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Question – India is a large social media user country, where cyber-crime is spreading its wings. Discuss the government’s efforts towards tackling cyber-crimes. – 20 May 2021
- Today, there are two aspects of security, which are paramount. The first relates to physical security from the corona virus, and the second is ‘payment protection’ from the increasing number of cyber frauds. To reduce the risk of spreading from shared surfaces such as cash or cards, the government and other regulatory bodies, such as NPCI, are encouraging citizens to make digital payments. While this move has brought many customers under the ambit of “Digital India”, it has also given a big boost to cyber fraud. Cybercriminals are using various deceptive means such as fear, lack of knowledge and catchy emails to deceive vulnerable customers such as first-time or non-tech-savvy users.
- The faster we are moving towards digital world, the faster the number of cyber crime is also increasing. Man’s dependence on the Internet has also increased at the same speed as technology has progressed. Sitting at one place, the access of human beings through the Internet has become easier to every corner of the world. In today’s time, every item and service that a person can think about, can be accessed through the Internet, such as social networking, online shopping, storing data, gaming, online study, online jobs, etc. Today, the Internet is used in almost every region. Along with the development of the Internet and its associated benefits, the concept of cyber crimes has also evolved.
- Currently, a large section of India’s population is a user of social networking sites. There is a lack of information about the proper use of social networking sites in India. In addition, the servers of most social networking sites are foreign, making it difficult to get to the root of cybercrime in India.
- There are various forms of cyber crime. A few years ago, there was a lack of awareness about crimes committed through the Internet. In cyber crimes cases, India is not far behind those countries where the rate of incidents of cyber crimes is also increasing day by day. In cases of cyber crime, a cyber criminal can use a device to disable a user’s personal information, confidential business information, government information or a device. Selling or buying the above information online is also a cyber crime.
- There is no doubt that this is a criminal activity, which is carried out by the use of computers and the Internet. Cybercrime, also known as ‘electronic crime’, is a crime in which a computer, network device, or network is used as an object or device to commit any crime.
- Such crimes include cyber extortion, identity theft, credit card fraud, hacking personal data from computers, phishing, illegal downloading, cyber stalking, virus propagation, and so on. It is worth noting that software theft is also a form of cyber crime, in which it is not necessary that the cyber criminal commit the crime through online portal.
Classification of Cybercrime
According to cyber experts, the category of crime can be divided into two classes-
- Offenses in which computers are attacked. Examples of such crimes are hacking, virus attacks, etc.
- Offenses in which a computer is used as a weapon / device /. These types of crimes are cyber terrorism, IPR violations, credit card fraud, pornography etc.
Government’s efforts towards dealing with cyber crimes
- The ‘Information Technology Act, 2000’ was passed in India, the provisions of which together with the provisions of the Indian Penal Code are sufficient to deal with cyber crimes.
- The Government issued the ‘National Cyber Security Policy, 2013’, under which the Government set up the ‘National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center-NCIIPC’ for the protection of ultra-sensitive information.
- In order to develop human resources in the field of information security at various levels, the government has launched the ‘Information Security Education and Awareness: ISEA’ project.
- The ‘Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)’ has been set up by the government, which is a national level model agency for computer security.
- A ‘Cyber Sanitation Center’ has also been set up to deal with cyber crimes in a coordinated and effective manner in the country. It is a part of the Digital India campaign of the Government of India under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology-MeitY.
- India is coordinating with countries like US, UK and China to adopt best practices in terms of information sharing and cyber security.
- Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Center-I4C has been established for inter-agency coordination.
India is the third largest user of the Internet and cyber crimes have increased manifold in recent years. Several steps have been taken by the government to provide cyber security. It is necessary to ensure cyber security in India as it is moving towards adopting a cashless economy. The success of the Digital India program will depend to a large extent on cyber security, so India will have to work at a rapid pace in this area. On the other hand, social media has given a new dimension to the right to freedom of expression; today every person can express their views and reach thousands of people through social media without any fear, but it is only with careful use of social media that we can protect ourselves from online fraud and serious threats.