Is internet the new crime scene?

Cyber Crime is an unlawful act where the computer is used as a tool or target or both. These days Cyber Crime is a fast-growing area of crime. As the technology is advancing man is becoming dependent on the internet for all his needs as it gives easy access to do shopping, gaming, online studying, social networking, online jobs etc. everything at one place. Apart from other countries, India is also not far where the rate of incidence of cybercrime is increasing day by day.

The bane of the internet, cybercrime refers to any illegal activities carried out using technology. Cybercriminals — who range from rogue individuals to organized crime groups to state-sponsored factions — use techniques like phishing, social engineering, and all kinds of malware to pursue their nefarious plans. Cybercriminals buy and sell malware online (generally on the dark web) while also trading in services that test how robust a virus is, business intelligence dashboards to track malware deployment, and tech support (that’s right — crooks can contact a criminal helpline to troubleshoot their illegal hacking server or other malfeasance!).

The professionalization and proliferation of cybercrime adds up to countless costs in damages every year, impacting individuals, businesses, and even governments. Experts estimate that cybercrime damages will reach $6 trillion annually by 2021, making it one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises.

Criminals are mostly exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet, commit various criminal activities and pose the real threat to victims all over the world. These crimes can be phishing, Fraud due to credit card, debit card, bank robbery, illegal downloading, child pornography, distribution of viruses etc.

New technologies create new criminal opportunities but few new types of crime. What distinguishes cybercrime from traditional criminal activity? Obviously, one difference is the use of the digital computer, but technology alone is insufficient for any distinction that might exist between different realms of criminal activity. Criminals do not need a computer to commit fraud, traffic in child pornography and intellectual property, steal an identity, or violate someone’s privacy. All those activities existed before the “cyber” prefix became ubiquitous. Cybercrime, especially involving the Internet, represents an extension of existing criminal behaviour alongside some novel illegal activities.

Most cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, corporations, or governments. Although the attacks do not take place on a physical body, they do take place on the personal or corporate virtual body, which is the set of informational attributes that define people and institutions on the Internet. In other words, in the digital age our virtual identities are essential elements of everyday life: we are a bundle of numbers and identifiers in multiple computer databases owned by governments and corporations. Cybercrime highlights the centrality of networked computers in our lives, as well as the fragility of such seemingly solid facts as individual identity.

Cyber Laws in India

Cyber Crimes, in India are registered under three main heads, The IT Act, The IPC (Indian Penal Code) and State Level Legislations (SLL).

Cases of Cyber Laws under IT Act:

Tampering with computer source documents – Sec. 65

Hacking with Computer systems, Data alteration – Sec. 66

Publishing obscene information – Sec. 67

Un-authorised access to protected systems – Sec. 70

Breach of Confidentiality and Privacy – Sec. 72

Publishing false digital signature certificates – Sec. 73

Cases of Cyber Laws under IPC and Special Laws:

Sending threatening messages by email – Sec 505 IPC

Sending defamatory messages by email – Sec 499 IPC

Forgery of Electronic records – Sec 463 IPC

Bogus websites, Cyber Frauds – Sec 420 IPC

Email Spoofing – Sec. 463 IPC

Web- Jacking –Sec. 383 IPC

Email abuse – Sec 500 IPC

Cyber Crime under special cells:

Online sale of Arms Act

Online sale of Drugs under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act

Categories: Editorial, India, Law and Order