The IT Act 2000

The Information Technology Act,2000, also known as ITA-2000 or the IT Act is the primary law in India which deals with cybercrime and electronic commerce. It is based on the United Nations Model Law on Electronic Commerce, 1996. The bill was formed and finalized by a group of officials headed by the then Minister of Information Technology, Mr. Pramod Mahajan and passed by the then President, K. R. Narayan on 9 May, 2000. The laws under the IT Act is applicable all over India; even foreign citizens can be arrested and tried under the law, if the crime involves a computer or network located in India. The IT Act also provides a legal framework by recognizing digital signatures and electronic records for electronic governance.

When the IT Act was formed in 2000, it amended various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act as well as the Reserve Bank of India Act to make them compliant with new technologies. It established a Cyber Appellate Tribunal to resolve disputes rising from this new law. It also defines cyber crimes and prescribed penalties for them.

A few important sections from the IT Act are discussed below:

  1. Section 65 – Tampering with computer source documents

If a person intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or abets another person to conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code which is used for a computer, or a computer network or computer programme, when the law insists that the source code be maintained, then that person can be booked under Section 65.

  • Section 66 A – This section states that it is a punishable offence for any person to send grossly offensive or menacing information using a computer resource or communication device. Section 66 A was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015 following Shreya Singhal v Union of India because it curtailed the rights of freedom of speech and expression of citizens.
  • Section 66 B – Receiving stolen communication device or computer

This section penalizes a person who receives or retains a computer resource or communication device which is known to be stolen or if he has reason to believe is stolen.

  • Section 66 C – Using Password of another person

A person may be liable if he uses another person’s password, digital signature or other unique identification meant to be only used by him.

  • Section 66 D – Cheating using computer resource

Nowadays many people are cheated via the internet. The person who is caught for cheating someone using a computer resource or communication may be held liable under Section 66 D of Information Technology Act, 2000.

  • Section 66 E – Publishing Private images of others

It is illegal to capture, transmit or publish private images of others on the internet without prior consent.

  • Section 66 F – Acts of cyber terrorism

Acts that threaten the unity, integrity, sovereignty or security of India by the use of computer device or any other means of communication.

Section 67 explains the criminal liability of those who post obscene images, videos and criminalizes engaging anyone under 18 years to perform sexual acts and the punishments for acquiring, transmitting or publishing these on the internet.

Section 68 gives powers to certain government officials to set orders and those who fail to comply with such orders will be booked under section 68. Section 69 deals with the failure or refusal to decrypt data which a governmental agency wants a person or organisation to decrypt. Section 70 states that any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system which is owned or maintained by the government will be considered to have committed an offense under Section 70.

There is an updated version of the IT Act, 2000 which is the IT (Amendment) Act, 2008. Some changes have been made and recently, and due to the current pandemic situation, it is really necessary to update the laws because a lot many more people are engaged in various online activities when compared to life before the pandemic.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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