September 17, 2018

Cybersecurity – The Indian aspect

 


The advancement of technology facilitates the expansion of the horizon of electronic media but it also gives rise to the risks posed while using the online system. Threats created in the cyberspace, challenge the safety of the users. The legislative bodies of the country work consistently towards safeguarding the interests of the persons active on the e-platforms.

Legal structure in India

With a view to regularize the validity of e-documents and protect users of the cyber world, the Government of India enforced the Information Technology Act, 2000 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”). The Act aims to shield the users against the dangers of cybercrimes. Owing to the usage of the electronic mode for criminal purposes, it often becomes difficult to prohibit such activities. However, the Act provides penal consequences in the event of occurrence of offences over the cyberspace.

Cybercrimes

Some of the cyber activities which are regarded as offences and legal consequences thereof under the provisions of the Act are stated below:

  • Damage to computer, computer system (Section 43 of the Act)
    Where a person without the consent of the owner, or any other person who is in charge of a computer system, accesses, downloads, copies information, causes introduction of virus, damages/ disrupts the computer, denies access, facilitates remote access to third party, etc. he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation not exceeding INR 100,000,000 to the person so affected.
    Any person who dishonestly, or fraudulently, does any act referred above shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two three years or with fine which may extend to INR 500,000 or with both. (Section 66 of the Act)

  • Tampering with Computer Source Documents (Section 65 of the Act)
    Any person who knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to INR 200,000 or with both.

  • Sending offensive messages through communication service (Section 66A of the Act)
    Any person involved in sending any information, through electronic media, which he knows to be false for purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two three years and with fine.

  • Identity theft (Section 66C of the Act)
    Whoever, fraudulently or dishonestly make use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to INR 100,000.

  • Cheating by impersonation by using computer resource (Section 66D of the Act)
    Whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable a to fine which may extend to INR 100,000.

  • Violation of privacy (Section 66E of the Act)
    Whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding INR 200,000, or with both

  • Cyber Terrorism (Section 66F of the Act)
    Whoever, with the intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people, knowingly or intentionally penetrates or accesses a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorized access, denies access or introduces a computer contaminant, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life’.

  • Publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form (Section 67 of the Act)
    Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published in the electronic form, any obsence material shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and a with fine which may extend to INR 500,000 (1st conviction) and with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to INR 1,000,000 (subsequent conviction).

  • Publishing or transmitting of material depicting sexually explicit act, etc. (Section 67A & 67B of the Act)
    Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with a fine which may extend to INR 1,000,000 at first conviction and with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to INR 1,000,000 on subsequent conviction.

  • Unauthorized access to the Protected system (Section 70 of the Act)
    Any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system which directly or indirectly affects the facility of Critical Information Infrastructure, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.

  • Breach of confidentiality and privacy (Section 72 of the Act)
    Any person, who has secured access to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material without the consent of the person concerned discloses such electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material to any other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to INR 100,000, or with both.

  • Disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract (Section 72A of the Act)
    Any person, who while providing services under the terms of lawful contract, has secured access to any material containing personal information about another person, with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or wrongful gain discloses, without the consent of the person concerned, or in breach of a lawful contract, such material to any other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with a fine which may extend to INR 500,000, or with both.

  • Publishing Digital Signature Certificate false in certain particulars (Section 73 of the Act)
    Any person who publishes an Electronic Signature Certificate or otherwise make it available to any other person with the knowledge that the Certifying Authority listed in the certificate has not issued it; or the subscriber listed in the certificate has not accepted it; or the certificate has been revoked or suspended, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to INR 100,000, or with both.

  • Publication of Electronic Signature for fraudulent purpose (Section 74 of the Act)
    Whoever knowingly creates, publishes or otherwise makes available an Electronic Signature Certificate for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to INR 100,000, or with both.

Going forward

With the increasing focus of the Government on digitalization of the country, most of the transactions have acquired a digital form. It is necessary to create awareness among people regarding the importance of cybersecurity. The Government campaigns to alert the citizens regarding the maintenance of confidentiality of their sensitive personal information.

For more information please write to us at : info@ssrana.com

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