Attacks as well as criminal activities in cyberspace are rising. In fact, cyber criminals keep on changing means to cheat, leading to sufferings of people who are cheated by various means including through misuse of phone data and also blackmail them.
In this context, the Delhi high court said that it was saddening to see people are not aware that once they give access of their contacts and images to an app they have downloaded on their mobile phones, the developer, in case of being a criminal, misuses images, morphs them and sends them in inappropriate form to their social contacts, and thereafter, blackmails users.
Correctly, it observed that the courts have to remain conscious of the social context in which the crime is committed and how it impacts the society.
With innovation in technology and increase in usage in the cyberspace and digital infrastructure for businesses and services, cyber-attacks also continue to pose a threat to privacy integrity and availability of data and services, which may have indirect or direct impact on the economy of businesses and service providers.
There is need to deal with situation with more seriousness and legislation in this regard needs to be used more promptly. Information Technology Act, 2000 and rules made thereunder contain several provisions for safeguarding users in cyberspace. The IT Act penalizes various cybercrimes relating to computer resources, including dishonestly or fraudulently accessing a computer resource without the permission of its owner commonly referred to as hacking (section 66), identity theft (section 66C), cheating by impersonation (section 66D), violation of bodily privacy (section 66E), transmitting of obscene material (section 67), and publishing or transmission of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form (section 67A and 67B) and tampering with computer Source documents (section 65), etc. Each such cybercrime is punishable with imprisonment for a period that may extend to either three years or five years, and as per section 77B of the IT Act such cybercrimes are cognizable offences.
While laws are there, there is a need to create awareness about them and ensure there is a proper and swift mechanism in place to make cyberspace safe, trusted and accountable for all.
As has been rightly underscored by the High Court, there is need to act stringently against the criminals.
In case such criminals are not dealt with a heavy hand, such offences can be committed again and again.