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Cyber Security and Privacy: A Responsibility

In India, there is no law specifically for cybersecurity. There are certain loopholes in the present cyber laws such as the threat of data in the clouds being lost, email account hacking across the web without any straight legal route to punish them, etc. Technology has become a very important aspect of our lives so it is very important to understand the need for data privacy and security. 

By: Anshika Singh, 3rd year, LL.B (Hons), PIMR, Department Of Law.

INTRODUCTION

Technology has been helping man since the time it came into being. It has made lives much simpler. However, everything that has a boon also has a bane. Cybercrime is the bane given to us by technology. Cybercrimes can be defined as the unlawful acts where computers or other devices are used either as a tool or a target or both.  The term is a general term that covers crimes like phishing, credit card frauds, bank robbery, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, kidnapping children via chat rooms, scams, cyber terrorism, creation and/or distribution of viruses, spam, and so on.

WHAT IS CYBERSECURITY?

Cybersecurity or Information technology security are the techniques of protecting computers, networks, programs, and data from unauthorized access or attacks that are aimed for exploitation.

Digital assaults can be intended to get to, erase, or coerce an association’s or client’s delicate information; making cybersecurity essential., Medical, government, corporate, and money related associations, may all hold indispensable individual data on a person.

EVOLUTION OF CYBER LAWS IN INDIA

The Present Act dealing with the Cyber Security in India is an outcome of the resolution dated 30th January 1997 of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Assembly adopted the model law on electronic commerce on International Trade Law. It emphasized the policy of paperless storage of information and to bring the use of electronic mode for communication to the cyber-nations. The department of Electronics & Information Technology drafted a bill on 13 May 2000, which came into force on 17th October 2000. The boom for cybersecurity gained force with the ‘Digital India’ campaign from the government of India. One of the important aspects of the campaign was the ‘Aadhar Act’, which bought a remarkable change in the cyber field. 

The SC in Justice Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. V. UOI And Ors., popularly known as Aadhar judgment made it clear that “informational privacy” as a facet to Right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is no longer needed to link Aadhar card to the individual bank accounts, or mobile number, etc. 

LAWS GOVERNING CYBER SECURITY IN INDIA

  • Information Technology Act, 2000
  1. Section 66– The said section deals with the computer-related offences, and states that if a person, dishonestly or fraudulently, does any act which is referred under section 43, he shall be liable to punishment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or both.
  2. Section 66B– This section deals with dishonestly receiving stolen computer resource or communication device and provides punishment up to 3 years or one lakh Rupees as fine or both. 
  3. Section  66C– Under this section, the electronic Signature or other identity theft like using others’ passwords or electronic signature, etc., is punishable with 3 years imprisonment or a fine for one lakh rupees or both. 
  4. Section 67A and 67B – The said section deals with publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form. Under section 67B child pornography that is depicting children engage in sexual explosive acts is dealt with. This involves a punishment initially for a term of 5 years and a fine up to 10 lakh rupees which shall be extended to seven years and a fine of 10 lakh rupees in case of a subsequent conviction.
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872:

Before the passing of the IT Act the pieces of evidence in court were given in only physical form, but after this act electronic evidences that are records and documents recognized the admissibility of electronic record was dealt under section 65B of the act.

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860:
  1. Section 345D – This section deals with the offence of stalking. It means any man who follows a woman or contacts after the clear indication of disinterest or monitors women and their activities on the internet, commits the offence of stalking. 
  2. Section 416 – This section defines cheating by personation which means if a person cheats by pretending to be some other person or by knowingly substituting one person for another for representing that he or any other person is a person other than he or such other person really is.

HOW TO PREVENT CYBERCRIME?

  1. SPONTANEOUS INSTANT MESSAGE 

We all get instant messages from an obscure number. One ought to be careful and attempt to abstain from reacting to instant messages or computerized voice messages from an obscure number.

2. BE CAREFUL USING E-MAIL.

Do not open suspicious mail attachments as many hackers send links and files named ‘you have won a lottery’ or ‘follow this link and earn this much amount of money at your home.’

3. DOWNLOAD A VPN

A VPN is an important partner in the battle against cybercrime. You may ask “How does a VPN shield me from cyber attacks?” The appropriate response is basic. At the point when you utilize a VPN, it encodes your information traffic and makes you imperceptible to any other person in the system. This implies programmers can’t take your data since they can’t get to it in any case.

4. CREATE A STRONG PASSWORD

Make a solid and novel secret password by using various letters (both capitalized and lowercase), numbers, and even extraordinary characters. It is one of the best ways which would prevent you from online hacking. 

WhatsApp Image 2020-06-17 at 6.55.07 PM.jpeg

LEADING CYBER SECURITY CASES IN INDIA

  •  The Bank NSP Case

In this case, a management trainee of a bank got engaged in marriage. The couple used to exchange many emails using the company’s computers. After some time they had broken up their marriage and the young lady created some fake email ids such as “Indian bar associations” and sent emails to the boy‘s foreign clients. She used the bank’s computer to do this. The boy‘s company lost a huge number of clients and took the bank to court. The bank was held liable for the emails sent using the bank‘s system.

  • Avnish Bajaj V. State (Bazee.com case)

In December 2004 the Chief Executive Officer of Bazee.com was arrested because he was selling a compact disk (CD) with offensive material on the website, and even CD was also conjointly sold-out in the market of Delhi. The Delhi police and therefore the Mumbai Police got into action and later the CEO was free on bail.

  • Andhra Pradesh Tax Case:

The owner of a plastics firm in Andhra Pradesh was arrested and Rs. 22 crore cash was recovered from his house by the Vigilance Department. They sought an explanation from him regarding the unaccounted cash. The accused person submitted 6,000 vouchers to prove the legitimacy of trade, but after careful scrutiny of vouchers and contents of his computers, it revealed that all of them were made after the raids were conducted. It was revealed that the accused was running five businesses under the guise of one company and used fake and computerized vouchers to show sales records and save tax. Thus the dubious tactics of the prominent businessman from Andhra Pradesh were exposed after officials of the department got hold of computers used by the accused person.

CONCLUSION

In India, we do not have a cybersecurity dedicated law. There are certain loopholes in the present cyber laws such as the threat of data in the clouds being lost, email account hacking across the web without any straight legal route to punish them, etc. Technology has become a very important aspect of our lives so it is very important to understand the need for data privacy and security. 

The Internet Crime Report for 2019, released by USA’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has revealed that India stands third in the world among the top 20 countries that are victims of internet crimes. According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, a total of 27,248 cases of cybercrime were registered in India in 2018. Attacks have soared 86% in the four weeks roughly between March and April, according to a recent Reuters report quoting Indian Home Ministry officials and detailing “fake offers that Reliance Industries telecom arm Jio and streaming service Netflix Inc were offering discounted services” during the lockdown.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • STATUTES
  • Information Technology Act, 2000
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  • WEB SOURCES
  • Cyber Laws, Cyber Crime Laws, Cybercrime Laws In India, Civilserviceindia.com (2020), https://www.civilserviceindia.com/subject/Management/notes/cyber-laws.html (last visited Jun 13, 2020).
  • A brief study on Cyber Crime and Cyber Law’s of India, Irjet.net (2020), https://www.irjet.net/archives/V4/i6/IRJET-V4I6303.pdf (last visited Jun 15, 2020).
  • Cyber Laws in India, Latestlaws.com (2020), https://www.latestlaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Cyber-laws-in-India.pdf (last visited Jun 18, 2020).
  • Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/over-5-rise-in-cybercrime-cases-during-lockdown-sp/articleshow/75414395.cms (last visited Jun 18, 2020).
  • Data Protection Laws In India – Everything You Must Know – Privacy – India, Mondaq.com (2020), https://www.mondaq.com/india/data-protection/655034/data-protection-laws-in-india–everything-you-must-know (last visited Jun 11, 2020).
  • Visions.in,http://visionias.in/beta/sites/all/themes/momentum/files/interview_issues_2016/Cyber_Security.pdf (last visited Jun 6, 2020).

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