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Today as the culmination of the evolution of computer technology 'Internet'. The Internet is having its impact on every sector of society. Ordinary correspondence, book, newspaper publishing, library use, business activities, bank money transfers, train, air bookings, government administration procedures - all of these can be seen in the day-to-day operations of human life. The question before us is, the rules, regulations, and guidelines are already in place sufficient or not. 

There are various legal issues involved in e-commerce transactions conducted over the Internet. Similarly, crime on the computer and the Internet has increased. They infiltrate and damage computer systems. They spread malicious software and thereby infect computer systems around the world. Important information is stolen and lost from computer systems.

Various legal initiatives have been taken in various countries. The computer fraud law passed by the United States may be a precursor to e-laws. The UN resolution on e-commerce practices plays a significant role in the legal initiative. Malaysia, Singapore have enacted laws relating to e-commerce, electronic documents, electronic signatures. In 2000, India passed the Information Technology Act which explains electronic documents. and the penalties for computer crimes in detail.

The context in which the law of Information Technology is required

Computers and the Internet have brought about tremendous change in traditional business. Softwares are being copied illegally in violation of copyright. Spying on the activities of others and misusing their own personal information without permission have also increased. Pornography, information, caste, religion, ethnicity, and news that fosters, and false information abound on the Internet. Can such crimes be punished under existing criminal laws? Let us look in detail at the need for new laws in the new context.

Computer crimes

The e-laws arose due to the rapid growth of e-commerce. There are many other reasons for the need for e-laws. Foremost among these is the growing criminal activity on the Internet. Concerning criminal activity is on the rise in e-commerce practices and beyond. Computer Crimes, Cyber Crimes, Electronic Crimes, E-Hightech Crimes are all the different names given to the crimes done with computers. Some of such criminal activities are:

(1) Content:

All kinds of information are available on the Internet is good but sometimes it becomes worrying news. Internet is full of pornographic websites. Such websites have been established in various countries. The law of that country may allow this. But the website information is available to all nationalities. Pornography law is in force in India. But this law does not prevent pornographic information obtained from the Internet. It gives young people a chance to spoil themselves. Perceptions about sex vary from country to country and community to community. So there can be no universal common solution and law to this problem. Information that is prohibited by law in other media is published on websites. Messages to incite hatred based on caste, religion, language, and ethnicity can be found.

(2) Malware:

We all know about the malware “I LOVE YOU” which has recently hit and damaged computers all over the world in a single day, Technology has advanced to the point where it is possible to find out who had released the malware. The one (Philippines) who released “I LOVE YOU” malware was immediately arrested. But there was no suitable law in that country to give punishment for the crime he has committed.

(3) Software Theft:

Theft exists in many forms in the computer world. Software piracy is rampant today. Software theft is the act of illegally copying and pasting a piece of software that is being sold for money into a computer without paying for it. Some companies do not consider it a crime for users to copy their software to their own use and use it on home computers. But using such copied software in for-profit business activities is considered a crime. Apart from this, trespassing into the computer system and stealing important information should also be considered theft. But there are no proper rules for this in the current laws.

(4) Cash Frauds:

Commerce conducted over the Internet, transfer money to banking services as debit card details, username, password, and other confidential details are entered. Knowing these tricks, the crime of committing fraud has increased nowadays. New laws are needed to control this.

(5) UsersBreach of Privacy:

e-mail, mail groups, blogs, and instant messaging, enter and register their details on the form. Such personal information is used by the service provider or others for other purposes without the user's permission. It's like interfering with someone's privacy. Some clever programmers will open someone else's mailbox and read all incoming mail. There are also malicious programs that send emails to other people's email addresses. There are those who do these things for entertainment. New laws should be enacted to criminalize the misappropriation use of personnel details.

Indian Information Technology Act

Indian Information Technology Act was passed in the year 2000. Despite the fact that India has made this effort a bit late, one of the very few countries in the world that have enacted cyber law (12th country). The preamble states that the law is based on the UN e-Commerce Model Act. The two laws have many similarities as Singapore's Electronic Exchange Act was similarly developed. Documents relating to Negotiable Instruments, Trust, Power of Attorney, Will, Sale of Immovable, Property, as specified by the pointed out in the first part that the provisions of this Act do not apply to such documents. We will look at other special features of the Indian Technology Act in detail in this section.

Electronic Document and Credential Signature

Part II of the Information Technology Act defines the validity of electronic documents and signatures. In Singapore law where electronic documents and signatures are distinguished, in Indian law, the two are interpreted together. Although some law requires that a document be written, typed, or printed, it is still legally valid if the document is created in electronic form and made available for later use. This means that electronic documents will be considered legal just like written documents.

Although any law defines a piece of information or any detail as having to be signed or a person's signature on a document, if such information or details are attested by a, manner prescribed by the Central Government, a signed signature is considered legal, just like a written signature.

Government documents are permitted to be digitally signed documents or electronic documents. Any form, application, or document registered with the Government Office may be in electronic form. The license, permit, authorization, approval, or any other name issued by the government may be in electronic form. And Payment Receipt This also applies to both the above documents, retention and can all be done in electronic format as defined by the Government. The government will define which electronic documents are to be created, filed, stored, distributed.

If there is a provision in government offices that a particular document or information must be protected for a specified period of time, such document or information, even if stored in electronic form, will be legally acceptable. But the following conditions must be met:

  • The information in the document should be accessible later.
  • The electronic document must be originally generated and kept in the same format as it was sent or received. Or keep such information in a retrievable form as it exists.
  • The electronic document should have the facility to know the document origin, sender, receiver, time, and date

Any ministry, department, state government, or government agency of the Central Government cannot be compelled to retain and protect, accept, publish a document in electronic form. Official Gazette, any Government Order, Notice, or any such information may be published in electronic form.

Digital Signature Certificate

There will be separate companies licensed by the government to supply these certificates to customers. A person who needs the signature of the applicant should apply to the licensed company. You have to pay the corresponding fee not exceeding 25 thousand rupees. Fees will be determined by the Government from time to time. If he/she qualifies in accordance with the law Digital Signature Certificate will be issued. Or may refuse to certify for sufficient reasons.

The function of the Duty Signature Certificate may be suspended at the request of the Customer or in the public interest. If the certificate should be suspended for more than 15 days, ask him out well if he is no longer absorbed in the connection. The Certificate of Signature issued to an individual may be permanently revoked for the following reasons:

  1. At the request of the client
  2. If the client goes bankrupt or dies
  3. If the certificate is obtained by a group and the group is dissolved
  4. If there is a lot of mistakes in the given information
  5. If there is no sufficient reason to issue Digital Signature Certificate.
  6. If there is any breach of the confidentiality of the Digital Signature Certificate issued

If the certificate is withdrawn for the 5th and 6th reasons, the appropriate person must be informed. Companies licensed to issue the certificate must keep the license in their office for public viewing. Confidential information should not be compromised. The software and hardware should be secured so that no one should be allowed to tamper with maliciously or misuse sensitive information. The license that has been revoked must immediately hand over the license to the Regulatory Commissioner.

Offenses and Penalties

The various types of computer crimes and their penalties are described in the Indian Information Technology Act are:

  1. A source document that is legally protected on a computer, knowingly or intentionally hiding, deleting, is a crime. Being the cause for others to commit the above crimes is also a crime. One will be punished up to two lakh rupees or imprisonment up to 3 years or both.
  2. Stealing sensitive information in a computer or a computer network illegally, tampering the vital information is known as “Hacking”. One could be fined up to 2 lakhs or imprisonment up to 3 three years or both for committing a crime such as hacking.
  3. It is an offense to publish obscene content on electronic media. The first is punishable by a fine of up to one lakh rupees or imprisonment for up to 2 years. If the same offense is repeated, the penalty will be 2 lakh and imprisonment for 10 years.
  4. Concealing the information while applying for a license or a signature from the Regulatory Commission. The offense is punishable by a fine of up to one lakh rupees or imprisonment for up to 2 years or both.
  5. It is an offense to disclose information to others that should be kept confidential. The offense is punishable by a fine of up to one lakh rupees or imprisonment for up to 3 years or both.
  6. Deliberately creating Digital Signatures illegally or for fraudulent purposes, the issue is an offense by this law. The offense is punishable by a fine of up to one lakh rupees, imprisonment for up to 2 years, or both.
  7. Even if the crime is committed in another country, there is a penalty for damaging the computer, computer system, or computer network in India.
  8. Central and State Governments may declare in the Gazette that the Digital Signature Certificate issued is safer to use. Permission may be granted in writing to allow access to them. Violators of such a secure computer system could face up to 10 years in prison. The penalty will also be imposed.

The information technology revolution continues. So there can be no such thing as finished laws. The same is true of the Indian Information Technology Act. This also has to be corrected from time to time. In 2008, the Information Technology Amendment Act of India was passed. There is no doubt that Indian law is a pioneer in the fact that electronic laws have not yet been enacted in many countries.

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