The genesis of internet was initiated by Vinton Cerf who first developed what later became known as the ‘internet’ i.e. the interconnectivity between computers worldwide in the year 1973. Few years later, on 25th of December 1990, Tim Berners-Lee with the help of Robert Cailliau and a young student at CERN( Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) invented the World Wide Web(www) and implemented the first successful
communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the internet.
The founding fathers hardly had this notion that internet could transform itself into an all prevading revolution capable of being misused for criminal activities, if fallen in capable wrong hands of the evil elements in the civilization and which required regulation. Today, where the know-how of internet has become immensely popular and easily available, added as a subject for studies in educational institution in every society all over the globe, being used by corporations and governments, hospitals, military, and by almost all individuals and organizations in the world. It’s because of its efficiency and usage in all matters providing flawless results and products, that has led to internet’s extraordinary growth and dependence since the day of it’s invention till today, which is a shockingly short time for such a success. Internet has induced a rapid growth in all the sectors and has changed and affected the human civilization massively making their life easier leaving its mark. In the present time, which is also called the digital age, many disturbing things are happening in the cyberspace. Due to the anonymous nature of the internet, it is possible to engage into a variety of criminal activities with impunity and people with intelligence, have been grossly misusing the aspect of the internet to perpetuate criminal activities in cyberspace. Hence the need of cyber laws in India.
The importance of cyber law is that it deals with almost all aspects of transaction and activities concerning Internet, World Wide Web and Cyberspace in India, the fact that almost everybody these days are using computers and internet whether for personal or business purpose not completely realizing of the extent of Cyber laws. Many people, all over the sub-continent illegally download latest movies, songs, softwares etc. from free download providing sites filled with pirated contents infringing copyrights, trademarks etc, of the owners of the content, almost freely committing Cybercrimes. This causes huge losses to the original owners of the intellectual property. Since Cyber law has been recently acquainted with the citizens of India, most are unaware of the Cybercrimes they have been committing. This is because cyber laws in India are not strict and are in need of serious amendments with changing nature of the internet, keeping in mind the interests of the people and owners of intellectual property. Only serious Cybercrimes and thefts are taken seriously by the authorities in India. But much has changed at present, and it is just the beginning. Sooner or later, people have to tighten their belts and take notice of Cyber law for their own benefit.
To counter the menace of Cybercrime, Cyber laws are created by the legislative department to curb and fight it. The IT Act 2000 attempts to change outdated laws and provides ways to deal with Cybercrimes so that people can perform purchase transactions over the Net through credit cards without fear of misuse. In view of the growth in transactions and communications carried out through electronic records, the Act seeks to empower government departments to accept filing, creating and retention of official documents in the digital format, and recognizes digital signature as well. It contains provisions positive for e-commerce in India. Keeping in view, the rapid growth and development and the changing nature of Cyberspace, government introduced I.T. (Amendment) Bill 2006. Subsequently in February 2009, I.T. (Amendment) Bill 2008 was passed as well by the government for meeting changing needs. Police in India are trying to become cyber crime savvy and are hiring people who are trained in the respective field. A recent survey indicates that for every 500 cybercrime incidents that takes place, only 50 are reported to the police and out of that only one is actually registered. These figures indicate that how difficult it is to convince the police to register a cybercrime. Establishment of cybercrime cells in different parts of the country was expected to boost cybercrime reporting and prosecution. However, these cells have not lived up to the expectations. Through the I.T. Act (Amendment) 2008, almost all the cyber crimes have been made bailable and this removed all sorts of deterrence for the cyber criminals in India worldwide. This was a disastrous step taken by the Indian governments which instead of creating fear of law in the minds of these white collar cyber criminals, provided relief to such organized criminals. Indian cyber law is already a piecemeal attempt and this amendment further made it a bane for India. Concerns regarding India becoming a safe heaven for cyber criminals were incessantly by techno legal experts of India but Indian government did not pay heed to the same. Naturally, the present situation was bound to arise and only the government is to be blamed solely.
What is needed to be done is that the Home Minister of India Mr. P. Chidambaram must seriously consider projects and initiatives that can help in developing cyber skills of police force in India. Issues like cyber law and cyber forensics have not yet been considered important enough by him so far. With ever increasing use of technology, police work in India is going to be more challenging. Hence they must be prepared.
The awareness of cybercrime is constantly on the rise among the citizens of India directly affecting the expanding limits of cyber laws to fight and curb it. This expansion is inspiring the young and aspiring lawyers attracting them towards cyber law with a promising career. The rise in cybercrime has resulted in the growth of cyber laws creating new opportunities for lawyers to practice. In the modern age where computers and internet are found in every field and profession, the future of cyber laws appears rich in growth and development and has found an important place in the legal system and the society. In the fight between cyber crime and cyber law, the latter is still weaker than the former n lacks resources to fight back. Presently, the poison of cyber crime is stronger than its anti-dote, cyber law in the Sub-Continent.
‘THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE, THAT IS NOT POWER’
- State of Punjab vs. M/S Amritsar Beverages Ltd., AIR 2006 SC 2820
- Avnish Bajaj Vs State (N.C.T) of Delhi (2005)3CompLJ364(Del), 116(2005)DLT427, 2005(79)DRJ576
- State Bank Of India Vs. Rizvi Exports Ltd II(2003)BC96
- State Vs. Mohd. Afzal and Others 2003VIIAD(Delhi)1
- P.R. Transport Agency Vs. Union of India and Others AIR2006AII23
Student, 4th year,Law ( B.S.L .L.L.B). University Of Pune
[Submitted as an entry for the MightyLaws.in Blog Post Writing Competition, 2011