"As technology advances, so must our laws and our ability to enforce them."-
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Cyberspace is the term for the online environment created by computer networks
and the internet, where users may interact, share knowledge, and transact
business. Hardware, software, data, and communication protocols are all part of
this intricate and constantly changing environment.
Science fiction novelist William Gibson originally used the term "cyberspace" in
his 1984 book "Neuromancer." The book defined cyberspace as a virtual
environment where users may connect to a vast computer network.
Cyberspace now plays a crucial role in modern life, having an impact on
activities including social interaction, entertainment, business, and
communication. Cyberspace is anticipated to continue to develop and influence
our world in the years to come as a result of the increasing relevance of the
internet and digital technology.
The situation of Cyber Connectivity in India:
3rd highest internet users: After China and the US, India has the third-highest
percentage of internet users worldwide. India is estimated to have around 687
million internet users as of 2021, and this number is anticipated to rise over
the next few years. Factors including the rising affordability of smartphones
and data plans, government programmes to promote digital literacy, and the
increasing significance of e-commerce and online services have all contributed
to India's internet usage's rapid development.
Digitalization is moving quickly: In recent years, India has experienced rapid
digitalization, with the government's Digital India initiative playing a crucial
role in encouraging the adoption of digital technologies in various economic
sectors. By ensuring access to digital infrastructure, services, and literacy,
the initiative aims to transform India into a society and knowledge economy
empowered by technology.
Rural populations now have easier access to financial services thanks to
initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which encourages financial
inclusion and the use of digital payment systems.
The Make in India drive, which expects to advance homegrown assembling and draw
in unfamiliar venture, has additionally been helped by the development of
computerized innovations, with the ascent of the advanced economy setting out
new open doors for development and business.
India's rapid digitalization is enhancing citizens' access to services and
opportunities, boosting efficiency, fostering transparency, and creating a
positive economic ripple effect.
Cyber Security Threats:
"The cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security
challenges we face as a nation." - President Barack Obama
Latest Legal issues:
- Our cyberspace, or critical infrastructure, is protected by cyber
security from attack, damage, misuse, and economic espionage:
- The goal of cybersecurity is to safeguard our digital systems, networks, and devices from cyberattacks.
- Cybersecurity is a broad field that includes many different techniques, technologies, and processes. In order for critical infrastructure to function effectively, such as electricity grids, financial systems, transportation networks, and other key services, it must be protected.
- Cyber-attacks can have catastrophic effects, including service interruptions, the theft of private information, monetary losses, reputational damages, and even bodily harm to people. Hence, taking cybersecurity precautions is essential to preventing and reducing the effects of cyberattacks.
- Cybersecurity experts work to defend against a variety of frequent attacks, including:
- Malware: Malicious software, such as viruses, worms, and trojan horses, is used to disrupt or harm digital systems.
- Phishing: Phishing is a sort of cyberattack that includes convincing people to divulge private information, including usernames and passwords, by assuming the identity of a reliable source.
- Ransomware: Data on a device or network is encrypted by ransomware, a sort of software that demands money to decrypt the data.
- Cybercriminals employ social engineering as a technique to trick people into disclosing private information or performing actions that endanger digital systems.
- Throughout recent years, the quantity of digital interruptions and
assaults has soar, uncovering private and business data, obstructing
fundamental activities, and causing huge financial harm:
Cyberattacks and intrusions have increased significantly over the past decade,
affecting individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure in increasing
numbers. Cybercrime and economic espionage result in annual losses of up to $600
billion for the global economy, as stated in a report produced by the Centre for
Strategic and International Studies.Additionally, the report reveals that the
number of reported cyber incidents has increased from 200,000 in 2010 to 400,000
in 2017, pointing to a worldwide increase in the threat to cybersecurity.
The rise in cyberattacks can be attributed to a number of factors, including the
growing reliance on digital technologies, the development of new attack vectors
like ransomware and social engineering, and the growing sophistication of
cybercriminals. Furthermore, the developing number of gadgets associated with
the web, for example, cell phones, tablets, and Web of Things (IoT) gadgets, has
expanded the assault surface for digital crooks, making it simpler for them to
send off assaults.
While traditional businesses are utilizing e-platforms to expand their reach,
new businesses that are solely based on new technologies like social, mobile,
analytics, and cloud (SMAC) are expanding at a breakneck pace. Using web-based
technology, the Web of Things (IoT), in which interconnected devices can monitor
various aspects of personal and professional life, is rapidly becoming a
Individuals, businesses, and governments all need to take proactive
steps to improve cybersecurity in response to the growing threat posed by
cyberattacks. This includes putting in strong security measures like firewalls,
encryption, and access control, keeping software and security patches up to
date, and teaching users and employees about cybersecurity.
A significant cyberattack rendered the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences
New Delhi (AIIMS), the nation's leading medical school, inoperable on November
The cyberattack that took place in November 2022 against AIIMS is a worrying
incident that emphasizes the need for improved cyber security preparedness
across systems and organizations. The majority of the hospital's servers and the
hospital network, which is managed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC),
were affected by the attack, which caused significant disruptions in the
The case was enlisted by the Knowledge Combination and Vital Tasks (IFSO) unit
of the Delhi Police on November 25 as an instance of blackmail and digital
psychological oppression. However, it was reported that AIIMS did not request
cryptocurrency worth Rs 200 crores, as is typical of ransomware attacks.
This incident serves as a reminder that critical infrastructure like hospitals
and healthcare systems can be seriously affected by cyberattacks. Cybercriminals
can take advantage of system flaws to disrupt operations, steal sensitive
information, and even demand ransom payments.
To improve their preparedness for cyber security, systems and organizations must
take proactive measures. This includes conducting routine employee training and
awareness programs, implementing multi-factor authentication, keeping software
and systems up to date, and conducting regular vulnerability assessments.
The National Cyber Security Strategy 2020, which the Indian government has
launched, aims to improve the nation's cyber security. It includes initiatives
like setting up Cyber Forensic Labs in every state and establishing a National
Cyber Crime Reporting Portal.
A cyberattack also occurred at Safdarjung Hospital, another prestigious
facility, a few days later. It has also been the target of numerous cyberattacks
on critical infrastructure assets in the past.
Some latest case laws and references on cyberspace:
- Union of India v. K.A. Najeeb (2021): 
In this case, the question of whether the government has the authority to halt internet access in certain areas during unrest or protests was at issue. The government must adhere to stringent procedural safeguards, and such measures must be temporary, according to the Supreme Court.
- Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd. v. Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. (2021): 
The issue of trademark infringement in the context of e-commerce platforms was the focus of this case. The Delhi High Court ruled that third-party sellers can't sue e-commerce platforms like Amazon for trademark infringement as long as they take certain precautions to prevent it.
- Sudhir Yadav v. State of Haryana (2021): 
The problem of cyberstalking and harassment was the focus of this case. The Punjab and Haryana High Court held that offering disparaging and slanderous comments via web-based entertainment can comprise an offense under the Indian Corrective Code and the Data Innovation Act.
In conclusion, cybercrime and cyberattacks are on the rise in India, raising
concerns about cybersecurity. India's legal system is attempting to keep up with
the rapid changes in cyberspace. However, there are still a lot of obstacles to
overcome, such as a lack of public awareness, inadequate funding for law
enforcement agencies, and the requirement for improved international
However, India's cybersecurity needs to be improved further. In order to
effectively address the new and emerging threats in cyberspace, the legal
framework must be strengthened with up-to-date laws and regulations. In
addition, law enforcement agencies require the resources and training they need
to effectively combat cybercrime.
"The challenges of cybersecurity are a stark reminder of the need for policy
makers, government agencies, and civil society to come together to ensure that
the benefits of technology are enjoyed by all, without compromising on security
and privacy," stated Supreme Court of India Justice DY Chandrachud. The lawful
issues in the internet are mind boggling and require a multi-layered approach
that includes joint effort between the public authority, industry, and common
"Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we except for just
getting on the internet." - Gary Kovacs
This quote emphasizes the significance of cyberspace privacy and the fact that
it should not be compromised solely for the purpose of gaining internet access.
It emphasizes the importance of strong privacy laws and policies to safeguard
individuals from cyberattacks and data breaches. It is essential to ensure that
our privacy rights are safeguarded online as more and more aspects of our
personal lives become connected to the digital world. The quote also emphasizes
that privacy is a fundamental right that should be available to everyone, not a
luxury or a privilege.
References And Bibliography
- AIIMS Delhi Hit by Major Cyber Attack: Manual Operations on as Servers Down for 8 Days," India Today, November 30, 2022.
- India's AIIMS Hospital Crippled by Cyber Attack," BBC News, November 24, 2022.
- AIIMS cyber attack: Delhi Police denies reports of Rs 200 crore ransom demand," India Today, November 29, 2022.
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences hit by major cyber-attack," The Hindu, November 26, 2022.
- National Cyber Security Strategy 2020," Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
- The White House. (2021, May 12). Executive Order on Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/05/12/executive-order-on-improving-the-nations-cybersecurity/
- Halder, S., & Jaishankar, K. (2011). Cybercrime and the Victimization of
Women: Laws, Rights and Regulations. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
- Jaishankar, K. (Ed.). (2020). Global Cyber Security Education and
Training: Knowledge, Practice, and Applications. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
- Wall, D., & Felson, M. (Eds.). (2020). The Handbook of Crime and
Deviance. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Written By: Adishree Sakhare,
- CSIS, 2018
- Union of India v. K.A. Najeeb, (2021) 3 SCC 713
- Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. v. Pioneering Products, 2019 SCC
OnLine Del 9089
- Sudhir Kumar Atrey v. Union of India, (2022) 1 SCC 352
Maharashtra National Law University, Aurangabad
Email: [email protected]
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