Cyberspace is the computer-generated world of the internet, and the laws that govern it are known as Cyber laws, and all users of this space are subject to these laws because it has a form of global jurisdiction. Cyber law is a branch of law that deals with legal issues arising from the usage of interconnected information technology. In a nutshell, cyber law governs computers and the internet.
Despite the fact that the Internet is used by 40% of the world’s population and over 76 percent of individuals in industrialised nations, we have yet to come up with a uniform and standard definition for cyberspace. The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, and it is widely acknowledged for making our lives easier. However, the anonymity characteristic of the internet permits malefactors to engage in a variety of cyber crimes. The purpose of cybercrime legislation is to identify and establish guidelines for acceptable behaviour among users of information and communication technology (ICT). It must also actively find a balance between society and laws that can prevent people, data, systems, infrastructures, and, most importantly, human rights from being compromised. The current state of cybercrime law is that it establishes rules and guidelines for the use of the internet, computers, and other technology. In the cyber realm, there are additional rules governing criminal procedure, evidence, and criminal justice proceedings, with the goal of reducing the risk to individuals and businesses.
The expansion of electronic commerce has prompted the need for more active and effective regulatory procedures to further enhance the legal infrastructure that is so important to its success. Cyber law encompasses all of these regulating systems and legal structures. Cyber law is important because it includes virtually all aspects of transactions and activities involving the internet, the World Wide Web, and cyberspace. Every action and response in cyberspace has legal and cyber legal ramifications.
Cybercrime including public officials’ defamation, disdain for authority, and obscenity or pornographic material is a barrier to exercising human rights. And, in order to address such difficulties, cyberlaw procedural requirements provide us with instruments and ways for conducting investigations, which can sometimes facilitate the interception of electronic surveillance while also restricting our human rights such as privacy. Despite the fact that there is a need for investigation and cybercrime control, human rights symmetry has yet to be found. Certain constraints on human rights, referred to as legal restrictions, have been granted a free pass under international human rights law. These restrictions are enforced in conformity with national legislation in matters relating to natural security, economic security, health security, morality protection, and the protection of others’ rights. This law should be made public so that people can be aware of it and empathise with those who have the authority to implement it. Unspecific allusions are sometimes made under the guise of “national security” or “terrorism,” which are ambiguous and unjustifiable, and do not constitute explicit laws. The laws that must be enacted must be beneficial, rational, and desired, and they must not only exist on paper but also be attainable by the state. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) correctly states that in terms of freedom of expression, the rights that are protected offline must likewise be protected online. Several national policies have been introduced with the goal of protecting the Internet and other information communication technologies (ICT) systems from malicious actions on the digital platform. Despite their noble intentions, some regulations can feel unjust, lack clear checks and balances, or stifle the democratic process, resulting in human rights violations. For example, in today’s world, authorities monitor communications under the guise of cybersecurity regulation, and they frequently go so far as to criminalise online users for expressing their opinions.
As we enter the digital age, human rights equivalent to the same are openly disputed, and we frequently see news and examples of human rights violations and people’ privacy being jeopardised by a recent upgrade in cyberspace. Online sexual harassment, such as cyberbullying, cyber racism, and cyber homophobia, as well as freedom of expression, are examples of these. Because the internet provides speed, worldwide reach, and anonymity, the digital sphere has suddenly opened up new opportunities and media for exercising the right to freedom of expression. According to Article 19(3) of the ICCPR, there are some reasonable limitations on the rights guaranteed under Article 19 (2), such as respect for rights and reputation, freedom from discrimination, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, and the right to privacy with respect to honour and reputation.
Human rights to freedom of speech and expression, privacy, freedom of expression, and free flow of information are all violated by cybersecurity. The state defines security as its ability to protect itself from political instability, and it takes steps to ensure that the state and its policies are preserved. As we may have encountered some restrictions and guidelines regulating what we can post, discuss, or write on such platforms, we should be aware that cybersecurity laws can often be used to censor and monitor communications.
Government officials have the ability to follow user communications at any moment if there is a suspicion of a direct violation of the UHDR or a country’s own law. The case that sparked this debate was Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India, in which two girls were arrested by the Mumbai Police for using social media to voice their discontent with a Shiv Sena strike on the death of the Shiv Sena chairman, which included remarks on Facebook. The issue at hand was whether Section 66A of the Information Technology Act infringed on the basic right to free speech and expression. The court determined that Section 66A is non-restrictive in nature and should be read with an open mind, and that it is not covered by Section 19 (2) of the Indian Constitution. Section 66A was knocked down by the court because it had no connection or proximity to producing public disorder or incitement to commit an offence. The court took the position that the basic right of freedom of speech and expression must be protected, and that legislation cannot infringe on this right by claiming the protection of Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
There is no doubting that India has a cyber law in place to combat cybercrime, but we have yet to put it into practise. Hackers are always one step ahead of the game, developing innovative tactics to circumvent all cybersecurity measures and access sensitive data. In addition, the development of cybersecurity laws, policies, and norms takes place in a securitized environment that ignores civil society and human rights. The most important thing to remember is that cyber security should never be addressed by compromising human rights. Instead, we should realise that human rights must be prioritised while developing cybersecurity policies. After all of this, there is a chance of safeguarding human rights while also combating cybercrime.
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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