Written By: Srijita Banerjee[1]

Abstract

We are all aware about the fact that this is the era, where most of the things are done basically over internet starting from online transaction to online schooling. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, in India, people are getting more used to do work from home. The “Cloud-Adoption” are being increased day by day.India is the 2nd largest consumer for smart devices and 2nd largest number of internet users after China. Since the web is considered as worldwide stage, the amount of cyber crime activities are coming into effect more and more. In order to penalize  the cyber criminals  the term “Cyber Law” has come into existence. With regard to the concept and concern I will try to focus on techno-legal part which covers issues like cybercrime like breach of privacy and confidentiality and its recent consequences in India during covid-19 pandemic

Keywords:Covid-19, pandemic, cloud-adoption, techno-legal, cyber-criminals, cyberlaw

  1. Introduction

Crime is both a communal and economic occurrence. It is as centenarian as human civilization. From various ancient books and mythological stories, we can get the idea about what crime is and how it impacted the society. As per psychology, there are 3 models we can get a clear idea about what crime is. Interestingly, A minor crime like stealing can be brought into extensiveconcept of “cyber-crime” if the deceiveruses computer or information stored in computer. The invention of Computer has made the human life easier to get access of the whole world in just one click. Techno-legal issues like Confidentiality, uninterrupted login over the internet, email-bombing are increasing in the E-era of  digitalization. Our country India ranks 2nd in all over the world in terms of targeted cyber-attacks by the fraudsters. We are now in the era of 4th industrial revolution where the process starting from manufacturing to selling,teaching to shopping -everything is connected through modern technology. Cyber laws are the laws that deals with the cyber-crimes. That also for free by cyber criminals. I think it’s a bigger message that’s coming across. And I believe we need to keep that into consideration as we move forward.

  • Techno-legal issues regarding Cybercrime

COVID-19 period has actually pushed up cyber attack numbers globally, and specifically in India. Cyber-crime has been reported one of the burning issues perceived by the organizations. A report McAfee estimates that the annual damage to the global economy is at $445 billion[2]. Satish R. and Henry D. (2012)[3] Authors in the article “A study on implementation challenges of E commerce in India” have discussed about the Global and Indian E-Commerce sales statistics to show the reasons why E Commerce is not accepted in India.

 There are number of cybercrimes those categories into the type where technology acts as instrument. Some of the crimes where technology acts as target are hacking for criminal purposes, malware threats, distributed denial.[4]

Conflict between the IPC and the IT Act: Case Law

In the case of Sharat Babu Digumarti v. Government of NCT of Delhi[5]the conflict between provisions of the IPC and the IT Act came to the fore. In this case, on November 27, 2004, an obscene video had been listed for sale on baazee.com (“Bazee”). The listing was intentionally made under the category ‘Books and Magazines’ and sub-category ‘ebooks’ in order to avoid its detection by the filters installed by Baazee.[6] A few copies were sold before the listing was deactivated. The company Bazee was not arraigned as an accused and this helped Avinash Bajaj get off the hook since it was held that, vicarious liability could not be fastened on Avinash Bajaj under either section 292 of the IPC or section 67 of the IT Act when Avinash’s employer Bazee itself was not an accused. But the charges under section 292 of the IPC were retained. The Supreme Court then considered if, after the charges under section 67 of the IT Act was dropped, a charge under section 292 of the IPC could be sustained. The Supreme Court quashed the proceedings against SaratDigumarti and ruled that if an offence involves an electronic record, the IT Act alone would apply. Further, section 81 of the IT Act states that the provisions of the IT Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force.

In the case of Gagan Harsh Sharma v. The State of Maharashtra[7], certain individuals were accused of theft of data and software from their employer and charged under sections 408 and 420 of the IPC[8] and also under sections 43, 65 and 66 of the IT Act[9]. All of these sections, other than section 408 of the IPC, have been discussed above. Section 408 of the IPC deals with criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant and states that “whoever, being a clerk or servant or employed as a clerk or servant, and being in any manner entrusted in such capacity with property, or with any dominion over property, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine“.

Offences under sections 408 and 420 of the IPC are non-bailable and cannot be compounded other than with the permission of the court. Offences under sections 43, 65 and 66 of the IT Act are bailable and compoundable.

Cybercrime in the era of Covid-19

COVID-19 has been a game changer.Well, I believe this particular lockdown period has been unprecedented.In the context of India,I particularly can say that this year have been the golden period for cybercrime[10] in the country, primarily because we have never seen in the last 25 years ever since internet was introduced in the country of a period where there has been such massive and fertile growth of cybercrime [11]across the world. It’s not only done by individuals, by adults, but also by children. Children are doing cyber crimes and at the same time are becoming victims of cyber crime.

let’s take the case in India, this company called Cognizant got hit by a massive ransomware attack the maze ransomware and so severe has been the attack that the company has already as of date lost more than 550 crore rupees, and the losses are still continuing to keep on happening.

It’s not just electric electricity systems that are under attack. It’s not just lawyers who are under attack.We’re also dependent now on platforms like zoom, MS Teams, G-meet etc.I believe the entire issue of cybersecurity[12] what we call a zoom bombing, and was able to display pornographic content, which led to the destruction of the meeting. Theseapps have become the new playground for cyber criminals. They have quickly began realizing that these apps are providing humongous volumes of not just normal information. The Indian IT Act has been amended in 2008 to provide a definition of cybersecurity, but it only provided with cosmetic provisions on cybersecurity. So in the absence of a national law on cybersecurity, we find that we are always going to be under some kind of a detrimental impact.

  • Recommendations
  • A better cyber law and effective cyber-crimes prevention strategy
  • Cyber-crimes investigation training requirements

· Formulation of dedicated encryption laws

· Legal adoption of cloud computing

  • Conclusion

The fight against cyber against COVID-19 comes to a close, we will be entering into a new age in cyberspace, that new era will be known as the new cyber world order, because things will be completely different states will become very powerful, there will be far more interception and monitoring, the digital liberties will be much more constricted. So it will be a new ground change reality that will have to be prepared for for the life after COVID-19. Cyber law is going to play a very important role. Because this is the only discipline of law that’s going to deal with the data and information in electronic form.


REFERENCES:

[1] Dept. of LL.B. (3-Years), Kingston Law College, West Bengal State University.

[2]Monalisa Hati  “Cyber Crime: A Threat to the Nation and its Awareness” available at https://www.ijarcce.com/upload/2016/july-16/IJARCCE%20138.pdf (visited on January 22, 2021) (at 4:18 pm)

[3] Available athttp://shodh.inflibnet.ac.in:8080/jspui/bitstream/123456789/3685/3/03_literature%20review (Visited on January 22, 2021) (at 5:28 pm).

[4]ibid

[5]AIR 2017 SC150

[6]Vinod Joseph &Deeya Ray “Cyber Crimes Under The IPC And IT Act – An Uneasy Co-Existence”

Available at https://www.mondaq.com/india/it-and-internet/891738/cyber-crimes-under-the-ipc-and-it-act–an-uneasy-co-existence (Visited on January 23, 2021) (at 8:12 pm)

[7] 2019 CriLJ 1398

[8]Indian Penal code 1860 available at https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/4219/1/THE-INDIAN-PENAL-CODE-1860.pdf (visited on January 22, 2021) (at 8:00 am)

[9]IT Act 2000 available at https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/1999/3/A2000-21.pdf (visited on January 23, 2021) ( at 7:30pm)

[10] Kaushik, Rahul Dev “Cyber crime in India a critical study in modern perspective” available at https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/189479(visited on January 23.2021) (at 9:30 pm)

[12]Raman Mittal &Neelotpal Deka, “Cyber Privacy”, 198 LEGAL DIMENSIONS OF CYBERSPACE (S.K. Verma & Raman Mittal (eds.), INDIAN LAW INSTITUTE.

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