The cyberspace, today, is full of dangers and pitfalls. For beginners, it is easy to get trapped in a scam or have their pictures and information stolen. The ways in which this stolen information is used are numerous and unimaginable. Perpetrators are constantly finding new ways of hiding themselves and sneakier ways of fooling individuals. It becomes more dangerous when children come into the picture. There needs to be a set of concrete laws and by-laws overlooking the space.
Additionally, the rate at which the internet is growing is beyond anyone’s expectations and ability to control. There is an immediate need for machinery or a system to protect the whole country. This is where cyber law comes into play. India has the Information Technology Act, 2000 overlooking the cyber law in the country.
What is Cyber Law?
Cyber Law is an umbrella term that also means the law of the internet. It is a system that has been designed to better use the internet and associated devices. All legal issues that could possibly arise from the use of cyberspace, are dealt with cyber laws. Some topics that Cyber Law covers are security, identity theft prevention, e-commerce, intellectual property, etc.
Cyber Laws vary from country to country and are an area of law that is changing rapidly. Punishments vary from minor fines to imprisonment, depending on the gravity of the crime committed. Cyberlaw is an emerging topic of study in the field of law today. Notably, Kalinga University has similar Cyber Law courses too.
What are Cyber Crimes?
Cybercrimes are crimes committed using a computer and/or an internet connection. The crime usually involves stealing sensitive private information of personal finance and others, intellectual property rights, phishing, virus, and malware attacks. Other examples of cyber crimes include cyberbullying, online harassment, and trafficking. Attackers are getting constantly creative in the ways to commit these crimes. Governments are updating existing laws and creating new ones to tackle them.
Importance of Cyber Law
Cyberlaw has several uses, from personal safety to safety for business owners. Elaborated below are some of the major ways, how the role of cyber law is important to India.
- Safety for financial transactions: Cyberlaw protects online monetary transactions. All bills and payments are majorly done online today. Proper cyber laws make sure no financial information like a bank account, transaction details, etc is leaked.
- Safety for businesses: Since the pandemic, organizations have been functioning online. All data is stored virtually in clouds, making it easier to access it anywhere. Cyberlaw taught in top law colleges in Raipur covers how to protect this. Businesses can safely make payments and receive payments online because of cyber law. This level of security also leads to faster growth and expansion of businesses.
- Protecting digital signatures: Contracts are signed off virtually today. This makes the process quick and less time is wasted on sending physical copies between both parties. However, without cyberlaw, digital signatures are valuable pieces of information in the wrong hands. Also, cyber laws legally recognize digital signatures. Any contract completed with a digital signature is legally valid in India.
- Protection against cyberbullying: Today, a majority of teenagers and young adults report being cyberbullied online. A similar number has also received threats of some form through online modes. Online school is still in force due to the pandemic, forcing children to need to spend more time online. While it is not possible to limit internet usage for children, it would be wise to have laws to protect them. Without cyber laws, there is no way of holding the accused liable for their crimes and preventing future crimes.
- Improves productivity: The Internet has several viruses that can attack our devices without our knowing. In the midst of the workday, the device can crash and hamper progress. Cyberlaw protects against viruses and enhances productivity. Several emails are exchanged daily with much information in them. Loss of any one of such emails is possible without proper cyber laws. Data protection and privacy are a big boon of cyber laws.
- Safeguarding intellectual property rights: Intellectual property refers to copyrights, trademarks, licenses, patents, etc. Intellectual property rights are covered by cyber laws. The non-availability of proper laws would mean that wrong people can make money off another person’s creation. In extreme cases, one can also claim ownership of a property. Cyberlaw is integral for intellectual property rights.
- International crimes: Internet crimes are committed irrespective of the country’s boundaries. A person in India could be using an internet connection from the USA to transfer money to a Swiss bank account. The absence of cyberlaw would make these criminals hard to charge in the country they are from.
Cyber Law in India
In India, the Information Technology Act of 2000 covers all cyber laws in the country. Post launching the act, the Indian Cyber Act or the Internet Law was enforced. The Act covers various sections involving various cybercrimes. The primary goal of the act is to extend protection to all forms of electronic data and transactions. For example, there are sections on cyber terrorism, data protection, cheating using computers, predatory behavior online, etc. The IT Act has fines of up to INR 10 crores and 10 years imprisonment, depending on the crime. Since its launch, there have been several updates and changes to the Act to make it more up-to-date and to include more of the recent crimes.
A crime-free cyberspace is nothing but a distant impossible utopian dream. However, it is possible to take steps close to this dream. Enrolling in a BA LLB college in Raipur, earning a degree, and educating about cyber law are the ways to go about the problem. The internet has advanced the human race by leaps and bounds. Efforts should be made to keep it as safe as possible. A strong cyber law structure will not only help in tackling existing issues but also keep future crimes in check.