In India and in various parts of the world, there has been an augmented use of technology. Every user is using the internet for varied purposes, including messaging, watching videos, or even informational purposes. Various governmental and private organizations are using the internet, as a medium to reach every single citizen, in the country. Digitalization has played an extremely crucial role in the modernization of a country. Using the internet enhances learning, gives hefty amounts of information to all its users and helps in bringing friends and family together, all across the world. Subsequently, users can use the internet for selling products or even earn through certain jobs available, online.
The internet serves as a prerequisite and has now become such a mandatory requirement for everyone these days, especially the youth. Social media apps have also become inherently popular, as a result of cyber use because of the increased usage of Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. As a result, there is also a lot of personal information and confidential material of users on the internet, which could pose to be a huge threat due to the multiple hackers existing across various regions. This results in a compulsive need to build a strong mechanism to protect data users against cybercrime, comprising of laws and punishment, in case of fraud or any misuse, by a hacker. Failure to do so could do more harm than good.
Cybercrimes are the offenses committed online or digitally. This may be stealing personal information or hacking users on a large scale, resulting in tremendous loss of data for users. It is significant to know that digital crimes may not only be restricted against a person but also property or Government. If left exposed, it could result in cyber extortion or terrorism, causing gigantic problems, which will be difficult to control.
It is vital for the Government to introduce policies and schemes that protect the given information of the users of their country to prevent any sort of exploitation or leaking of any kind of data. It could be a platform for a greater threat, thus gradually increasing the vulnerability of digital users online. This can be curbed with the help of cyber laws.
Cyber laws are laws that cover most aspects of the digital world, to prevent fraudsters from getting away with stealing personal information of users online. Cyber laws could keep an eye on all the activities and transactions that occur on the world wide web and protect data. There is an indispensable requirement to not just prevent fraudsters but also hold cyber stalkers or those resorting to defamation, responsible for their offenses. Just like the real world, the digital world can also have similar consequences!
In India, the Parliament of India introduced the Information Technology Act in 2000. It legally recognizes and facilitates transactions, such as electronic commerce, and recommends digitalization as an alternative to ineffective paper-based methods of communication. It also gives legal recognition and supports original digital signatures for the authentication of any information in any process, requiring the same. This helps prevent the forgery of signatures in various instances. According to sources, India was the 12th country to enable cyber laws after passing this Act. Unlike the other Acts which are constrained to only India as its jurisdiction, this Act is applicable to the horrifying offenses committed outside India as well. Police officers have the authority to enter a public place for searching and arresting without a warrant, if there is solid evidence of hacking or online malpractice by any citizen. This smoothens the process of data protection and privacy.
However, the issue that arises with the current cyber laws is that these laws have not been created, in consideration of emergency digital problems. In addition to this, there is a need to ensure proper implementation of relevant cyber laws. Even though there is a law in place, there is a lack of enactment of the schemes and the issues are taken very lightly, with little or no attention at all. For instance, the Great Firewall of China is known for its digital protection as it monitors every single activity online and protects the public from any mishap whereas, in India, we hardly hear of complaints related to the digital world because of the lack of awareness about the same to Indians. Many of them continue to be perpetually unaware, of the cyber laws and resort to unethical practices online such as stalking, defamation, harassment, and even bullying, without knowing its consequences. Females are also at a great threat in the digital world, as they are often blackmailed and threatened with their pictures.
There is a rampant need to monitor computers and the internet, all the time. There can be no scope for a blunder, as it could potentially be a threat to a nation’s security and finances. Moreover, it could also result in an increase in the exploitation of younger children because of the gradual rise in child pornography and harassment. The most serious consequences of unprotected data could lead to copyright infringement or unwarranted surveillance of users on a daily basis, posing to be a greater threat for the citizens and a nation, affecting the global digital world, all at once.