Adv. Ashish Kumar – Cyber Lawyer & Corporate Consultant
What is cyber crime?
Cyber crime is any contravention of law in which a computer or an electronic document is either the target or tool. The offence could be either as defined in ITA 2008 or in IPC or in any other law. There are many names for cyber crimes that are strictly not relevant. However hacking which is basically unauthorised access to a computer system . causing harm to somebody is one popular name . similarly ‘denial of access’ is prevention of access to a computer system authorised user . ‘phishing is stealing of passwords through deception. ‘cyber stalking’ is harassment through communication etc. additionally. There is ‘cyber terrorism’ . video voyeurism. transmission and publication of obscene information. Child pornography etc.
What sets cyber crime apart from the other criminal activities ?
Today cyber crimes has touched almost every human activity and still we are ignorant about it. Technology has engulfed entire mankind under its charisma with use of mobiles and internet becoming part and parcel of our lifestyle. It is an important need in the urban areas right next to food. Shelter and clothing.
The distinguishing features between traditional crimes under the Indian penal code (IPC) and cyber crimes can be classified under various factors like tools used for committing crimes. Method of accessing the target. Loss caused to the victim. Damage to general morality standards and so on. Traditional crimes are covered under IPC and technology based crimes are covered under special act known as Information Technology Act.
What are the current trends of cyber crimes in India?
Cyber crime is a product of technological development. As more and more people use computers and computer like devices for carrying on their day-to-day activities such as social interaction e-commerce or e-governance. The incidence of misuse of the system naturally will increase. Like in any other instance. The government need to make continuous efforts to prevent occurrence of crimes and also to detect crimes after incidence and punishing of the offenders this is a process that will continue as long as we use technology in this race. We may now be in a phase where the law enforcement is lagging behind the growth of crimes but if proper efforts is put in the problem can be contained though it cannot be eliminated.
Do you believe that our current laws on cyber crime are not enough?
Under prevailing circumstances available provisions under existing IT act are sufficient. But considering the speed at which technology application is changing the IT act must be dynamic to these changes. Currently the major shortcoming is of awareness of provision under IT Act. We all are using this medium but how many of us are aware about our rights and duties in cyber space? The current belief is that we don’t have any and we can post/upload whatever we feel good for our pleasure may be at the cost of another mans pain. So the current provisions are adequate for time being but information about these provisions must percolate to all the cyber netizens.
Are youngsters leaning more towards cyber crime because it is easy or challenging enough to boast about it?
If you ask any techno savvy youngster what he wants to be in IT industry. The popular answer is ‘ethical hacker’ how many of these guys understand that there is very thin demarcation between hacker and cracker? And many a times it is impossible to identify this thin line. The important thing is to transform this young brain pool for better and stronger India.
Most companies use internet. So, has the government
prescribed any basic norms on prevention of crime and the follow up
Yes. Under several sections of ITA 2008. It is prescribed that companies Need to practice “due diligence”. In certain cases detailed prescriptions have been given and will be given in the form of rules notified or to be notified in many other cases. It is left to the judgment of the companies to determine what is appropriate due diligence for their type and criticality of activity they would. However, be better placed to take the assistance of experts in under standing what is “ITA 2008 compliance” and act accordingly.
Interview By : Biz Infoline Nagpur