Crime is a combination of actus rea (physical action) and mens rea (mental intention). It affects the society in general, as it gives them fear, however their are various legislations and punishments that have been implemented by the Parliament to protect the society from such crimes and criminals. As there have been changes going on in the world especially with respect to technology, criminals have got their ways to do crimes, and when they are committed using the help of technology and software it is said to a “cyber crime”. Cyber crimes are on the rise in the 21st century, there have been legislations implemented to prevent cyber crime, shockingly no legislation ever defined what a cyber crime is. Cyber crime can be defined from common people’s point of view as the crimes which are either targeted to a computer network or use the help of a computer network in commission of a crime, which may lead to threat to an individual or something as large as the nation’s security. Hence, cyber crime is a deadly combination of crime and computer.
The cyber laws in India is not separately defined anywhere, it is a part of various legislations like the Information Technology Act, 2000 and even the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The IT Act, 2000 addresses the modern and new age cyber crimes whereas the IPC addresses all the traditional crimes like defamation,theft, forgery,etc which are being committed with the help of technology. The objectives of IT Act, 2000 are to provide legal recognition not only to cyber crimes but even to the transactions, and activities that take place in the cyber space, it also recognises digital signatures. It also specifies procedures on how to dispense such sort of crimes. This act is structured with totally 13 chapters with 90 sections, and the last four sections contain the amendments from four other acts which are the IPC,1860, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 and the Bankers’ Books Evidence Act 1891. This Act contains various definitions, applicability, crimes and its consequences.
There has been an amendment to the IT Act,2000, which has taken place in 2008, the main objectives of the amendmnet act are to focus on data privacy, give recognition to cyber cafe’s, focus on cyber security and the role of intermediaries, recognise the role of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, including additional cyber crimes such as child pornography and cyber terrorism, and even appointinf special officers to deal with cyber crimes. The different types of cyber crimes that have been recognised in India with specific punishments are hacking, identity theft, cyberbullying, cyber harassment, cyberstalking, copyrights, cyberterrorism, defamation, and where freedom of speech is utilised wrongly.
To sum up, cyber laws play an important role in today’s world of tech-savvy. Technology is a sword with two sides it can be used for your well being and even against it, we have become so dependant on technology in this generation, therefore there cannot be a world free of crimes, but the only way of preventing it is through effective and efficient legislations, which can be done with good leaders and lawmakers. Only if collective efforts are put, technology can grow in a legal and ethical way. Everything needs to have limits and boundaries even when it comes to technology.