Today the internet has become an important aspect of everybody’s daily life. From basic communications to online shopping, it has taken over the world. Companies have also opted to continue their operations through the web. Resulting in the rise of e-commerce. Many governmental procedures are also taking place online and e-finance has seen a tremendous rise over the last year. With the growth of the web, the dangers associated with it have also risen. Cyber law acts as a shield over cyberspace, to prevent cyber crimes from happening. Although this is a difficult challenge for lawmakers and crime enforcement. The officials have taken it upon themselves to create and establish laws to prevent illegal activities that occur online.
Cyber Law or IT Law is referred to as the Law of the Internet. The Cyber law definition says it is a legal system designed to deal with the Internet, computing, Cyberspace, and related legal issues. The apt introduction to Cyber Law is: It is ‘paper laws’ in the ‘paperless world’.
Cyber law encompasses aspects of intellectual property, contract, jurisdiction, data protection laws, privacy, and freedom of expression. It directs the digital circulation of software, information, online security, and e-commerce. The area of Cyber Law provides legal recognition to e-documents. It also creates a structure for e-commerce transactions and e-filling. Hence, to simply understand the Cyber law’s meaning, it is a legal infrastructure to deal with Cybercrimes. An increase in the usage of E-commerce has made it pivotal that there are proper regulatory practices set up to ensure no malpractices take place.
The laws implemented for cybersecurity largely vary from country to country and their respective jurisdiction. The punishments for the same also vary from fine to imprisonment based on the crime committed. It is very important for citizens to know the cyber laws of their respective countries to make sure they are well aware of all information regarding cybersecurity. The first cyber law to ever exist was the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in 1986 that prohibited Unauthorized access to computers and illegal usage of digital information.
Just like any other law, Cyber law consists of rules that dictate how people and companies should use the internet and computers. While other rules protect people from getting trapped in Cybercrime run by malicious people on the internet. Although it is close to impossible to curb 100% of all cybercrimes, laws implemented all around the world assist Now the question arises, what are Cyber law and its importance? The importance of Cyber law can be understood by the following points:
Now you must be thinking why do we need Cyber Law?
As of early 2021, the number of people that use the internet is over 4.66 Billion. With that number increasing by 7% annually. This also means every day can account for almost 8,75,000 new users. Given this swift increase in the use of Cyberspace, implementation and the usage of strict cyber rules helps establish a safe and secure environment for the users. Living in a rapidly progressing world, the one thing to keep pace with it is the Internet. Although it initially started off as an information tool, today it helps with communication and commerce. Being highly sophisticated and developing every single day, the usage of cyberspaces has become common, hence the increase in cybercrimes is inevitable.
with maintaining order during online activities. If somebody is found breaking rules or Cyber laws, the victim person/firm can take action against that person.
Safeguarding data and privacy– Both private and professional information and data must be secured thoroughly. Personal and financial information always attracts cybercriminals. Misuse of this information by any other person is illegal and that is where these laws come into play. The basic steps to safeguard your data and privacy is elaborated below
Cybercrimes- These crimes are any illegal activities that occur on a networked technological device. These crimes include online and network attacks, extortion, harassment, money laundering, hacking, and many more.
Intellectual property- Intellectual property is basically an individual or group’s work, designs, symbols, inventions, or anything owned by them which are intangible and are usually patented or copyrighted. Now cyber theft would mean the stealing or illegal use of the same intangible items.
Electronic and digital signatures- Nowadays most individuals and companies use electronic signatures to verify electronic records. This has become reliable and regular. The wrong usage by another of this signature is illegal and hence a cybercrime.
Individual- Cybercrimes against individuals involve crimes like online harassment, distribution and trafficking of child pornography, manipulation of personal information, use of obscene data, and identity theft for personal benefit.
Property- Usage, and transmission of harmful programs, theft of information and data from financial institutions, trespassing cyberspace, computer vandalism, and unauthorized possession of information digitally are some of the crimes under the property.
Government- The crimes that come under this are cyber terrorism, manipulation, threats, and misuse of power against the Government and citizens. Groups or Individuals terrorizing Government websites is when this form of cyber terrorism occurs.
Due to the rapid progress in the technology sector, the usage of cyberspace has become a common practice. With this increase, it has a large number of pros but also a higher number of cons. Hence during the 21st century, the IT Act 2000 was introduced. This was implemented to ensure all online records and activities are brought under the spectrum of legal governance. India has been ranked to be in the top 5 amongst other nations for cyber threats. But it has only one strong law in place to face and fight any cybercrimes that are the IT ACT of 2000 and its amendments.
The Cyber Law IT act 2000 came into consideration on 17th October 2000 to deal with e-commerce and Cybercrime in India. Cyber law came into existence after the making of the Indian Constitution. So, it is a residuary subject handled by the Central Government and is not included in the three lists namely, Union, State, and Concurrent. According to the act following is the list of features of Cyber Law:
Although strict laws have been implemented, due to the pandemic there has been a drastic increase in the use of online financial transaction methods which has, in turn, led to an increase in frauds. The education and health sector has also undergone severe attacks after the pandemic hit. There has also been a hike of 500% in the number of security breaches that have affected many in India after the lockdown was announced.
With social media being the new-found forum for everyone to communicate and express their views, the Government of India has established new rules to regulate social media and OTT (over-the-top) platforms. It was duly established to curb the usage and propagation of hate speech. Another crucial reason is to address grievances people have faced. They will also track inappropriate messages and tweets to the first originator. This will be done by the Government or a court order directed to that particular platform. The Government also made it ascertain that they will not encourage anything that could be a possible threat to National Security.
The need for Social Media and OTT directives
There were no previously effective rules that ensured the content-driven on OTT Platforms were watched by an appropriately aged audience or not. However, now with the new rules & strict parent locks content will be delivered to the right audience
Although all of the above mentioned has been announced by the Government the formal version of the guidelines will be published in the coming months for a detailed understanding.
Cyber law came with the major objective to maintain law and order in all kinds of online activities and reduce Cybercrime. There are other objectives of Cyber Law as well. These will help you understand Cyber law better. These are:
Now let us discuss what are the types of Cyber law? The law has rules dictating behavior while using computers and the internet. It also prevents unscrupulous activities online. Some major types of Cyber Law are:
The Government has provided some beneficial measures for both public and private sector organizations to increase their standards of cybersecurity. One is the Public Procurement Order 2018 for Cyber Security Products where cybersecurity was named a strategic sector. It further mentioned that government agencies will prefer cybersecurity products that will be procured from domestically manufactured entities
You must now be aware of what is the definition of Cyber law and why we need Cyber law. Here are a few advantages of it. The organizations are now capable of handling e-commerce transactions using the legal infrastructure designed by the law. The law easily addresses issues of security and enables successful electronic transactions. The response time of any business deal is reduced considerably due to the storage of valid digital signatures. In short, the IT law has made our life simpler online but it advises us to stay vigilant always!
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