Sunday, 28 September 2014

Cyber Crimes in India

Crime,  in any form adversely   affects the society.   Cyber crime is just a combination of crime and computer.   Cyber law is a term which is related to all the legal issues involving computer and Internet.     Cyber crime is a generic term that refers to all criminal activities done using the medium of computers, the Internet, cyber space and the worldwide web.  There isn’t really a fixed definition for cyber crime.  The Indian Law has not given any definition to the term ‘cyber crime’. In fact, the Indian Penal Code does not use the term ‘cyber crime’ at any point even after its amendment by the Information Technology (amendment) Act 2008, the Indian Cyber law. 
But “Cyber Security” is defined under Section (2) (b) means protecting information, equipment, devices computer, computer resource, communication device and information stored therein from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction.

Cyber law is a term used to describe the legal issues related to use of communications technology, particularly “cyberspace”, i.e. the Internet. It is less of a distinct field of law in the way that property or contract are, as it is an intersection of many legal fields, including intellectual property, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction. In essence, cyber law 
is an attempt to apply laws designed for the physical world, to human activity on the Internet. In India, The IT Act, 2000 as amended by The IT (Amendment) Act, 2008 is known as the Cyber law. It has a separate chapter XI entitled “Offences” in which various cyber crimes have been declared as penal offences punishable with imprisonment and fine.
In India, what can basically be termed as cyber law are the IT act 2000;  and its amended version in the form of the IT (Amendment) act, 2008.
IT act 2000
IT Amendment Act, 2008 [ITAA-2008].  
1.The word 'communication devices' inserted having , taking into its coverage cell phones, personal digital assistance or such other devices used to transmit any text, video etc like what was later being marketed as iPad or other similar devices on Wi-fi and cellular models. 
66A Sending offensive messages thro communication service, causing annoyance etc Dishonestly receiving stolen computer resource or communication device, through an electronic communication or sending an email to mislead or deceive the recipient about the origin of such messages (commonly known as IP or email spoofing) are all covered here. Punishment for these acts is imprisonment upto three years one lakh rupees as fine or both. 
66C Electronic signature or other identity theft like using others’ password or electronic signature etc. Punishment is three years imprisonment or fine of one lakh rupees or both. 
66D Cheating by personation using computer resource or a communication device shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupee. 
66E Privacy violation – Publishing or transmitting private area of any person without his or her consent etc. Punishment is three years imprisonment or two lakh rupees fine or both. 
66F Cyber terrorism – Intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of the nation and denying access to any person authorized to access the computer resource or attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorization.
Section 67 deals with publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. The earlier  Section in ITA was later widened as per ITAA 2008 in which child pornography and retention of records by intermediaries were all included. 
Section 67-A deals with publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form.  
Section 67B dealt  Child Pornography . Depicting children engaged in sexually explicit act, creating text or digital images or advertising or promoting such material depicting children in obscene or indecent manner etc or facilitating abusing children online or inducing children to online relationship with one or more children etc come under this Section. ‘Children’ means persons who have not completed 18 years of age, for the purpose of this Section.  
Section 67C fixes the responsibility to intermediaries that they shall preserve and retain such information as may be specified for such duration and in such manner as the Central Government may prescribe .
Section 69: It empowers the Government or agencies as stipulated in the Section, to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource, subject to compliance of procedure as laid down here.
 Section 69A inserted in the ITAA, vests with the Central Government or any of its officers with the powers to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource, under the same circumstances as mentioned above. 
Section 69B discusses the power to authorise to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource. 
1.What is a cyber crime?
2.What is Cyber Law?
3.What is Hacking?
4. What is Email Spoofing?
5. What is Identity Theft?
The Information Technology Act, 2000, was thus passed on 9 June and was made effective from 17  October 2000.   It  was enacted by Parliament of India to protect the field of e-commerce, e-governance, e-banking as well as penalties and punishments in the field of cyber crimes.   The Information Technology Act, 2000 basically deals with the legal recognition of electronic documents and that of digital signatures. 
The Act essentially deals with the following issues: 
Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents 
Legal Recognition of Digital Signatures 
Offenses and Contraventions 
Justice Dispensation Systems for cyber crimes. 
The scope and applicability of ITA-2000 was increased by its amendment in 2008. 

2.Though ITA- 2000 defined 'digital signature'.  The term 'Electronic signature' was introduced and defined in the ITAA -2008 as a legally valid mode of executing signatures. T

3. The new amendment has replaced Section 43 with Section 66. The Word "hacking" used in Section 66 of earlier Act has been removed and named as "data theft" in this section and has further been widened in the form of Sections 66A to 66F.

 4. The section covers the offences such as the sending of offensive messages through communication service,  stealing electronic signature or identity such as using another persons' password or electronic signature, cheating by personation through computer resource or a communication device, publicly publishing the information about any person's location without prior permission or consent , cyber terrorism, the acts of access to a commuter resource without authorization, such acts which can lead to any injury to any person or result in damage or destruction of any property, while trying to contaminate the computer through any virus like Trojan etc

Section 43 deals with penalties and compensation for damage to computer, computer system etc. This Section addresses the civil offence of theft of data. If any person without permission of the owner or any other person who is in charge of a computer, accesses or downloads, copies or extracts any data or introduces any computer contaminant like virus or damages or disrupts any computer or denies access to a computer to an authorised user or tampers etc…he shall be liable to pay damages to the person so affected. 

Thus the new Section 43-A dealing with compensation for failure to protect data was introduced in the ITAA -2008

Section 65:  Concealing, destroying, altering any computer source code when the same is required to be kept or maintained by law and  Fabrication of an electronic record or committing forgery by way of interpolations in CD produced as evidence in a court  is an offence punishable with three years imprisonment or two lakh rupees or with both.


Section 66Computer related offences are dealt with under this Section. Data theft stated in Section 43 is referred to in this Section. Whereas it was a plain and simple civil offence with the remedy of compensation and damages only, in that Section, here it is the same act but with a criminal intention thus making it a criminal offence. The act of data theft or the offence stated in Section 43 if done dishonestly or fraudulently becomes a punishable offence under this Section and attracts imprisonment upto three years or a fine of five lakh rupees or both. Earlier hacking was defined in Sec 66 and it was an offence. 


 Hacking is the unauthorized access to a computer system, programs, data and network resources.  If crime is proved under IT Act, accused shall be punished for imprisonment, which may extend to three years or with fine, which may extend to five lakh rupees or both. 

According to wikipedia, e-mail spoofing is e-mail activity in which the sender addresses and other parts of the e-mail header are altered to appear as though the e-mail originated from 
a different source. E-mail spoofing is sending an e-mail to another person in such a way that it appears that the e-mail was sent by someone else. Spoofing is the act of electronically disguising one computer as another for gaining as the password system. 

Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, crime of identity theft under Section 66-C, whoever, fraudulently or dishonestly make use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person known as identity theft.

6. What is spreading of Virus or Worms?
 Under Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, Section 43(c) & 43(e) read 
with Section 66 is applicable and under Section 268 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 
also applicable. Spreading of Virus offence is cognizable, bailable, compoundable 
with permission of the court before which the prosecution of such offence is pending 
and triable by any magistrate.

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