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Cybercrimes Affecting The Society

Cybercrime is a crime that is committed online. In essence, it is an offence to use a computer or the internet with the intention of libellous behaviour against a person or group of people or to hurt them mentally or physically via a social media platform.

Hacking, child pornography, forgeries, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, denial of service, spam, cyberterrorism, phishing, software piracy, malware, defamation, spyware, hoaxes, online gambling, identity theft, and other forms of cybercrime are just a few examples.

Causes of cybercrime:

  1. Simple access:
    The problem with protecting a computer system from unauthorised access is that due to the complexity of technology, there are numerous ways for a breach to occur. Hackers can steal access codes, retina images, advanced voice recorders, and other devices that can easily fool biometric systems and circumvent firewalls, allowing them to circumvent many security systems.
  2. Negligence:
    Because most people do not like to use strong passwords on their computers, it is easy to hack them.

Cyber laws in India:

There are certain laws, acts, and rules in India to prevent cybercrime. Such cyber laws are:
  1. The IT Act of 2000
  2. IPC, 1860
  3. Information Technology (Certifying Authorities) Rules, 2000
  4. Information Technology (Security Procedure) Rules, 2004
  5. Information Technology (Certifying Authority) Regulations, 2001

Cyber law in foreign countries:

Cyber law in USA:

CFFA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act). The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was approved as an amendment to the first federal computer fraud law to address cyberattacks in 1986. It has been amended several times over the years, most recently in 2008, to cover a wide range of conduct far beyond its original intent. The CFAA explicitly prohibits intentionally accessing a computer without authorization or in excess of authorization, but it does not define "without authorization."

It has become a tool ripe for abuse, with harsh penalty schemes and malleable provisions, and is used against nearly every aspect of computer activity. Because of the rise in popularity of digital platforms since the dawn of this new digital era, data breaches have taken on a new dimension.

Between 2005 and 2015, data breaches exposed over 500 million US records. In 2016, there were 1093 data breaches in the United States, resulting in the loss of 36 million records. Data exchanges between businesses and the government may take place in an acceptable manner. When it was first introduced in July 2014, the bill had already passed the Senate and had been signed into law. President Barack Obama signed the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act into law on December 18, 2014.

Cyberlaw in Germany:

Germany has a well-established tradition of data privacy and personal freedom. German data protection laws are strict, and government rights to monitor people in cyberspace are strictly limited. In Germany, several acts govern cyber security. Section 202a and 303a of the Strafgesetzbuch which is German penal code to protect data and communication from misuse, hacking, and sabotage. Section 303b of the same Code directs punitive action against computer sabotage.

The German IT Security Act of 2015 is the main legal act governing cyber security. The act requires critical infrastructure operators to maintain a minimum level of IT security and to report any IT security incidents to the Federal Office for Information Security, Germany's national cyber security agency.

Moreover, every company in Germany that processes personal data is subject to the regulation of either the federal or one of the 16 local data protection authorities. Germany enacted the Federal Data Protection Act in 2017. The Act, which came into effect on May 25, 2018, implements the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It took the place of the previous German Data Protection Act.

Although the Act is only a supplement to the GDPR, it contains a number of additional provisions that must be followed, such as the appointment of Data Protection Officers, sensitive personal data, data subjects' rights, changing the purpose of processing, video surveillance, fines and sanctions, creditworthiness and scoring, and so on. So far, the German legal system has been able to put a good fight against the pressing problems of cybercrime.

Cyber law in Norway:

The Personal Data Act of 2000 is the primary law focusing on data protection and individual privacy rights. This act ensures that personal data is processed in accordance with factors such as personal integrity, private life, and the right to privacy. It defines personal data as "any information relating to any person," and processing personal data as "the use, storage, and recording of any person's personal information." It specifies different conditions for processing personal data and sensitive personal data.

Sensitive personal data includes a person's race, ethics, political opinions, philosophical and religious beliefs. It also discusses suspicion/conviction for a criminal offence, health, and sex life. Norway's HDI ranking has remained stable over time. While the crime rate remains under control, it is encouraging to see various governmental and non-governmental initiatives. To combat the spread of COVID-19, Norway, like many other countries, launched the Smittestopp contract tracing app. Many privacy experts, including the national data protection authority, have criticised the application due to its highly intrusive nature.

Need for cyber law in India:
There are various reasons cyber law is required in India:
  • Nowadays, all financial transactions are carried out through internet. Cyber laws prevents fraud, which is currently increase in India. It helps in protecting and securely transfers funds. People are also using credit and debit cards to purchase goods. However, some internet fraudsters clone those credit and debit cards.
  • Most companies keep their important data on computer systems or other digital devices. Companies require data protection laws to prevent the misuse of important official data.
  • For work such as service tax returns, company law forms, and so on, the government now uses electronic forms or computer systems. Cyberlaw safeguards data against hacking.
  • Digital signatures, e-contracts, and e-mails are common and simple ways for individuals and companies to conduct business and communicate with one another. Anyone can hack, and if there's no protection, fraud can happen easily. Cyber laws protect against these crimes and ensure strong protection when communicating via internet.
  • We live in an increasingly digitalized world. Online statements can sometimes violate criminal laws that prohibit harassment and stalking. When someone repeatedly makes threatening statements about someone else online, they are breaking both civil and criminal laws. When stalking occurs via the internet or other forms of electronic communication, cyber defence attorneys both prosecute and defend innocent people.

Rapid increase in cybercrime in India:
India's crime rate is rapidly rising. With the increased use of technology, whether computer systems or electronic devices, cybercrime is on the rise. Increased online traffic, a lack of awareness, a lack of technical knowledge among police and citizens, and difficulties in investigating cybercrime cases All of these factors have encouraged fraudsters to create new and inventive ways to commit fraud. Fraudsters are constantly devising new ways to trick people into loosening their purse strings, and the only way to protect oneself is to be aware.

COVID-19 has accelerated a trend that was already on the rise. With work from home becoming norm around the world, a heavy dependence on technology was inevitable. Besides that, increased 5G adoption, device interconnectedness, new processes and procedures, updated employee profiles, and less-controlled work environments have all contributed to an increase in vulnerabilities.

As per the Economic Times, India reported 1.16 million cyber security cases in 2020, which is three times more than in 2019. Every day of the year, approximately 3 thousands cyber-security issues were reported and the situation is not only concerning in India, but also around the world.

Not only that, but people are forcing innocent citizens to commit cybercrimes. As per the economic times, on September 20, 2022, a gang from Myawaddy, Myanmar, forced over 300 Indians into cybercrime. These people are being held hostage by the gang in an area that is not under the control of the Myanmar government and is dominated by ethnic armed groups. People from some other countries are also among the hostages, the report said. They said their captors were forcing them to work for more than 15 hours a day. When they refuse to do illegal work, they are beaten up and given electric shocks, they said.

A fisherman from Karaikalmedu has appealed to the district court of Karaikal in Puducherry to rescue his son, who is among the Indian captives. Thirty Indian hostages have been reportedly rescued so far. Through contacts in the business community, efforts are being made to get the rest of the people back, the TOI reported. Even Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi could not escape its clutches as his Twitter account was hacked. A day later, the Congress' Twitter handle too was hacked and cyber criminals threated to release secret communication of the party.

Even though cybercrime is a threat to national security as well. Terrorist groups are increasingly relying on criminal activities, including cybercrime and online frauds and scams, to finance their illicit activities, according to the annual report of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering. The report also listed case studies from member countries, including India and Pakistan, involving money laundering and terrorist financing.

Recent initiatives taken by government of India to prevent cybercrime:

The usage of the internet is increasing, and cyber crimes are increasing as well. The government is well aware of that, and therefore, the government has taken various steps to prevent cybercrime:
  • The CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team):
    It is a division of the Indian government's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It is the central organisation for handling risks to cyber security like phishing and hacking. It improves the Indian Internet domain's security-related defences.
  • Chief security officer appointments:
    The Indian government has released a formal guideline for CISOs of government organisations that outlines best practises for protecting apps, infrastructure, and compliance. Chief Information Security Officers are able to recognise and record any security needs that can materialise as a result of new technological advancements.
  • The "Cyber Swachhta Kendra":
    It is a part of the Government of India's Digital India initiative under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to create a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections in India and to notify, enable cleaning, and secure the systems of end users so as to prevent further infections.
  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative was conceptualised with the mission to spread awareness about cyber-crime and build capacities of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT officials, across all government departments, for ensuring adequate safety measures to combat the growing menace, and for organizations to defend their digital infrastructures and become future-ready in tackling cyber crimes.
  • Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena launched Cyber Uday 2.0 on October 06 in Delhi. He raised concern over increasing cibercrimes in the national capital. He also stressed the need for awareness of cyber crimes and their prevention at the event. He said, "Cybercrimes have increased today because of monetary transactions taking place through the internet. Hence it becomes more important for us to be well versed with the various aspects of cybercrime."
Steps to prevent cybercrime:
Certain steps can be taken to prevent cybercrime:
  • Never share personal information on public websites. This could give a stranger access to your personal information.
  • If someone calls you and requests your personal or banking information, do not provide it. It could be a spam or fraudulent call or messages.
  • Make use of strong passwords and change them every 5-6 months.
  • Starting with a strong encryption password and a virtual private network is a good idea. A VPN encrypts all traffic that leaves your devices until it reaches its destination. If cybercriminals do manage to breach your communication line, they will only intercept encrypted data. When using public Wi-Fi, it's a good idea to use a VPN.
  • Check your bank statement on a nearly daily basis to see if there are any unusual transactions or withdrawals of money.
  • Make sure to know how and whom to complaint if you are a victim of cybercrime.

How to register cybercrime in India?
  • If the offence was committed in your district, you can go directly to the nearest police station or the cybercrime cell. To back up your position, you ought to have some solid proof such as screen shots. Or
  • You can register a case through an online portal i.e.,

Landmark case on cybercrime:

Shreya Singhal vs Union of India (AIR 2015 SC)
The validity of section 66A of information and technology act,2000 was challenged before the Supreme Court. Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000 made it a punishable offence for any person to send offensive information using a computer or any other electronic device. The provision also made it punishable for a person to send information that they believed to be false. Section 66A had prescribed three years' imprisonment if a social media message caused "annoyance" or was found "grossly offensive."

Facts of the case:
After posting allegedly rude and unpleasant comments on Facebook on Mumbai's entire shutdown following the death of a political leader Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray , two ladies Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan were detained under Section 66A of the IT Act.

Although the police later released the women and dismissed their prosecution, the incident invoked substantial media attention and criticism. The women then filed a petition, challenging the constitutional validity of Section 66A on the ground that it violates the right to freedom of expression.

The women challenged the validity of Section 66A of the IT Act in a petition after their detention on the grounds that it violates their right to free speech and expression.

The following are the primary issues in this case:
  • Does Section 66A of the Information Technology Act have constitutional standing?
  • Does Section 69A and the Rules violate the Constitution?

Judicial verdict:
The court talked on the concepts of discussion, advocacy, and incitement as it announced the ruling. The court held that the freedom of speech and expression is fundamentally about the discussion or even advocacy of a cause, regardless of how unpopular that cause may be. The court determined that section 66A is unclear, violates the right to free speech, and includes innocent speech in its purview.

It amended the IT Act, 2000 to eliminate an arbitrary clause and supported Indian citizens' fundamental right to free speech. It was of the opinion that even when section 66A is repealed, provisions in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 will still be applicable, forbidding communication that is racist, insults a woman's modesty, promotes hostility, uses abusive language, intimidates criminals, is racist, etc.

Cybercrime is defined as any criminal activity that targets or uses a computer, a computer network, or a networked device. Most, but not all, cybercrime is committed by cybercriminals or hackers looking to make money. Cybercrime is committed by individuals or organisations. Some cybercriminals are well-organized, employ advanced techniques, and are highly technically skilled. Others are first-time hackers. Rarely does cybercrime seek to harm computers for reasons other than profit. These can be political or personal.

As per my opinion, there are so many laws related to cybercrime that people are not aware of. Some people become victims, and they don't even know what to do. Cybercrime is on the rise because it is so simple to obtain information via the internet. Most people commit fraud for financial gain, some to defame others, and some for pleasure, such as interfering in other people's lives, making fun of others, exacting revenge, and a variety of other reasons.

Cybercrime is on the rise as a result of a lack of awareness. Another reason could be a lack of employment; people believe it is a simpler way to make money. Cyberattacks have already done significant damage to detailed banking, primarily through credit card payments and payment scams. Every day, it happens to someone. People are abusing the internet's resources because of its ease of access.

It is very common nowadays, and it is preferable to take care of your computer system, social media, or personal data yourself. Not only that, but the websites of political leaders and government agencies were easily hacked, putting national security at risk. In 2022, cybercrime will become more prevalent. Cybercrime is increasing year after year, and it is expected to reach a peak next year. Cybercrime is said to affect the security of more than 80% of businesses worldwide today. The Internet has both pros and cons.

  • It is helpful for communicating, building connectivity, and exchanging ideas when someone lives far away via email, social media platforms.
  • For some people, it is a useful tool for conducting online commerce.
  • A great place to find entertainment is online.
  • It is beneficial for learning and collecting information.
  • Online fundraising is also advantageous, and so on.

  • Internet addiction, which is detrimental to mental health.
  • Cybercrime, such as hacking, fraud, and phishing.
  • online threats to defame others, particularly famous people such as celebrities or political leaders.
  • Money fraud, which is all too common nowadays.
  • Because of simple misinformation or false information, the internet can cause chaos or hatred among people or communities. This is common in almost every region of the world, whether intentionally or unintentionally steered. Competitors, haters, or misinformed individuals can all do this.

To conclude this research paper, I would like to say that Cybercrime is covered by a number of laws, and the government has set up cyber cells in each district to handle these matters. People becoming victims because they are ignorant of these rules and it is the main problem. The government is making some efforts to combat these crimes, which are spreading rapidly throughout society. However, we should also protect our personal information and take caution.

  • Cybercrime law in India by Satish Chandra
  • Handbook of cybercrime and cybercases in India by Prakash Prasand

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Syedah Naureen Fatima
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: AP347743849252-21-0423

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