“Basics of Cyber Law’s in India that you should know”

Cyber Laws that you should know

cyber crime is both a social and economic phenomenon. It is as old as human society. Cyber crime is a criminal activity that either targets or uses a computer, a computer network, or a networked device. In developing economies, cybercrime has increased at rapid strides. Due to the rapid diffusion of the Internet and the digitization of economic activities.

In maximum cases, cyber crime is committed by cybercriminals or hackers who want to make money. As crime we do have our Laws, Punishment under IPC for Cybercrime also have laws to protect and fight for our rights. The Information Technology Act, 2000, was thus passed as Act No.21 of 2000, effective from 17 October 2000. Which mainly focused on- ‘Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents, Legal Recognition of Digital Signatures, Offenses and Contraventions, Justice Dispensation Systems for cyber crimes’

Later, in 2008 Information Technology Amendment Act was introduced. From 27 Oct 2009, this ITAA was effective. Where the main Focus is-

  • Focusing on data privacy
  • Focusing on Information Security
  • Defining cyber café
  • Making digital signature technology-neutral
  • Defining reasonable security practices to be followed by corporate
  • Redefining the role of intermediaries
  • Recognizing the role of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team
  • Inclusion of some additional cybercrimes like child pornography and cyber terrorism
  • Authorizing an Inspector to investigate cyber offenses (as against the DSP earlier)

Most important Cyber Laws for cyber crime that you should know:

Section 65:

Tampering with source documents is dealt with under this section. Concealing, destroying, and altering any computer source code when the same is required to be kept. This kind of cyber crime comes under Section 65.

Punishment: ‘3 years’ imprisonment or two lakh rupees or with both.

Section 66:

Computer related offences like data privacy or data theft are dealt with under this Section.

Punishment: Up to three years of imprisonment or a fine of five lakh rupees or both.

Here is an interesting fact: – The word ‘hacking’ was known as a crime in this Section. At the same time, courses on ‘ethical hacking’ were also taught academically. This led to an anomalous situation of people asking how an illegal activity be taught academically with the word ‘ethical’ prefixed to it.

This tricky situation was put an end to, by the ITAA when it re-phrased the Section 66 by mapping it with the civil liability of Section 43.

Section 66 is now a widened one with a list of offences,

Section 66A:

You may have heard about email spoofing, yes this comes under section 66A. Sending an email to mislead or deceive the recipient about the origin. Sending offensive messages through communication service is all covered here.

Punishment: Up to 3 years of imprisonment.

Read more: Cyber laws for child pornography, MMS clipping, Govt power

Section 66B:

If you think that, you don’t steal something but retain the same is not a crime then you are wrong. Section 66B is for dishonestly receiving stolen computer resources or communication devices. In law, if you steal or retain the computer source is both a Cybercrime.

Punishment: up to 3 years of imprisonment or one lakh rupees as fine or both.

Section 66C:

Don’t ever try to use someone else’s user id or password & even digital electronic signature because it’s a Cybercrime under section 66C

Punishment: 3 years of imprisonment or 1 lakh rupees fine or both.

Section 66D:

Cheating by personation using computer resource or a communication device. Let me explain with a piece of recent news, On 23rd July 2017, a 17-year-old student was caught cheating during the Class X repeat exam in Thane. A few minutes after the Math’s Part I paper began at 10.30 am, the invigilator noticed the boy taking a picture of the question paper in order to send to a friend for answers, the police said.

Punishment: Imprisonment of either description for a term which extends to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupee.

Section 66E:

Privacy violation – Publishing or transmitting private area of any person without his or her consent, etc.

Punishment: 3 years imprisonment or two lakh rupees fine or both.

Section 66F:

Have you ever heard about Cyber Terrorism? This Cybercrime comes under section 66F. Intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security, or sovereignty of the nation and denying access to any person authorized to access the computer resource or attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorization.

Acts of causing a computer contaminant (like a virus or Trojan horse or other spyware or malware) likely to cause death or injuries to persons or damage to or destruction of property etc. come under this Section.

Punishment: Any guess?

 Life imprisonment.

Remember all acts under Section 66 are cognizable and non-bailable offenses.