Cyberlaw is the law which helps to stop the offences arising from the computer, mobile, internet and other information technology things. However, the term cyber law has not defined anywhere in the Law. The Indian government has enacted the Information Technology Act,2000 to prevent cybercrime. Further, it is amended in 2008. However, Information Technology Act covers all types of offences which has related to the computer and internet. Besides, IT Act has also provided punishment to the offenders. (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law).
In addition, the object of the Information Technology Act is to provide lawful acknowledgement for transactions carried out through electronic data exchange and other means of electronic communication. However, the Information Technology Act also applies if the offence committed outside of India by any person.
Nowadays, the expression cyber or cyberspace has derived to indicate all connected to computers, data, software, data storage devices, Internet, websites, data, emails, networks, ATMs, Bitcoin wallets, Biometric devices, Baby monitors, Cars, CCTV cameras, Drones, Gaming consoles, Health trackers, Medical devices, Power plants, Self-aiming rifles, Ships, Smart-watches, Smartphones & more.
However, offences with Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, TikTok app comes under the Information Technology Act. In addition, the offences relating to recent social media like Facebook, TikTok and Whatsapp has increased more nowadays. In other word, people are intentionally forward the offensive messages to provoke the others and disturb the peace.
Important features of The IT Act, 2000 are as follows −(Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law)
In this paragraph, we will discuss the features of the IT Act:
Firstly, Digital signature has brought in operation and in exchange with an electronic signature. Which makes technology more user friendly.
Secondly, it provides offences, penalties for the violation of the law.
Thirdly, it has brought a new section that is cyber café to provide internet access to any person from anywhere.
Fourthly, the IT Act has the constitution of the Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee.
Fifthly, the Information Technology Act is based on IPC, The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, The Bankers’ Books Evidence Act, 1891, The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, etc. Above all, are the feature of IT Act.
Bailable offences (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law)
However, the Offences under the Information Technology Act with punishment up to 3 years imprisonment shall treat as bailable. Moreover, the offences punishable with imprisonment of three years and above shall treat as cognizable offence.
Power to investigate offences
Moreover, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), a police officer not below the rank of Inspector shall investigate any offence under this Act.
Some important terms of the Information Technology Act (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law):
1. Asymmetric Crypto System
Asymmetric Crypto System means a system of a secure key pair, which involves a private key for generating a digital signature and a public key to check the digital signature.
2. Cybersecurity (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law)
Cybersecurity means protecting information and information stored in equipment, devices, computer resource etc. from unauthorised access, use, discloser, disruption, destruction or modification.
3. Digital Signature
The digital signature is the technique to authenticate the validity of a digital message or a document. A lawful digital signature offers the security to the receiver that the message was generated by a recognized sender, such that the sender can not repudiate having sent the message.
4. Certifying authorities
Certifying Authority means a person who has granted a licence to issue an electronic signature Certificate.
Appointment of Controller and other officers
The Central Government may elect a Controller of Certifying Authorities for this Act and also appoint such number of Deputy Controllers, Assistant Controllers, other officers and employees as it deems fit.
Functions of Controller
- Handling supervision over the activities of the Certifying Authorities;
- Certifying public keys of the Certifying Authorities; furthermore,
- Setting down the measures to be maintained by the Certifying Authorities;
- Defining the qualifications and experience which employees of the Certifying Authority should hold;
- In addition, defining the conditions subject to which the Certifying Authorities shall manage their business;
- Further, defining the written, printed or visual materials and advertisements contents that may be shared or used in respect of an electronic signature Certificate and the public key;
- Specify the form and content of an electronic signature Certificate and the key;
- Stipulating the form and manner in which accounts shall be maintained by the Certifying Authorities;
- Defining the terms and conditions subject to which auditors may be appointed and the remuneration to be paid to them;
- Also, strengthening the institution of any electronic system by a Certifying Authority either individually or collectively with other Certifying Authorities and administration of such systems;
- In addition, stipulating the manner in which the Certifying Authorities shall conduct their dealings with the subscribers;
- Further, settling any conflict of interests between the Certifying Authorities and the subscribers;
- In addition, setting down the duties of the Certifying Authorities;
- Furthermore, preserving a database comprising the disclosure the record of each Certifying Authority which containing such particulars as may be specified by regulations, which shall be accessible to the public.
Different kinds of offences under the Information Technology Act. (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law)
1. Tampering with computer source documents
When a person intentionally or deliberately hides, destroy or modify any computer source code which is used for the computer, computer programme, computer network or computer system, when that source code has need to keep and maintain by law for the time being in force. Punishment – imprisonment up to 3 years or fine up to 2 Lakhs or both.
2. Computer-related offence (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law)
Any act with dishonesty or fraudulently which are referred to in section 43. Punishment – up to three years or fine up to 5 Lakhs or both.
3. Sending offensive messages through communication service
Whoever sends with the help of computer resource or communication device
- the information which is wholly objectionable or which has impending character-the information which he recognises to be false use to cause a nuisance, inconvenience, obstruction, insult, danger, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred with the help of computer resource or communication device.
- any information sent through electronic mail or electronic mail message to cause trouble or annoyance or to mislead or cheat the addressee about the origin of such message. Punishment- up to three years or with fine.
4. Fraudulently receiving stolen computer resource or communication device
Any person who fraudulently obtains or retains any stolen computer resource or communication device, which knowingly to be stolen computer resource or communication device. In that case, it amounts to the offence of fraudulently receiving stolen computer resource or communication device. Punishment – imprisonment up to three years or with fine up to rupees one lakh or with both.
5. Identity theft
Any person who dishonestly or fraudulently make use of the electronic signature, password or any other sole identification feature of any other person. Punishment – Imprisonment up to three years and with fine up to rupees one lakh.
6. Cheating by personation by using computer resource
However, any person who with the help of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation. Punishment – Imprisonment up to three years and fine up to one lakh rupees.
7. Violation of privacy
Whenever any person deliberately or knowingly takes image, record videotape, publishes or carries the image of a private area of any person without his or her permission, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person. Punishment – Imprisonment up to three years or with fine not more than two lakh rupees or with both.
8. Cyber terrorism (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law)–
When any person with an aim to endanger the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to attack terror in the people or any section of the people by:
- Repudiating the access to any person authorised to access computer resource; or
- Attempting to enter or access a computer resource without permission or beyond authorised access; or
- Presenting or causing to introduce any computer contaminant
However, this offence consider as more serious kind of offence. Punishment – May extend to Imprisonment for life.
9. Transmitting or Publishing the offensive material in electronic form
It contains publishes or spreads any material in the electronic forms which is the scandalous interest or if its impact is such as to lead to deprave and fraudulent persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter included or incorporated in it. Punishment – Imprisonment up to three years and with fine up to five lakh rupees.
10. Transmitting or Publishing the material containing the sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form
It contains publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any object which includes a sexually explicit act or behaviour. Punishment – Imprisonment up to 5 years and with fine up to 10 lakh rupees.
11. Transmitting or Publishing of material representing children in the sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form
When a person –
publishes or transfer material which represents children involved in the sexually explicit act or conduct in electronic form.Or
generates digital pictures or text, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges or distributes material portraying children in an offensive or immoral or sexually explicit manner in any electronic form. Or
encourages, lures or provokes children to online relationship with one or more children for and on a sexually specific act or in a manner that may offend a reasonable adult on the computer resource. Or
promotes exploiting children online, or
records in any electronic form own exploitation or that of others concerning to sexually explicit act with children. Then, in that case, the person has committed the offence of Transmitting or Publishing the material containing the sexually explicit act. Punishment – Imprisonment of up to 5 years and with fine up to 10 lakh rupees
The Information Technology Act also provides certain penalties as under(Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law):
1. Penalty for misrepresentation
When any person suppresses, hide or misrepresent any substantial fact from the Certifying Authority or the Controller for getting any electronic signature Certificate or license. In that case, it may amount to misrepresentation. Punishment – Imprisonment up to two years, or with fine up to one lakh rupees, or with both.
2. Penalty for Breach of privacy and confidentiality
When an individual who has provided secured access to any electronic record. And he reveals such electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material to any other person. In that case, It may amount to a breach of confidentiality and privacy. Punishment – Imprisonment up to 2 years, or with fine up to 1 lakh rupees, or with both.
3. Disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract
When any person or a mediator under the terms of a legal contract has provided secured access to any material including personal about another person. And with the intent to cause wrongful loss or wrongful gain and without the permission of the person concerned, or in breach of a valid contract provide such material to any other person. In that case, he has committed the offence of breach of lawful contract. Punishment – Imprisonment up to three years or with fine up to 5 lakh rupees, or with both.
4. False Publication of electronic signature Certificate in certain particulars
Publication of electronic signature certificate and make it available to any other person with knowledge that 1)when certifying authority listed in certificate has not issued it. 2)The subscriber which has listed in the certificate not accepted it. 3)And the certificate has cancelled or suspended. In that case, it may amount to publication of false electronic certificate. Punishment – Imprisonment up to 2 years or with fine up to 1 lakh rupees or with both.
5. Fraudulent purpose Publication
When any person intentionally creates, publishes or otherwise makes available an electronic signature Certificate for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose. In that case, it may amount to the offence of Publication for a fraudulent purpose. Punishment – Imprisonment up to two years or with fine up to 1 lakh rupees, or with both.
Conclusion (Important Aspects of Information Technology Act/ Cyber Law)
In conclusion, after the implementation of the Information Technology Act, 2000, India has become one of the few countries in the world that have a distinct law to deal with IT offences and issues. However, this has made unbelievable evolution in the arenas of e-commerce and internet communications. Moreover, which has in turn and resulted in progressive monetary development. Therefore, the Information Technology Act is important as it touches all aspects of transaction and activities conducted on the internet.