In technically driven society, people use various devices to make life simple. Globalization results in connecting people all around the world. The increasing access to and continuous use of technology has radically impacted the way in which people communicate and conduct their daily lives. The internet connects people and companies from opposite sides of the world fast, easily, and relatively economically. Nevertheless, the internet and computer can pose some threats which can have disparaging impact on civilisations. Here comes the concept of Computer Crimes, which commonly known as Cyber Crime to us
The term ‘Cyber Crime’ is a misnomer. This term has nowhere been defined in any statute /Act passed or enacted by the Indian Parliament. The concept of Cyber Crime is not radically different from the concept of conventional crime. Both include conduct whether act or omission, which cause breach of rules of law and counterbalanced by the sanction of the state. Before evaluating the concept of Cyber Crime it is obvious that the concept of conventional crime be discussed and the points of similarity and deviance between both these forms may be discussed.
Cyber Crime is defined as crimes committed on the internet using the computer as either a tool or a targeted victim. It is very difficult to classify crimes in general into distinct groups as many crimes evolve on a daily basis. Even in the real world, crimes like rape, murder or theft need not necessarily be separate. However, all cybercrimes involve both the computer and the person behind it as victims; it just depends on which of the two is the main target. Hence, the computer will be looked at as either a target or tool for simplicity’s sake.
For example, hacking involves attacking the computer’s information and other resources. It is important to take note that overlapping occurs in many cases and it is impossible to have a perfect classification system.Whereas Conventional Crime is defined as social and economic phenomenon and is as old as the human society. Crime is a legal concept and has the sanction of the law. Crime or an offence is “a legal wrong that can be followed by criminal proceedings which may result into punishment.” The hallmark of criminality is that, it is breach of the criminal law. Per Lord Atkin “the criminal quality of an act cannot be discovered by reference to any standard but one: is the act prohibited with penal consequences”. A crime may be said to be any conduct accompanied by act or omission prohibited by law and consequential breach of which is visited by penal consequences.
There is apparently no distinction between cyber and conventional crime. However on a deep introspection we may say that there exists a fine line of demarcation between the conventional and cyber crime, which is appreciable. The demarcation lies in the involvement of the medium in cases of cyber crime. The sine qua non for cyber crime is that there should be an involvement, at any stage, of the virtual cyber medium.
Earlier, cybercrime was committed mainly by individuals or small groups. Presently, it is observed that there is highly complex cybercriminal networks bring together individuals at global level in real time to commit crimes.
There are various forms and types of Cyber Crime all over the world. Cybercrimes are committed by hackers not only for profit but for personal gains and with aims to damage a person, institution or nation. Internationally, both governmental and non-state institutions engage in cybercrime. Cybercrime is known as cyber warfare as soon as it crosses international borders.
Most cybercrimes fall under two broad categories, namely, Criminal Activity that Targets and Criminal Activities that Uses.Other categories of cybercrime include, cyberterrorism which is is terrorism committed through a network or a computer, Financial Fraud Crimes, Cyber extortion which is when individuals ask for money in return of stopping malicious attacks on a system, Cybersex Trafficking, Online Harassment, Drug Trafficking, etc. Phishing, Malware Attacks, Denial of services and distributed DoS attacks are few of the most common examples of cybercrime.
Online Harassment is something that is not considered as a form of cybercrime by most people, but it, in reality, is what happens in bulk. Under the category of online Harassment also falls the sub-category of cyber crimes against women, which is defined as ‘crimes targeted against women with a motive to intentionally harm them either physically or psychologically, using modern communication networks’.
Tracing a cybercrime delinquent isn’t the most straightforward task to do because of their use of virtual spaces and attacks from various parts. It has been recorded that in 2018 The Internet Crime Complaint Sector received 351,937 complaints alone. India is the second largest online market in the world with over 560 million internet users, Ranked only behind China. And it is estimated that by 2023, there would be over 650 million internet users in the country. According to the latest national crime records bureau NCRB data, a total of 27, 248 cases of cybercrime where registered in India in 2018.
In Telangana, 1205 cyber crime cases where registered in the same year. According to FBIs report,India stands third among top 20 cybercrime victim. The national cyber crime reporting portal (cybercrime.gov.in) which was started last year by the central government received 33,152 complaints till now resulting in lodging of 790 FIRs. In fact, according to a 2017 report, Indian consumers had lost over 18 billion US dollars due to cyber crimes. In 2018, there were over 27,000 cases of cyber crimes recorded in the country, marking an increase of over 121% compare to the number of the cases as two years back.
With the increasing use of computers in society, cybercrime has become a major issue and majors like that of Cyber Security have been established in many universities, hence, becoming an integral part of the academic system.
Since the age of computers and technology is rising every day, our lifestyles are becoming computer-dependent, and everything is stored on there. As the main aim of cybercriminals is the breach of privacy, things become simpler for them.
One major step towards prevention of cybercrime is the spread of Awareness. There are many individuals who aren’t comfortable using a computer, and hence they are more prone to cybercrimes. People don’t know how much and to what extent things can be done with the help of technology and computers; once, people are made aware of all these factors, a little wall of prevention can be created. Updated software and use of reliable anti-virus software are critical practices in preventing cybercrimes.
We are living in a digital age and cyberspace is not limited to one’s boundaries,rather it covers an entire world. As a result cybercrime is increasing day by day in all the countries including India. The biggest challenge relates to cybercrime being its dynamic nature because of the ongoing evolution of digital technology. As a result new cybercrime methods and techniques come into practice. Therefore cybercrime should be given as much importance as other crime happening in our society be it theft, rape, murder etc.
References : https://www.japss.org/upload/11._Dashora%5B1%5D.pdf
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