With the advent of Computers as a basic tool of Communication, Information Processing, Information Storage, Physical Devices Control, etc., a whole new Cyber Society has come into existence. This Cyber society operates on a virtual world created by Technology and it is the “Cyber Space Engineering
” that drives this world. In maintaining harmony and co-existence of people in this Cyber Space, there is a need for a legal regime which is what we recognize as “Cyber laws”. Cyber Laws are the basic laws of a Society and hence have implications on every aspect of the Cyber Society such as Governance, Business, Crimes, Entertainment, Information Delivery, Education etc. WHY THE NEED FOR CYBER LAW?
• Coming of the Internet.
• Greatest cultural, economic, political and social transformation in the history of human society.
• Complex legal issues arising leading to the development of cyber law.
• Different approaches for controlling, regulating and facilitating electronic communication and commerce.CATEGORIES OF CYBER LAWS
• Laws Relating to Digital Contracts
• Laws Relating to Digital Property
• Laws Relating to Digital Rights
• Law of Cyber CrimesTHE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000 - INDIA 'S FIRST CYBERLAW
• Aims to provide the legal infrastructure for e-commerce in India.
• India 's codified Cyber law is the Information Technology Act, 2000 (Act 21 of 2000).
• Based on the INCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, 1996.
• IT Act is divided into 13 chapters and has 94 sections.
• Amendments to IPC, Indian Evidence Act, Bankers Book Evidence Act and RBI Act have been effected.The Act provides for:
• Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents
• Legal recognition of Electronic commerce Transactions
• Admissibility of Electronic data/evidence in a Court of Law
• Legal Acceptance of digital signatures
• Punishment for Cyber obscenity and crimes
• Establishment of Cyber regulations advisory Committee and the Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal.
• Facilitation of electronic filing maintenance of electronic records.THE IT ACT, 2000 – OBJECTIVES
• To provide legal recognition for transactions:-
• Carried out by means of electronic data interchange, and
• Other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as "electronic commerce", involving the use of alternatives to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information,
• To facilitate electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies
• To amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Banker's Book Evidence Act, 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934
• Aims to provide for the legal framework so that legal sanctity is accorded to all electronic records and other activities carried out by electronic means. According to the Indian IT Act, 2000 the various Cyber offences are:
• Tampering with computer source documents
• Hacking with computer system
• Publishing of information which is obscene in electronic form
• Not to obey the direction of Controller
• Directions of Controller to a subscriber extend facilities to decrypt information
• Intrusion into protected system
• Penal action for misrepresentation
• Breach of confidentiality and privacy
• Publishing digital signature certificate false in certain particular etc.
• Act to apply for offence or contravention committed outside India and
• ConfiscationTHE IT ACT, 2000 – POSITIVE ASPECTSLegality of Email:
• E-mail will now be a valid and legal form of communication in our country.
• Can be duly produced and proved in a court of law.India's strategy for prevention of Computer Crimes
• Stipulating the offences which would constitute Computer crimes.
• Identification of domestic criminal law for possible amendments to meet the requirements of prevention of computer related crimes.
• Improving international collaborations.
• Effective prosecution under the existing criminal law.
• Adaptation and classification of OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) guidelines.
• Development of Security guidelines and manuals for implementation of such guidelines.Crimes Prevention under the IT Act.
• Chapter IX provides for Penalties and Adjudication.
• Chapter XI provides for Offences.The object of IT Act is to protect:
• All electronic systems for intrusion;
• Privacy of certain messages;
• protect the computer system from unauthorized accessThe object of IT Act is to ensure:
• Compliance to the provisions of the Act;
• Non-publishing of obscene information.
• Assistance in the decrypting information in the interest of state and crime control.
The Act also aims at preventing misrepresentation, falsity and fraud and provides for penalty.Information Technology Act & Indian Penal Code
• All cyber crimes do not come under the IT Act.
• Many cyber crimes come under the Indian Penal Code.
Sending threatening messages by email: Section 506 IPC
Sending defamatory messages by email : Section 499 IPC
Forgery of electronic records: Section 465 IPC
Bogus websites, cyber frauds: Section 420 IPC
Email spoofing: Section 465, 419 IPC
Web-jacking: Section 383 IPC
Online sale of narcotics: NDPS Act
Online sale of weapons: Arms Act
Hacking: Section 66 IT Act
Pornography: Section 67 IT Act
Email bombing: Section 66 IT Act
Denial of Service attacks: Section 43 IT Act
Virus attacks: Section 43, 66 IT Act
Salami attacks: Section 66 IT Act
Logic bombs: Section 43, 66 IT ActI.T. ACT 2000 - Overall Perspectives
The IT Act is a first step taken by the Government of India towards promoting the growth of e-commerce.
It is a first historical step.
Information Courtesy: Kerala Police