Cyber Crime

Crime is both a social and economic phenomenon. It is as old as human society. Crime in any form affects all the members of society. In developing economies, cybercrime has increased at rapid strides, due to the rapid diffusion of the Internet and the digitalization of economic activities. Thanks to the huge penetration of technology in almost all walks of society right from corporate governance and state administration, up to the lowest level of petty shop keepers computerizing their billing system, we find computers and other electronic devices pervading the human life

Information Technology Act 2000 nor in the I.T. Amendment Act 2008 nor any other legislation in India defines Cybercrime. To define cybercrime, we can say, it is just a combination of crime and computers. To put it in simple words ‘any offence or crime in which a computer is a target or instrument or source is a cyber crime’.

Mid 90’s sawed an impetus in globalization and computerization, with more and more nations computerizing their governance, and e-commerce seeing enormous growth. Until then, most international trade and transactions were done through documents being transmitted through the post and by telex only. With much of the international trade being done through electronic communication and with email gaining momentum, an urgent and imminent need was felt for recognizing electronic records ie the data that is stored in a computer or external storage attached thereto.

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted the Model Law on e-commerce in 1996. The General Assembly of United Nations passes a resolution in January 1997 inter-alia; recommending all States in the UN to give favorable considerations to the said Model Law; which provides for recognition to electronic records and according in the same treatment like a paper communication and record.

Information Technology Act 2000

It is against this background the Government of India enacts its Information Technology Act 2000; with the objectives stated in the preface to the Act itself. Thus in 2000, the legislature enacts The Information Technology Act, 2000. The Act got the President’s assent on 9 June, and; was effective from 17 October 2000. The act essentially deals with Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents, Legal Recognition of Digital Signatures, Offenses and Contravention, Justice Dispensation Systems for cybercrimes.


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