Cyberspace is commonly referred to as the computer-generated world of the internet, and the laws that regulate or are in effect in this region are referred to as cyber laws or IT laws. Because these laws have a worldwide jurisdiction, all users of this cyberspace are subject to them. It may also be defined as the field of law that deals with legal concerns relating to the use of inter-network information technology. Simply simply, cyber law is the legal framework that oversees computers and the internet.
In India, there is no unique legal framework for cyber law; instead, it is a mash-up of intellectual property laws, contract laws, data protection laws, and privacy laws, with intellectual property being the most important component of information technology laws. As computers and the internet take over the globe and every part of our lives, cyber laws are becoming increasingly important. Cyber laws will oversee the digital circulation of information, e-commerce, software, information technology, and monetary activities. All of these legal structures and regulating processes are under the purview of cyber law, and they are critical to the success of electronic commerce.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A CYBER-CRIME?
- Any crime that has been committed with the help of a computer and telecommunication technology
- Any crime in which the computer was either used as an object or subject
DIFFERENT KINDS OF CYBER-CRIMES
- Cyber-crimes against persons
Examples: cyber stalking, impersonation, loss of privacy, transmission of obscene material, harassment with the use of computer.
- Cyber-crimes against property
Examples: unauthorized computer trespassing, computer vandalism, stealing secret information and data, copyright, siphoning of funds from financial institutions, transmission of harmful.
- Cyber-crimes against government
Examples: hacking of government websites, cyber extortion, cyber terrorism, computer viruses.
CYBER LAWS IN INDIA
India, like every other country in the world, is worried about cyber security. Because India is one of the nations where the internet is widely utilised, it is all the more vital to have strict cyber regulations. In India, there are four primary cyber-security laws; these laws have paved the way for electronic commerce and electronic governance, as well as increased the scope and applicability of digital media.
- INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000
The information technology act of 2000 governs most cyber legislation in India. This act attempts to give legal inclusion for e-commerce while also making it easier to register real-time information with the government. Because cybercrime has been on the rise, a number of changes have been implemented. The parliament’s IT legislation emphasises the severe sanctions and penalties imposed for safeguarding the e-commerce, e-banking, and e-governance sectors. The scope of the IT legislation has been expanded to embrace all modern communication devices. The IT Act directs Indian legislation to more stringently regulate cybercrime.
- INDIAN PENAL CODE (IPC), 1980
As previously stated, cybercrime will also involve traditional criminal behaviours like as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation, and mischief, and all of these activities are under the purview of the Indian penal code and are subject to its prohibitions. As a result, the Indian criminal law, in conjunction with the information technology act of 2000, defines thefts and associated cyber scams. Sections 464, 468, 465, 471, 469 are all relevant.
- COMPANIES ACT, 2013
Stakeholders in the business sector refer to this act as a legal responsibility required for enhancing and monitoring everyday operations. The Companies Act established the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and gave it the authority to prosecute Indian companies and their directors. Following the publication of the company’s inspection, investment, and inquiry rules 2014, the SFIO has become more stern and proactive in this regard. The legislation has ensured that all regulatory compliances, including cyber forensics, e-discovery, and cyber-security diligence, are properly covered under its purview. Under the Companies (Management and Administration) Rules of 2014, strong requirements have been specified about the roles and responsibilities of company directors and leaders in verifying cyber-security.
- NIST COMPLIANCE
The cyber-security framework (NCFS) authorized by the national institute of standards and technology (NIST) has established itself as the most reliable global certifying body by offering a harmonized approach to cyber-security. The NIST cyber-security framework encompasses all the required guidelines, standards and practices that are best to manage the cyber related risks in a responsible manner. This framework prioritizes on the flexibility and cost effectiveness. It aids the resilience and protection of critical infrastructure by:
- Allowing better management, interpretation and reduction of cyber-security risks, to reduce data misuse, data loss and the restoration cost that follows.
- Determining the important activities and critical operations and focusing on securing them
- By demonstrating the trust worthiness of organizations who secure critical assets
- Addresses the contractual and regulatory obligations
- It helps in prioritizing investments in order to maximize the cyber-security ROI
- Supports the wider information security program
The internet and technology are now a part of everyday life; people spend a lot of time on the internet, which is incredibly beneficial, but it also has its drawbacks. Because the internet is easily accessible to everyone anywhere in the world, cybercrime has become increasingly frequent. As the internet and technology grow in popularity, society’s reliance on technology grows, increasing the number of crimes based on electronic law breaking. Though a crime-free society is not conceivable, the government should make a concerted effort to enact laws that keep these crimes to a minimum.
The Indian government enacted the Information Technology Act, 2000 in order to control such infringement of internet users’ rights. However, the information technology act was last revised in 2008, and technology has advanced significantly since then; consequently, it is critical that the regulations remain current with evolving technologies and improvements. Cybercrime has the potential to be extremely devastating on a global scale. Keeping in mind the consequences of a slack system, regulations must be regularly modified and new laws enacted to keep up with modern-day offences.
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