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A Novice’s Chaperone to the Indian Cyberspace

 

  • Introduction

Frequent and properly driven conformity towards the provisions of Indian Cyber-law is crucial, also understanding the ecosystem that runs parallel to the I.T act is pivotal. I.T act of 2000 contains a colossal amount of guidance, paving ways for legal academicians/professionals to understand the know-how of this legal fraternity. Though primitively the scope if of the Information technology act seems to be in captivity, meagrely used within computer networks, but with the vast materialization happening across the smartphone ecosystem, the appositeness of the law was felt to be diversified. Rudimentary apprehension was still paramount.

Expanding its wings to all mobility-related devices, ultimately the IT act of 2008 amended the act of 2000. There were many loopholes that made it temporarily impracticable for the professionals to perpetuate their approach towards a case, these impossible to carry out conventional laws certainly made it difficult to cope up with the cyberspace.

The article covers a plethora of facets that’ll assist rookies to put their first step into the ecosystem which may seem cumbersome at first but seats a whole galaxy in itself.

  • Cyberspace

Refers to an augmented world, a mesh of computer networks that in its essence employs IP protocols for communication and data trade-off enterprise. Introduced by William Gibson in his book “Neuromancer”. By allowing users to share various sorts of information, engaging themselves in discussions online, having social forums, Cyberspace possesses a prominent proportion of the internet.

Cyberspace puts forward a mammoth economic and electronic efficiency, along with top of the class anonymity to the members, encryption software that is promptly available that coherently stow away confidential information of their users. Modern legislations were crucial to tackle this issue, cyberspace has absolute derision towards jurisdiction boundaries, and a person in Japan can break into a bank’s electronic security vault in Spain, within a Matter of Minutes.

  • Cyber Laws over Years

The foremost source of cyber laws in India in the Information Technology act, 2000, that came on October 17 the year 2000. The purpose was to cater to legal recognition to e-commerce and working alongside the government in filing electronic records.

Some drawbacks of the act were taken care of by the Information technology (Removal of Difficulties) order, 2002 which was passed on 19th September 2002. The introduction of the concept of electronic cheques came in the form of an amendment by the negotiable instruments (Amendments and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2002.

A legal framework is substantial, a chassis with provisions regarding filing of documents with the government along with the matter of licensing by the authority was provided by the Information Technology (use of electronic records and digital signatures) Rules, 2004.

Further-more, came into force on 17th October 2000, was the Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 2000. Primal rules prescribing the appointment and working of C.R.A.T.

The nation visions to enhance India’s position as the global IT hub and to use Information technology for substantial economic growth, keeping this in notion, the union cabinet recently in 2012 passed the National Policy on Information Technology. The policy aims an increment in the overall revenues of IT industries, targeting around 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

  • Realm and Relevancy

The pertinence of the act significantly increased with the amendment of 2008, section 43 of the act was replaced by section 66. “Hacking” a term used in the primal act was removed and now termed as “Data Theft”. Offences can include stealing of electronic signatures, publishing private information about an individual, demolition of any property. These offences fall under the ambit of section 66. Originally, sec 43 dealt these offences as civil in nature but the latter amendment made it open that if there is the criminal intent, then it will automatically attract criminal liability, Remedies including imprisonment/fine or sometimes both.

The amendments took place in certain other laws as well, to make sure that the provisions of Indian laws are refined enough to cope up with the current cyberspace.

The Indian Penal Code was also amended; the word inserted was “electronic”, putting electronic documents and records parallel to their physical counterparts. Sections concerning false records namely sec 192,204,464 etc. have since been amended as “electronic record and electronic document”.

Before the information technology came into existence, evidence was presented in a physical format only. Since ITA came into being electronic evidence was equally admitted. This amendment in its whole sense is incorporated in section 65B of the Indian Evidence act, 1872, that permits the “admissibility of electronic records as evidence”.

  • Conclusion

Cyberspace is a recurrent endowment of ours that is essential for the well-being of our ever-growing technology. To sum up the equation, a society can never be untethered from criminal activities but that doesn’t mean efforts cannot be put into practice to keep the crime rate lower; keeping in mind an economy that is developing and is highly sustained by technologies.

It should be the duty of three stakeholders; (i) The rulers, lawmakers, (ii) Internet service providers or banks, (iii) the users, to take indispensable care of the information they possess and ensure full compliance with the laws of the nation. Cyber laws though in some manner curb certain opinions online, cyber lawyers must counsel their clients over their limits and that they should restrict pursuing obscene content online.