lalitkaushikadvocate

Cyber Law

"The Modern Thief Can Steal More With A Computer Than With A Gun. Tomorrow's Terrorist May Be Able To Do More Damage With A Keyboard Than With A bomb."

  • The term “Cyber-Crimes” is not defined in any statute or rulebook. The word “Cyber” is slang for anything relating to computers, information technology, internet and virtual reality. Therefore, it stands to reason that “Cyber-Crimes” are offences relating to computers, information technology, internet and virtual reality.
  • Cyber law of India is defined under Information Technology Act, 2000Cyber Law or IT Law is referred to as the Law of the Internet. 
  • The Cyberlaw definition says it is a legal system designed to deal with the internet, computing, cyberspace, and related legal issues.
  • Cyber Law = Laws governing the Cyber Space
  • Cyber Space = A concept describing a widespread, interconnected digital technology. 

Cyber Law Deals With:

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property refers to the creations which are made using the mental labours of individuals. This includes a variety of creations such as literary works, technological inventions, performances, traditional practices etc. These can be broadly divided into two categories:

  1. Intellectual property used for protecting industrial inventions such as Patents, Trademarks etc.
  2. Intellectual property used for protecting literary interests such as copyright, related rights etc.

Intellectual Property Rights:

Every individual who creates a literary work or invents an industrial technology is vested with certain rights such as the exclusive right to such literature or invention, right to gain monetary benefits from such intellectual property. All such rights that accrue to a person from the creation of intellectual property are known as Intellectual Property Rights.

Intellectual Property Rights can be held by an individual or a company. Generally, rights pertaining to literary works are held by an individual and industrial inventions are held by companies.

Types of Intellectual Property Rights:

1. Copyright

2. Plant Varieties

3. Confidential Information & Trade      Secrets

4. Layout Design of Integrated Circuits

5. Patents

6. Trademark

7. Industrial Design

8. Geographical Indication

Cyber Crimes

• Any crime or illegal act committed with the help of computer and telecommunication technology.
• Any crime where either the computer is used as an object or subject.
• Computer used to commit a crime :- 
       1. PORNOGRAPHY 
       2. THREATENING EMAIL 
       3. ASSUMING SOMEONE’S IDENTIFY
       4. SEXUAL HARASSMENT
       5. DEFAMATION 
       6. SPAM, PHISHING, etc.

Categories of Cyber Crime

Some other crimes :

  • Logic Bombs 
  • Spamming 
  • Virus worms 
  • E-Mail Bombing, etc.
 

Types of Cyber Crime :

  1. Identity theft – When personal information of a person is stolen with the purpose of using their financial resources or to take a loan or credit card in their name then such a crime is known as Identity theft.
  2. Cyberterrorism – When a threat of extortion or any kind of harm is being subjected towards a person, organization, group or state, it is known as the crime of Cyber Terrorism. Generally, it includes the well-planned attack strategies on the Government and corporate computer system.
  3. Cyberbullying – When a teenager or adolescent harasses, defames, or intimidates someone with the use of the internet, phone, chat rooms, instant messaging or any other social network then the person is said to be committing the crime of Cyberbullying. When the same crime is done by adults it is known as Cyberstalking.
  4. Hacking – The most common cybercrime is Hacking. In this crime, the person gets access to other people’s computers and passwords to use it for their own wrongful gain.
  5. Defamation – While every individual has his or her right to speech on internet platforms as well, but if their statements cross a line and harm the reputation of any individual or organization, then they can be charged with the Defamation Law.
  6. Copyright – With the massive surge in internet users, when the data/ information is distributed on all platforms, copyrighting your work aids you to restrict the use of your work. Any use of your copyrighted without your permission is a punishable offence.
  7. Trade Secrets – Internet organization spends a lot of their time and money in developing softwares, applications, and tools and rely on Cyber Laws to protect their data and trade secrets against theft; doing which is a punishable offence.
  8. Freedom of Speech – When it comes to the internet, there is a very thin line between freedom of speech and being a cyber-offender. As freedom of speech enables individuals to speak their mind, cyber law refrains obscenity and crassness over the web.
  9. Harassment and Stalking – Harassment and stalking are prohibited over internet platforms as well. Cyber laws protect the victims and prosecute the offender against this offence. 

Cyber Crime Offences & Punishment

Information Technology Act, 2000 Sections

If any person without permission of the owner or any other person who is incharge of a computer, computer system or computer network,-
(a) accesses or secures access to such computer, computer system or computer network 46 [or computer resource];
(b) downloads, copies or extracts any data, computer data base or information from such computer, computer system or computer network including information or data held or stored in any removable storage medium;
(c) introduces or causes to be introduced any computer contaminant or computer virus into any computer, computer system or computer network;
(d) damages or causes to be damaged any computer, computer system or computer network, data, computer data base or any other programmes residing in such computer, computer system or computer network;
(e) disrupts or causes disruption of any computer, computer system or computer network;
(f) denies or causes the denial of access to any person authorised to access any computer, computer system or computer network by any means;
(g) provides any assistance to any person to facilitate access to a computer, computer system or computer network in contravention of the provisions of this Act, rules or regulations made thereunder;
(h) charges the services availed of by a person to the account of another person by tampering with or manipulating any computer, computer system, or computer network,
47 [(i) destroys, deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means;]
47 [(j) steal, conceals, destroys or alters or causes any person to steal, conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code used for a computer resource with an intention to cause damage;] 48 [he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation to the person so affected]. 

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section,-
(i) “computer contaminant” means any set of computer instructions that are designed-
(a) to modify, destroy, record, transmit data or programme residing within a computer, computer system or computer network; or
(b) by any means to usurp the normal operation of the computer, computer system, or computer network;
(ii) “computer database” means a representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts or instructions in text, image, audio, video that are being prepared or have been prepared in a formalised manner or have been produced by a computer, computer system or computer network and are intended for use in a computer, computer system or computer network;
(iii) “computer virus” means any computer instruction, information, data or programme that destroys, damages, degrades or adversely affects the performance of a computer resource or attaches itself to another computer resource and operates when a programme, data or instruction is executed or some other event takes place in that computer resource;
(iv) “damage” means to destroy, alter, delete, add, modify or rearrange any computer resource by any means;
49 [(v) “computer source code” means the listing of programmes, computer commands, design and layout and programme analysis of computer resource in any form.]
comments
If any person without permission of the owner or any other person who is incharge of a computer, computer system or computer network-
(i) accesses such computer, computer system or computer network or computer resource; (ii) downloads, copies or computer system or computer network or computer resource; (ii) downloads, copies or extracts any data, computer data-base or information; (iii) introduces or causes to be introduced any computer contaminant or computer virus; (iv) damages or causes to be damaged any computer, computer system or computer network data, computer database or any other programmes; (v) disrupts or causes disruption; (vi) denies or causes the denial of access to any person authorised to access; (vii) provides any assistance to any person to facilitate access in contravention of the provisions of this Act; (viii) charges the services availed of by a person to the account of another person by tampering with or manipulating any computer, computer system or computer network; destroys, deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means; (x) steal, conceals, destroys or alters or causes any person to steal, conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code with intention to cause damage; he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation to the person so affected.

Where a body corporate, possessing, dealing or handling any sensitive personal data or information in a computer resource which it owns, controls or operates, is negligent in implementing and maintaining reasonable security practices and procedures and thereby causes wrongful loss or wrongful gain to any person, such body corporate shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation to the person so affected. Explanation. -For the purposes of this section,-

(i) “body corporate” means any company and includes a firm, sole proprietorship or other association of individuals engaged in commercial or professional activities;
(ii) “reasonable security practices and procedures” means security practices and procedures designed to protect such information from unauthorised access, damage, use, modification, disclosure or impairment, as may be specified in an agreement between the parties or as may be specified in any law for the time being in force and in the absence of such agreement or any law, such reasonable security practices and procedures, as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with such professional bodies or associations as it may deem fit;
(iii) “sensitive personal data or information” means such personal information as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with such professional bodies or associations as it may deem fit.

Whoever knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy, or alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer programme, computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by law for the time being in force, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both. 

Explanation.–For the purposes of this section, “computer source code” means the listing of programmes, computer commands, design and layout and programme analysis of computer resource in any form.

If any person, dishonestly or fraudulently, does any act referred to in section 43, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both. 

Explanation. -For the purposes of this section,-

(a) the word “dishonestly” shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 24 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860);
(b) the word “fraudulently” shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 25 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).]

Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,-

(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or
(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device; or
(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine. 

Explanation. -For the purpose of this section, terms “electronic mail” and “electronic mail message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, image, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.

 

Whoever dishonestly received or retains any stolen computer resource or communication device knowing or having reason to believe the same to be stolen computer resource or communication device, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to rupees one lakh or with both

Whoever, fraudulently or dishonestly make use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine with may extend to rupees one lakh.

Whoever, by means for any communication device or computer resource cheats by personating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.

Whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both. 

Explanation. -For the purposes of this section-
(a) “transmit” means to electronically send a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons;
(b) “capture”, with respect to an image, means to videotape, photograph, film or record by any means;
(c) “private area” means the naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks or female breast;
(d) “publishes” means reproduction in the printed or electronic form and making it available for public; e) “under circumstances violating privacy” means circumstances in which a person can have a reasonable expectation that;-
(i) he or she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that an image of his private area was being captured; or
(ii) any part of his or her private area would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private place.

(1) Whoever,—

(A) with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people by—

(i) denying or cause the denial of access to any person authorised to access computer resource; or

(ii) attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorised access; or

(iii) introducing or causing to introduce any computer contaminant,

and by means of such conduct causes or is likely to cause death or injuries to persons or damage to or destruction of property or disrupts or knowing that it is likely to cause damage or disruption of supplies or services essential to the life of the community or adversely affect the critical information infrastructure specified under Section 70; or

(B) knowingly or intentionally penetrates or accesses a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorised access, and by means of such conduct obtains access to information, data or computer database that is restricted for reasons of the security of the State or foreign relations; or any restricted information, data or computer database, with reasons to believe that such information, data or computer database so obtained may be used to cause or likely to cause injury to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, group of individuals or otherwise,

commits the offence of cyber terrorism.

(2) Whoever commits or conspires to commit cyber terrorism shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

(1) The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare any computer resource which directly or indirectly affects the facility of Critical Information Infrastructure, to be a protected system. 

Explanation. -For the purposes of this section, “Critical Information Infrastructure” means the computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which, shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety.
 
(2) The appropriate Government may, by order in writing, authorise the persons who are authorised to access protected systems notified under sub-section (1).
 
(3) Any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system in contravention of the provisions of this section shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
 
(4) The Central Government shall prescribe the information security practices and procedures for such protected system.

Whoever makes any misrepresentation to, or suppresses any material fact from the Controller or the Certifying Authority for obtaining any licence or [Electronic Signature] Certificate, as the case may be, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Save as otherwise provided in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, if any person who, in pursuance of any of the powers conferred under this Act, rules or regulations made thereunder, has secured access to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material without the consent of the person concerned discloses such electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material to any other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

(1) No person shall publish a [Electronic Signature] Certificate or otherwise make it available to any other person with the knowledge that-

(a) the Certifying Authority listed in the certificate has not issued it; or
(b) the subscriber listed in the certificate has not accepted it; or
(c) the certificate has been revoked or suspended, unless such publication is for the purpose of verifying a [electronic signature] created prior to such suspension or revocation.
 
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Whoever knowingly creates, publishes or otherwise makes available a [Electronic Signature] Certificate for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both. If any person knowingly creates, publishes or otherwise makes available a Electronic Signature Certificate for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose, he shall be punished with imprisonment upto two years, or with fine upto one lakh rupees, or with both.

Indian Penal Code, 1860 Sections

Any man who watches, or captures the image of a woman engaging in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator or by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or disseminates such image shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanations

  1. For the purpose of this section, “private act” includes an act of watching carried out in a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy and where the victim’s genitals, posterior or breasts are exposed or covered only in underwear; or the victim is using a lavatory; or the victim is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public.
  2. Where the victim consents to the capture of the images or any act, but not to their dissemination to third persons and where such image or act is disseminated, such dissemination shall be considered an offence under this section.

Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013

Classification u/schedule 1 CrPC
Offence
Punishment

Voyeurism

  1. 1 to 3 years + Fine for first conviction
  2. 3 to 7 years + Fine for second or subsequent conviction
Cognizance
Bail
Triable By
  1. Cognizable
  2. Cognizable
  1. Bailable
  2. Non-bailable
  1. Any Magistrate
  2. Any Magistrate
Composition u/s 320 CrPC
Offence is NOT listed under Compoundable Offences.
(1) Any man who –
  1. follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; or
  2. monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication,
  3. commits the offence of stalking;

    Provided that such conduct shall not amount to stalking if the man who pursued it proves that—

    1. it was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime and the man accused of stalking had been entrusted with the responsibility of prevention and detection of crime by the State; or
    2. it was pursued under any law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any law; or
    3. in the particular circumstances such conduct was reasonable and justified.

    (2) Whoever commits the offence of stalking shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine.
    Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013

     
    Classification u/schedule 1 Cr.PC
    Offence
    Punishment
    Stalking
    1. Upto 3 years + Fine for first conviction
    2. Upto 5 years + Fine for second or subsequent conviction

    Cognizance

    Bail

    Triable By

    1. Cognizable
    2. Cognizable
    1. Bailable
    2. Non-bailable
    1. Any Magistrate
    2. Any Magistrate
    Composition u/s 320 Cr.PC
    Offence is NOT listed under Compoundable Offences.
    Whoever commits theft shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
    Classification u/schedule 1 CrPC

    Offence

    Punishment

    Theft

    3 Years or Fine or Both

    Cognizance

    Bail

    Triable By

    Cognizable

    Non-Bailable

    Any Magistrate

    Composition u/s 320 CrPC

    Offence is Compoundable by

    The owner of the property stolen

    Whoever commits extortion shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

    Classification u/schedule 1 CrPC
    Offence
    Punishment

    Extortion

    3 Years or Fine or Both

    Cognizance
    Bail
    Triable By

    Cognizable

    Non-Bailable

    Any Magistrate

    Composition u/s 320 CrPC
    Offence is NOT listed under Compoundable Offences.

    Whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

    Classification u/schedule 1 CrPC
    Offence
    Punishment

    Criminal breach of trust

    3 Years or Fine or Both

    Cognizance
    Bail
    Triable By

    Cognizable

    Non-Bailable

    Magistrate First Class

    Composition u/s 320 CrPC
    Offence is Compoundable by

    The owner of the property in respect of which the breach of trust was committed, with the permission of the Court.

    Whoever cheats shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
    Classification u/schedule 1 CrPC
    Offence
    Punishment

    Cheating

    1 Year or Fine or Both

    Cognizance

    Bail

    Triable By

    Non-Cognizable

    Bailable

    Any Magistrate

    Composition u/s 320 CrPC

    Offence is Compoundable by

    The person cheated.

    Whoever makes any false document or false electronic record or part of a document or electronic record with intent to cause damage or injury, to the public or to any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, commits forgery.

    A person is said to make a false document or false electronic record:

    First— Who dishonestly or fraudulently—

    1. makes, sign, seals or executes a document or part of a document;
    2. makes or transmits any electronic record or part of any electronic record;
    3. affixes any digital signature on any electronic record;
    4. makes any mark denoting the execution of a document or the authenticity of the digital signature, with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document or part of document, electronic record or digital signature was made, signed, sealed, executed, transmitted or affixed by or by the authority or a person by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed, executed or affixed; or

    Secondly— who, without lawful authority, dishonestly or fraudulently, by cancellation or otherwise, alters a document or an electronic record in any material part thereof, after it has been made, executed or affixed with digital signature either by himself or by any other person, whether such person be living or dead at the time of such alteration; or

    Thirdly— who dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person, sign, seal, execute or alter a document or an electronic record or to affix his digital signature on any electronic record knowing that such person by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of deception practiced upon him, he does not know the contents of the document or electronic record or the nature of the alteration.

    Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.

    Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intimidation.