In the cyber age of the twenty-first century, everything has shifted to virtual platforms. Information technology has drastically changed the lives of people. Excess computing has even resulted in people involving in various cyber crimes.
The blend of “Cyber” and “Crime” refers to the crimes committed through the computers and internet. Where indulgence in cyberspace has provided people with wonderful opportunities, overindulgence has resulted in the misuse of such a technology.
To protect individuals from the various crimes committed through the internet, the Government of India set up a Cyber Crime Cell.
Cyber Crimes, Cyber laws and Role played by Cyber Crime Cell?
Today not only individuals but government and corporate houses also heavily depend upon IT to run their operations. Thus, increased dependence on technology requires security measures to run smoothly and legitimately. However, in the age of the darknet, it sometimes becomes difficult to protect the data and other relevant information provided online.
Consequently, the digital age keeps the law enforcers on their toes to perpetually lookout for cyber laws.
The alarming nature of information technology and computing makes it necessary for the government to educate people about cyber law and security practices to prevent potential cyber fraud.
Such security practices include preserving sensitive data, records and transactions and executing security technologies like firewalls, anti-virus software, intrusion detection tools and authentication services to shield the sensitive data available on the computer systems.
Thereby, it becomes necessary for individuals using the internet to be aware of cyber laws to prevent the threat of cybercrimes.
Cybercrimes could be divided into two categories:
Crimes that target networks or devices
- DoS Attacks
Crimes using devices to participate in criminal activities
- Phishing Emails
- Identity Theft
Hence, considering the intense interaction of the cyber world and humans, cyber laws came into being. And, to make sure that the cyber laws are adhered to, a cyber crime cell was enacted.
Digital India Vision
The Government of India introduced the Digital India campaign to digitalise government services. The Indian government intends to make electronically available government services through online infrastructure. Hence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commenced the Digital India Vision on 1st July 2015. The vision further aimed to enlarge the domain of technology.
Digital India initiative also promised high-speed internet networks to rural areas. The Mission got introduced in corollary to other government schemes, including Make in India, Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Startup India, BharatNet, and Standup India.
Objectives Of Digital India Vision
With “Power to Empower” as its guiding principle, the “Digital India Initiative” works extensively for “digital infrastructure creation”, “digital delivery of services”, and “digital literacy”. Thus, the initiative promised:
- High-speed internet in all village areas.
- Secure access to “Common Service Centre (CSC)” in all the localities.
- Aiding the already initiated digital programmes.
- Synchronising the existing digital schemes to achieve larger goals.
Advantages of Digital India Vision
- Booming auto electronic transactions concerning e-governance
- Wide optical fibre network connecting Gram Panchayats under the Bharat Net programme.
- “Common Service Center (CSC)” constituted under the “National e-Governance Project” of the Indian government provides access to “Information and Communication Technology (ICT)” relating to e-governance, education, health, telemedicine, entertainment, and other government and private services.
- Development of “Digital Villages” with well-equipped modern facilities
Drives under Digital India Scheme
The Government initiated the following drives under the Digital India campaign. Some renowned drives are:
DigiLockers got introduced to empower Indian citizens digitally. It acts as a digital wallet where all the legal documents can get stored securely.
Under Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) government plans to bring onboard patients, hospitals and doctors through a single digital platform. As of the present, approximately 420 e-Hospitals joined the Digital India campaign.
An initiative by NCERT to showcase and disseminate academic e-resources like textbooks, audio, video, periodicals and diversity of other print and non-print materials through the website and mobile apps
Bharat Interface for Money app supports simple, easy and quick transactions using Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
Cyber Crimes against Women and Children
The easy usage and availability of the internet make cyberspace more accessible. Lack of know-how about the working of cyberspace and cyber law accentuates the criminal element in it. Cyber illiteracy often leads people to commit crimes.
The complex environment of cyberspace establishes a relationship between people, software, and services assisted by the global distribution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) devices and networks. Increasing penetration of technology in society and ICT innovations exacerbates cyberspace’s crime against women and children.
Such crimes against women and children in cyberspace have the following characteristics:
- Act as a digital analogy to the crimes committed in the physical world.
- Advance and speedy, thereby requiring timely prevention and detection.
- Difference in criminal mentality in cyberspace from that in the physical space.
Major cyber crimes committed against women and children are:
- Cyber pornography and obscenity
- Cyber Stalking
- Cyber Bullying
- Cyber Morphing
NCRB’ data count for cyber crimes against women and children during the past three years (2017-2019) are:
|Year||Number of registered cases|
Further, NCRB states that prime cyber crimes against women and children have been cyber blackmailing and threatening, cyber pornography and hosting, cyberstalking and bullying, defamation and morphing, fake profile.
Role of Cyber Crime Cell
The cybercrime cell plays a significant role in solving and preventing the happening of cybercrimes. Cyber crime cell provides a platform to file cyber complaints and redress the victims.
Though India introduced cyber laws to shield individuals and their online, such enacted legislation does not suffice with the dynamic nature of cyberspace. It falls short to save the victims in the event of the happening of the crime.;
To rectify the situation, Information Technology Act 2000 made specific changes in the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act and further implemented new regulations to fulfil the requirements of cybercrime investigation.
Steps to file Cyber Crime Complaint
Cyber Crime complaints in India could get filed in the following simple steps:
- Registering a written complaint with the cyber crime cell. With regards to the IT Act, cybercrime has global jurisdiction. Such a complaint could get registered with any of the cyber cells in India, irrespective of where it was originally committed.
- Filing a written complaint to the Head of the Cyber Crime Cell of the city where the complaint gets filed and personal details like name, contact details, and email address.
- Reporting the complaint to the police station with the help of legal counsel along with certain documents depending on the nature of the crime.
- Without access to the cyber crime cell, an FIR could get registered at the police station.
Steps to file complaints related to Social Media Cyber Crimes
- Apart from the above steps, it is necessary to register such a complaint on the corresponding platform where the offence got committed.
- Social Media platforms lay down procedures for reporting any abuse or other offences.
It is beneficial to report such crimes at the initial stages of their occurrence. It would enable the concerned social media platform to take immediate steps to block further activities and protect your personal information.
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube have formulated strict and clear redressal mechanisms to protect its users from online abuse and cybercrimes.
Documents Required to File a Cyber Crime Complaint
Complaints based on Mails
- A written offence brief.
- A copy of the suspected email received by the original receiver but forwarded emails are not valid.
- The header of the suspected email
- Alleged email and its header’s hard and soft copies
- A soft copy of the email must be provided in a CD-R
Complaints based on Social Media
- A copy or screenshot of the alleged profile or the content
- Screenshot of alleged content’s URL
- Alleged content’s hard and soft copies
- Soft copy of the content must be provided in a CD-R.
The internet and cyberspace have reduced the distance between people and turned the world into a social village in the technological age. However, the excessive intrusion of technology in people’s lives has opened up new paths to complicated crime known as Cyber Crime.
The recent addition to the criminal list, the cybercrime could harm anyone sharing the data online, but such crimes strike the women and children. Cybercrime could shape into cyberbullying, cyber molestation, cyberstalking, pornography, identity theft and even more.
To control the situation, the Central Government introduced cyber laws to safeguard society and formulated cyber crime cells to regulate the laws to prevent crime from shaping into more severe forms. But, the laws fall short in their approach despite serious changes made to both cyber and criminal laws. Despite the easy procedure to access the cybercrime cell, people lack awareness and find it difficult to lodge a complaint. Therefore, such a serious issue at hand requires thorough study to prevent its happening.
FAQs on Cyber Crime Cell
When was the first cyber crime cell set up?
In the year 2018 in New Delhi
Is it possible to file a Cyber crime complaint based on WhatsApp chat?
Yes, it is possible.
Could a cybercrime cell be withdrawn?
Yes, only if an FIR is not registered.
Where could an online cyber crime cell be registered?
An online complaint could get filed at the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal.