The term ‘cyber crime’ is a misnomer. This term has nowhere been defined in any statute /Act passed or enacted by the Indian Parliament. The concept of cyber crime is not radically different from the concept of conventional crime. Both include conduct whether act or omission, which cause breach of rules of law and counterbalanced by the sanction of the state. Before evaluating the concept of cyber crime it is obvious that the concept of conventional crime be discussed and the points of similarity and deviance between both these forms may be discussed. CONVENTIONAL CRIME-
Crime is a social and economic phenomenon and is as old as the human society. Crime is a legal concept and has the sanction of the law. Crime or an offence is “a legal wrong that can be followed by criminal proceedings which may result into punishment.”(1) The hallmark of criminality is that, it is breach of the criminal law. Per Lord Atkin “the criminal quality of an act cannot be discovered by reference to any standard but one: is the act prohibited with penal consequences”. (2) A crime may be said to be any conduct accompanied by act or omission prohibited by law and consequential breach of which is visited by penal consequences. CYBER CRIME
Cyber crime is the latest and perhaps the most complicated problem in the cyber world. “Cyber crime may be said to be those species, of which, genus is the conventional crime, and where either the computer is an object or subject of the conduct constituting crime” (13). “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”(12) A generalized definition of cyber crime may be “ unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both”(3) The computer may be used as a tool in the following kinds of activity- financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, pornography, online gambling, intellectual property crime, e-mail spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, cyber stalking. The computer may however be target for unlawful acts in the following cases- unauthorized access to computer/ computer system/ computer networks, theft of information contained in the electronic form, e-mail bombing, data didling, salami attacks, logic bombs, Trojan attacks, internet time thefts, web jacking, theft of computer system, physically damaging the computer system. DISTINCTION BETWEEN CONVENTIONAL AND CYBER CRIME-
There is apparently no distinction between cyber and conventional crime. However on a deep introspection we may say that there exists a fine line of demarcation between the conventional and cyber crime, which is appreciable. The demarcation lies in the involvement of the medium in cases of cyber crime. The sine qua non for cyber crime is that there should be an involvement, at any stage, of the virtual cyber medium. REASONS FOR CYBER CRIME:
Hart in his work “ The Concept of Law” has said ‘human beings are vulnerable so rule of law is required to protect them’. Applying this to the cyberspace we may say that computers are vulnerable so rule of law is required to protect and safeguard them against cyber crime. The reasons for the vulnerability of computers may be said to be: 1. Capacity to store data in comparatively small space-
The computer has unique characteristic of storing data in a very small space. This affords to remove or derive information either through physical or virtual medium makes it much more easier. 2. Easy to access-
The problem encountered in guarding a computer system from unauthorised access is that there is every possibility of breach not due to human error but due to the complex technology. By secretly implanted logic bomb, key loggers that can steal access codes, advanced voice recorders; retina imagers etc. that can fool biometric systems and bypass firewalls can be utilized to get past many a security system. 3.Complex-
The computers work on...