a Cyber Crime. The establishment of Cyber Crime cells in different parts of the country was expected to boost Cyber Crime reporting and prosecution. However, these cells haven’t quite kept up with expectations. Netizens should not be under the impression that Cyber Crime is vanishing and they must realize that with each passing day, cyberspace becomes a more dangerous place to be in, where criminals roam freely to execute their criminal’s intentions encouraged by the so-called anonymity that internet provides. The absolutely poor rate of cyber crime conviction in the country has also not helped the cause of regulating Cyber Crime. There have only been few Cyber Crime convictions in the whole country, which can be counted on fingers. We need to ensure that we have specialized procedures for prosecution of Cyber Crime cases so as to tackle them on a priority basis,. This is necessary so as to win the faith of the people in the ability of the system to tackle Cyber Crime. We must ensure that our system provides for stringent punishment of Cyber Crimes and cyber criminals so that the same acts as a deterrent for others.