Do you ever ask yourself the question 'Am I at Cyber Risk?' Even if you don't,
the unfortunate answer is, everyone is. Characteristic of the culture of
computers, information technology, and virtual reality is known as cyber. The
computer-generated world of internet is known as cyberspace and the laws
prevailing this area are known as Cyber Laws and all the users of this space
come under the ambit of these laws as it carries a kind of worldwide
The primary source of Cyber Law in India is the Information technology Act,2000
which came into force on 17 October 2000. The primary purpose of the act is to
provide legal recognition to electronic commerce and to facilitate filing of
electronic records with the Government.
Cyber Laws Encompasses Laws relating to:
- Cyber Crimes
- Electronic and Digital Signatures
- Intellectual Property
- Data Protection and Privacy
Cyber crimes are unlawful acts where the computer is used either as a tool or a
target or both. The enormous growth in electronic commerce (e-commerce) and
online share trading has led to a phenomenal spurt in incidents of cyber crime.
Electronic signatures are used to authenticate electronic records. Digital
signatures are one type of electronic signature. Digital signatures satisfy
three major legal requirements – signer authentication, message authentication
and message integrity. The technology and efficiency of digital signatures makes
them more trustworthy than hand written signatures.
Intellectual property is refers to creations of the human mind e.g. a story, a
song, a painting, a design etc. The facets of intellectual property that relate
to cyber space are covered by cyber law. These include:
- copyright law in relation to computer software, computer source code,
websites, cell phone content etc.
- software and source code licenses
- trademark law with relation to domain names, meta tags, mirroring,
framing, linking etc
- semiconductor law which relates to the protection of semiconductor
integrated circuits design and layouts,
Data protection and privacy laws aim to achieve a fair balance between the
privacy rights of the individual and the interests of data controllers such as
banks, hospitals, email service providers etc. These laws seek to address the
challenges to privacy caused by collecting, storing and transmitting data using
As the world becomes increasingly digitized and cloud-based, the technology and
computer industries continue expanding and transforming. Technology is now
embedded in business and consumer affairs, leading to a prevalence of
information leaks, data breaches, and outright assaults by hackers and other
cybercriminals. The old adage "the best defence is a good offense" holds true in
computer-related fields. Keeping users, networks, and the cloud safe from
cybercriminals is increasingly important as attackers become more sophisticated.
Boys Locker Room Case
- The incident of the 'boys locker room' is a living example of cybercrime. In a society where we still talk about consent, these 15-year-olds
have risen to another issue. Sharing images of underage girls without their
knowledge. They also posed rape threats and slut-shamed them.
- All this started when a girl posted a series of chat screenshots on her Instagram story. The group had shared pictures of girls, possibly friends of
their mutual friends. Soon the screenshots went viral. As a result of which
girls received rape threats from the concerned group of boys. Despite the
threats, girls in large numbers vented against rape culture. They felt that such
activities were responsible for promoting child pornography.
- The Delhi Police registered a case under provisions of the IT Act and IPC. The sharing of images of underage girls was a violation of the POCSO Act,
2012. The information on the 'Boys Locker Room' group had become public
knowledge. So, the cyber cell decided to investigate. It arrested the admin of
the Instagram chat group. The devices of identified members were seized and sent
for forensic analysis.
- The screenshots also included a Snapchat conversation among 2 boys. One
of them suggesting to rape a girl. It was later found that it was a girl posing
as a boy to test the character. However, she was left with a warning.
- CEO of Bazee.com was arrested in December 2004 because a CD
with objectionable material was being sold on the website. The CD was also being
sold in the markets in Delhi.
The Mumbai Police and the Delhi Police got into action. The CEO was later
released on bail. This opened up the question as to what kind of distinction we
draw between Internet Service Provider and Content Provider. The burden rests on
the accused that he was the Service Provider and not the Content Provider. It
also raises a lot of issues regarding how the police should handle cybercrime
The Bank NSP Case
- One of the leading cybercrime cases is the Bank NSP case is
the one where a management trainee of the bank was engaged to be married. The
couple exchanged many emails using the company computers. After some time the
two broke up and the girl created fraudulent 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 large number of clients and took
the bank to court. The bank was held liable for the emails sent using the bank's
At last, the cyber laws govern the cyber crimes that occurs nowadays, which is a
main role of cyber security in India where these types of crimes are common now.
Organizations are now able to carry out e-commerce using the legal
infrastructure provided by the IT act, 2000.Digital signatures have been given
legal validity and sanction .It also helps Government to issue notification on
the web thus heralding e-governance.