In recent years, cyber crimes such as hacking and phishing have been increasing at a rapid speed. This is one of the primary reasons why regulation and laws in the domain become extremely vital. However, not many know about the cyber security laws that exist in India. Knowledge of these regulations is compulsory in order to prevent cyber mishaps that might affect you. Therefore, we decided to curate a list of the cyber laws in India that one should definitely know about for their well-being.
Need For Cyber Crime Laws In India
Cyber crimes have been rising in the country lately, therefore, it is important that cyber crime laws in India are formed and implemented well. There are a host of problems that are a part of the cyber domain that India has been facing in recent times. A study on cybercrime cases by the Economic Times, a popular news agency, shows that such attacks have caused the Government of India to spend ₹1.25 lakh crore of funds each year, which is big enough.
In addition, research conducted by Kaspersky in 2020 noted that the number of such cases had increased from 1.3 million to about 3.3 million in just the first quarter of the Covid-19 year. In July 2020, the country recorded one of the highest metrics for cyber attacks in the nation. The reports revealed that about 4.5 million attacks had been recorded till the month of July 2020. The issues that the Internet has are endless and that is why the formation of better cyber crime laws in India is important.
Existing Cyber Laws In India
When the cyber laws of India are considered, we would like to note the four predominant regulations that work in the country. We have also provided information on the various sections of these acts that concern cybercrimes or attacks.
1. Information Technology Act, 2000
The India Cyber Laws list basically comes under the Information Technology Act that came into existence in 2000. The primary motive of this Act was to provide the legal acceptance of eCommerce business in the country and to have real-time registrations that are kept for record by the government. However, with time, the need for including the cyber laws of India section came up due to the misusage of advancing technology and the sufferings that it caused common people.
Therefore, the Information Technology Act mentions the set of India Cyber Laws that are to be enforced for the betterment of people. It notes the list of severe punishments and penalties that would be levied on the one who is committing a cybercrime. It is one of the cyber laws in India that have grave outcomes if one doing misdeeds in the electronic domain is identified. This is due to the fact that the interest of e-business, e-banking institutions, and e-commerce sectors is kept foremost under this act. The sections mentioning cyber crime laws in India are:
- Section 43: It is applicable to those who do damage to computer systems without having permission to access that system. In such a case, owners can claim them to compensate for the damages entirely.
- Section 66: This section applies to people who have been committing an act that is noted in section 43 dishonestly or fraudulently. In this situation, they might have to pay ₹5 lakh as a fine or serve imprisonment for three years.
- Section 66B: It includes punishments for receiving communication devices such as computers in a fraudulent manner. This would lead to imprisonment of three years. If it is very severe, the accused would have to be ₹1 lakh in addition to going to prison.
- Section 66C: This section deals with the theft and misuse of someone’s identity. It involves imposing digital signatures or hacking passwords along with other means of stealing someone’s identity. After the accused is proven guilty, they need to serve an imprisonment of three years and might even have to pay a fine of ₹1 lakh.
- Section 66D: This section of the India Cyber Laws list was added on demand, and it punishes someone who cheats on people by impersonating in any manner using computer assets.
2. Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1980
The Indian Penal Code harbours laws that concern almost all kinds of crimes in the country. This is why cyber laws in India also find a place here. Though IPC does not consider cyber security laws in India specifically, it does mention some rules and regulations that concern cyber issues and attacks. The relevant sections and their needs have been listed below.
- Section 464: Forgery
- Section 468: Pre-planned forgery for cheating
- Section 465: False documentation
- Section 471: Presenting a forged document as real
- Section 469: Damage of Reputation
3. Companies Act Of 2013
The Companies Act of 2013 governs the company stakeholders in various forms. Now, you might think that how the cyber laws of India come under this. Well, there are some provisions that talk about some related concepts. The act mentions that companies should be compliant with legal technological requirements. This is one of the main reasons why several companies not adhering to the guidelines have been revoked or denied registration.
The act has also vested powers in the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) which is responsible to prosecute companies in India along with their directors if they fail to comply with the cyber and technological regulations. The legislation under this act ensures that the regulatory needs are fulfilled by the companies operating in the country including e-discovering, cybersecurity diligence, and cyber forensics.
The Companies (Management and Administration) Rules, 2014, noted under this act states the rigid guidelines that concern cybersecurity obligations and duties of Indian companies along with their directors or decision-makers. This way the act mentions some of the cyber laws in India that are applicable to companies in general and not the common mass.
4. NIST Compliance
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) authorises the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCFS), which works towards a constant approach to upscale the cybersecurity conditions in the country. NIST is the most trusted global certifying body so it gives the Cybersecurity Framework a lot of power to enforce its decisions. Though NIST is from the U.S. a body is also set in India to make sure that cyber security laws in India are enforced properly. It contains standard guidelines and directives on the working of this domain. The advantages of NIFT CSF compliance have been noted below.
- Aids you in understanding, managing, and reducing cybersecurity risks including data loss, and the ensuing costs of restoration.
- Allows you to determine your most crucial and vital activities to offer critical operations along with service delivery.
- Certifies that you’re a trusted organisation, which provides security for your important assets
- Assists in prioritising investments and maximising the effect of each rupee spent on cyber security.
- Mentions contractual and required regulatory compliance.
- Facilitates your broader information security program.
A Regulated Ending!
Cyber laws in India are literally the need of the hour since the number of cybercrimes in the country has been increasing. However, without proper knowledge of the matter, people won’t be able to avail the benefits that these laws and regulations provide. Therefore, make sure that you have noted the cyber security laws in India (acts and other regulations) that have been discussed in the article above. Also, refer this read to people who are still unaware of laws that have been formulated in order to take care of them. In addition, do read up on using better cyber security services to stay safe from cybercrimes or attacks.