By Priyanka Gehlot, Raffles University, Rajasthan.
Cyber crime is just another invention of a technological advancement. As more and more people started accessing internet, the paradigm of cyber space changed from a utopia to a doom and gloom. This vicious circle operates through technical methods of spoofing, onion routing, bot mapping which disguises the real Internet Protocol (IP) of the miscreants terrorizing the cyber space. As a consequence, we find phishing, hacking, cyber pornography, terrorism, piracy and other crimes unrestrained in cyber space. By the 21st century, though, hardly a hamlet remained anywhere in the world that had not been touched by cybercrime of one sort or another, from mobile threats to the privatization of financial banking Trojans and from hacktivism to account take over. Despite the alleged laws boasting of combating the cyber crime, the paradox is – ‘Virus is still emerging’
The first cyber crime took place in 1820 when Joseph-Marie Jackquard, a textile manufacturer in France, produced the loom, a device which allowed the repetition of series of steps in weaving of special fabrics. This leads to fear in the minds of Jackquard employees and they committed the act of sabotage. This was the first recorded cyber crime.
The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun. Tomorrow’s terrorist may be able to do more damage with the keyboard than with a bomb.Today, computers have come a long way with neutral networks and nano- computing promising to turn every atom in a glass of water into a computer capable of performing a billion operations per second. In a day and age when everything from microwave ovens and refrigerators to nuclear power plants are being run on computers, cybercrime has assumed rather sinister implications.
The first federal computer crime statute was the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984 (“CFAA”). The fact that only one indictment was ever made under the original CFAA before it was amended in 1986 shows how difficult it isto write effective computer crime legislation. The Internet is often referred to as the new “Wild West.” Like the Wild West, the Internet has brought with it opportunity and millions of new jobs. To combat the peril of cyber crimes, the Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe was the first ever document confronting this issue. It serves as a guideline for any country developing comprehensive national legislation against Cybercrime and as a framework for international cooperation between State Parties to this treaty.
In 1998, three members of the hacker group Milworm, as a protest of the Indian government’s nuclear weapons test program, broke into several servers of the India Atomic Research Centre and modified the organizations homepage and stole thousands of emails and related research documents. That same year hackers compromised and disabled filtering on a half-dozen firewalls used by China to filter its people’s Internet traffic.
With the dynamic pace at which Information Technology is impacting our lives, it brings forth challenges with myriad facets, including legal, socio-cultural and economic effects. The existing legal framework is more often not adequate to deal with emerging issues linked with new forms of technology. Many emerging trends are being discussed below that unfold from the popularity of social networking sites such as facebook, new technical concept of cloud computing and the dire need for convergence laws.
Social-Networking: – People shares information with each other and makes friends with them easily and the biggest example can be seen of facebook which has emerged as a source of cyber crime. Many people fail to understand when free speech can be regarded as hate speech, defamatory, menacing, annoying, etc. and they also not able to understand the implications of creating a fake profile, messaging offensive materials and due to which they invite cyber crimes to happen.
Romance Scams: The online contact is often a criminal sitting in a cyber café with a well-rehearsed script used to repeatedly and successfully scam others. Perpetrators of thesescams search chat rooms, dating sites, and social networking sites looking for potential targets. According to Internet Report, 2013, the total combined loss which is occurred due to this is $81,796,169.
Cyber Terrorism: – The biggest threat which is affecting our society in a big time is of cyber terrorism. and an instance can be seen where Ramzi Yousef destroyed the World Trade Centre in United States by causing damage to a US airliners encrypted files. In April, 2009, Chinese Cyber Spies hacked into Government systems using ghostnet in 103 countries which included the computer network that was used by Indian Embassies abroad and the systems of Dalai Lama. In an incident, CBI’s website was reported to have been hacked by Pakistan’s cybercriminals.Etc.
The problem behind the cyber crime is not of a technology or internet. The makers or founders of internet didn’t intend to create a technology to facilitate criminals. Instead, they created a technology which can help society to move forward. Because of the presence of internet, our knowledge is increasing and society has started growing on the whole, as we have become interconnected. The real problem does not lie with the internet; instead it lies with the law. The law makers are specialized personnel who possess knowledge about the internet and have access to it, but they are unable to work on a beneficial legislation. Our laws are lagging in comparison to the crimes. It is the duty of our Legislature to predict future consequences of crimes and work on devising laws to deter such crimes from being committed, as they are expected to posses special knowledge with respect to this field.