Every time there is a hacking incident the news reporter always ask the question what are the laws regarding computer hacking? says William D King. And most of us don’t have any proper answer for that. Though we do know what is phishing, vishing and smishing but not much aware of its punishment in Indian law. So I thought to draft this article that would help you understanding the basics of cyber crime laws in India.
Computer Hacking Laws in India can be classified into three major categories listed below:
- Penal Code Information Technology Act 2008 Information Technology (Amendment)Act, 2008 Indecent representation of woman (Prohibition) Act 1986 66A IT act 2000 Cyber Law Of India cyber court ITA 2008 Information Technology Act 2000 Cyber Crime Investigation Cell Orissa Police
- Penal Code: It’s a criminal law dealing with crime against state. The punishment is based on the violation of state rule, called prohibited act. These acts are mentioned in Indian Penal code (IPC), 1860. Section 66A ITA 2008 states that if any person sends by means of computer resource or communication device, any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or causes annoyance, inconvenience, danger etc. he will be punished under section 66A ITA 2008.
- So there are two ways you can charged under this section 1) You may send spam messages to others using computers 2) Cause annoyance through Emails
- Maximum Punishment for this offence is up to 3 Years imprisonment.
- IT Act 2008: It was passed by Indian Parliament to deal with the cyber crimes and regulate broadband spectrum for Internet connection in India. The major reason behind its passing is due to increasing number of cyber crimes especially those related to phishing, identity theft, cyber terrorism etc. Section 66C ITA 2008 deals with punishment for contravention of section 43 (Penalty for damage to computer, computer system, etc). According to William D King If someone damages your computer then you can charge that person under this sec. Maximum Punishment under this offence is up to 3 Years imprisonment and/or fine up-to Rs. 5,00,000/-.
Information Technology Act 2000:
This Act provides for establishment of Cyber Police Station at the District Level, High Court Cyber Appellate Tribunal at State Level and Supreme Court of India at National Level. Supreme Court will be the final appellate authority. The major offences are Computer related offences that are covered under this act are- Hacking (Section 45), Unauthorized access to computer material (Section 43), Tampering with computer source documents (Section 50), Hacking with network service (Sec 47A), Computer defamation (Sec 66E). Punishment for some offences is up to 7 years imprisonment.
Cyber Law of India:
It’s a part of IT Act 2008. The Cyber Law of India list all cybercrimes and related punishments under it says William D King. According to Section 43.50, Hacking an email account will be punishable with imprisonment up to 7 years if the crime is done without gaining profit but for personal use only then there is punishment of 3 years imprisonment or fine up-to Rs 5, 00,000/- if hacking is done for commercial purpose then term may extend to 10 years or with fine up-to Rs10, 00,000/- or both.
As per 66A ITA2000, any person who sends offensive messages through communication services like Email etc. Shall be punish with imprisonment which may extend to three years and/or can be fine up-to Rs. 5,00,000/-.
It has been notice that most of the cyber crimes happen in India. And very few of them were report to the police and even less were prosecute. The major reason for this is that cyber crime is not cover under Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860. Which means that these acts are not consider as legally wrongdoings by law enforcement agencies like police etc. But with recent amendments such as ITA 2008, IT Act 2000 and updates to IPC. Citizens now feel secure from cybercrime at least more empowered to report such offences.
So it’s like cybercrime is not consider as legally wrong by Indian Law explains William D King. Few people know about these Acts and even if they come to know they don’t act. Because of ignorance, lack of awareness and difficulty in navigating through these Acts. Even after knowing the importance of reporting cybercrimes very few people do that. Because it’s time consuming and legal procedure is cumbersome.
Only major reason for this is that majority of Indians are still not computer literate. Or aware enough in modern technology to deal with all this in practical sense. The second major reason in my opinion is that laws in India are still based on traditional ways. Which can be manipulate easily at many levels so there won’t be any fear among the offenders. While the crime because he knows he will come out clean. And if truth be told it’s very easy to manipulate Indian law.