Prevention of Cyber Crime – A Legal Issue
Computer and internet usage is on the rise due to lover costs of computer ownership and connectivity as well as faster and easier accessibility. As it is another mode of commercial and personal transaction and one that heavily depend on interaction through computers and automatic agents rather than force-to-force meetings, which increases distance and allows anonymity. It is another avenue for crimes to perpetuate.
Back in 1990 less than 1 lakh, people were able to log on the internet worldwide. But now at present, more than 600 million people are hooked up to surf net around the globe. Daily we can blade out lot of crimes committed on the internet and other computer systems.
These cyber crimes can be every bit as harmful to society as traditional crimes in the physical world.
Cyber Crime describes criminal activities committed through the use of electronic communications media, with regard to cyber-fraud and identifies theft through such methods as phishing, spoofing. There are also many other forms of criminal behaviour through the use of Information Technology such as Harassment, defamation pornography. Cyber terrorism industrial espionage and some regulatory offences.
Cyber crimes can be basically divided into 3 major categories being on
Against Person:- Cybercrimes committed against persons include various crimes like transmission of Child pornography harassment of anyone with the use of a computer such as e-mail and cyber-stalking.
Against Property:- There crimes include unauthorized computer tress passing through cyberspace, computer vandalism, transmission of harmful programmer and unauthorized use or possession of computerized information.
Against Government:- Cyber terrorism is one distinct kind of crime in this category the growth of Internet has shown that the medium of cyberspace is being used by individuals and groups to threaten the information governments as also to terrorize the citizens of a country. This crime manifests itself into terrorism when individual cracks into a government or military maintained the website.
How this cybercrime can be prevented?
There is need to raise the probability of apprehension and conviction India has a law on evidence that considers admissibilities, authenticity accuracy and completeness to convince the Judiciary the challenge in cybercrime is getting evidence that will stand scrutiny in the court.
Legal provisions should provide assurance to users, empowerment to law enforcement agencies and deterrence to criminals.
India has enacted the first information Technology Act 2000 based on the UNCITRAL model recommended by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Chapter XI of the Act deals with offences/crimes along with certain other provisions Scattered in this Acts.
The 1st step is specifically defining individual cyber crimes is to sort all the acts that can be considered cybercrimes into organized categories. That is what the IT Act 2000 has tried to convert into
Main Cyber Crimes
- Illegal access System interference
- Illegal interceptions Misuse of devices
- Data interference Computer-related forgery etc
Misuse of Information Technology
- Unauthorised access/hacking
- Virus and norm-Attack/Trojan Attack
- E-mail and IRC related crimes
- Cyber stalking
- Breach of privacy and confidentiality
Key features of IT Act 2000
- Electronic Documents can be signed with Digital signature and is recognized as equivalent to physical signature (Sec. 3 & 5)
- Electronic Documents are recognized as equivalent to paper Documents (sec 4)
- Exceptions: Bill of exchange promissory note, a power of Attorney. Trust Deed, etc.
- Several Contraventions and offences are recognized under chapter IX & XII of the Act
- Extraterritorial Jurisdiction covered
- Quick Justice
Offence Sections under IT Act 2000
- Tampering with Computer Source Documents (sec 65)
- Hacking with Computer Systems (sec 66)
- Publishing false Digital signature (sec 73)
- Breach of Confidentiality & privacy
Computer related Crimes covered under IPC and special Laws
- Sending threat messages through e-mail (sec 503)
- Forgery of Electronic records (sec 463 Ipc)
- E-mail spoofing (sec 463 Ipc)
- Web Jacking (sec 383 Ipc)
- Online sale of Drugs (Narcotic & Drugs prevention Acts)
Protection of cyber crimes
- Use anti-virus software & firewalls-keep them update
- Keep your operating system up to date critical security updates & patches
- Reevaluate your security on a regular basis
- Don’t open e-mails or attachments from unknown sources
- Don’t share access to your Computer with strangers
Though there are so many legal provisions to protect the Cyber Crimes still effective provisions has to be made and it has to be implemented effectively of cybercrime is not protected at this stage in future no doubt in future it will be really a weapon for the net criminals.