The introduction of the internet has brought tremendous changes to our lives. People of all fields are increasingly using the computers to create, transmit and store information in the electronic form instead of the traditional papers, documents. Information stored in electronic forms has many advantages, it is cheaper, easier to store, easier to retrieve and for speedier to connection.
In order to keep in pace with the changing generation, the Indian parliament passed the law – Information Technology Act, 2000.[i] The IT Act 2000 has been conceptualized on the United Nations Commissions on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law.
Cybercrime is a generic term that refers to all criminal activities done using the medium of computers, the Internet, cyberspace and the worldwide web. Computer crime, or Cybercrime, refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target.
Cyber Crime is not defined officially in the IT Act or in any other legislation. In fact, it cannot be too. Offense or crime has been dealt with elaborately listing various acts and the punishments for each, under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and related legislation. Hence, the concept of cybercrime is just a “combination of crime and computer”.
Cybercrime in a narrow sense (computer crime): Any illegal behaviour directed by means of electronic operations that targets the security of computer systems and the data processed by them.
Cybercrime in a broader sense (computer-related crime):
- Any illegal behaviour committed by means of, or in relation to, a computer system or network, including such crimes as illegal possession and offering or distributing information by means of a computer system or network.
- Any contract for the sale or conveyance of immovable property or any interest in such property;
- Any such class of documents or transactions as may be notified by the Central Government Confidential.
Kinds of Cyber Crimes : Two kinds :
- Cyber Contravention
- Cyber offences
Diffrence between cyber contravention and cyber offences
|Basis||Cyber Contraventions||Cyber Offences|
|Meaning||Contravention is a breach of provision or rule made under the Act.||Offences is an execution of an act which is prohibited by law.|
|Deal with||Mainly deal with unauthorised or illegal access to computer, computer system or computer network.||Offences deals with serious types of crimes related to computer, computer system or computer network.|
|Nature||It is in the form of civil wrong here intention is not criminal in nature.||Mens rea (Inetntion) is an important ingredients in offence.|
|Prosecution||Contravention may result in civil prosecution (Here a person is liable to pay damages or compensation)||Offence may result in criminal prosecution (Here a person is punishable with imprisonment or fine or with both)|
|Investigation||The Controller of Certifying Authority under the Act or any other person authorised by him has the authority to investigate any cyber contravention.||A Police Officer not below the rank of Inspector’ shall investigate any offence under this Act (Sec.78).|