Life is about a mix of good and evil. So is the Internet. For all the good it does us, cyberspace has its dark sides too. Unlike conventional communities though, there are no policemen patrolling the information superhighway, leaving it open to everything from Trojan horses and viruses to cyber stalking, trademark counterfeiting and cyber terrorism.
Given the unrestricted number of free Web sites, the Internet is undeniably open to exploitation. Known as cyber crimes, these activities involve the use of computers, the Internet, cyberspace and the World Wide Web. Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cyber crime.
While the worldwide scenario on cyber crime looks bleak, the situation in India isn't any better.Despite the Information Technology Act, 2000, there are still several grey areas that exist within the law. The IT Act, 2000, is primarily meant to be a legislation to promote e-commerce. It is not very effective in dealing with several emerging cyber crimes like cyber harassment, defamation, stalking and so on.
What we need is dedicated legislation on cyber crime that can supplement the Indian Penal Code. The IT Act, 2000 is not comprehensive enough and doesn't even define the term 'cyber crime'. In fact, the Act cites such acts under a separate Chapter XI entitled 'Offences', in which various crimes have been declared penal offences punishable with imprisonment or a fine.
Cases of spam, hacking, cyber stalking and email fraud are rampant and, although cyber crimes cells have been set up in major cities. The problem is that most cases remain unreported due to a lack of awareness.
The good news is that, despite these limitations, cyber crimes are detected and culprits are being punished. In cities such as Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai, where cyber crime cells do exist, there is potential for improvement. Law enforcement agencies are...
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