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  • Zainab Akhtar

The Evolution of Cyberlaw: Navigating Legal Challenges in the Digital Age

Zainab Akhtar,

LJD Law College

Evolution of Cyberlaw


A common definition of cyber law is that it is the legal framework that regulates all legal matters relating to the internet, computer systems, cyberspace, and information technology. Cyberspace law deals with a wide range of issues, including contract law, data protection law, and intellectual property law. It oversees e-commerce and distribution of software, information and data security. Cyberlaw gives legal validity to electronic documents. The system also provides a framework for submitting forms electronically and conducting electronic trade transactions. Simply put, it is a law to crack down on cybercrime. As e-commerce grows in popularity, it’s important to ensure that you have the right policies in place to deter fraud. Cybersecurity is governed by various laws, many of which are territorial in nature. Penalties range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the crime committed. The first cyber law ever passed was the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. This law prohibits the misuse of digital data and illegal access to computers.

Concept of Cyber Crime

Internet usage has surged along with the number of cybercrimes. Media coverage of numerous cybercrimes, such as child pornography, crypto-jacking, identity theft, and cyberterrorism, is rife nowadays. Computers are either employed as targets, tools, or both in cybercrimes to carry out criminal behaviour. In our rapidly growing digital age, e-commerce and online stock trading have substantially grown, which has led to an increase in cybercrimes. Numerous profit-driven criminal activities, including ransomware attacks, email and internet fraud, identity theft, and scams involving financial accounts, credit cards, or other payment cards, are made possible by cybercrime. Cybercriminals might want to steal and sell business and personal data.

The Information Technology Act, of 2000, and the Indian Penal Code, of 1860 both apply to cybercrimes in India. The Information Technology Act of 2000 is the law that addresses matters relating to online crime and internet trade. The Act was modified in 2008 to include a definition and punishment for cybercrime, nevertheless. Additionally, changes were made to the Reserve Bank of India Act and the Indian Penal Code 1860.

Types of cybercrime

  • Child pornography or child sexually abusive material (CSAM)

  • Cyberbullying

  • Cyberstalking

  • Ransomware

  • Malware Attacks

  • Web Jacking

  • Phishing

  • Botnets

  • Prohibited Content

  • Denial of Service (DoS)

  • Credit card and debit card fraud

  • Impersonation and identity theft

Sections under IT Act in which cybercrime can be registered

  • Section 65: Tampering with computer source documents. Three years of imprisonment is awarded and a fine of up to two lakh.

  • Section 66: Computer-related offences. Punishment of up to three years and a fine of up to 5 lakhs. There are multiple subsections like 66C, 66D, 66E, and 66F under which offences are similarly booked.

  • Section 67: Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. Five years imprisonment is awarded and a fine of up to ten lakhs.

Sections of the IPC Act in which cybercrime can be registered are

  • Section 379: Punishment for theft of gadgets like mobile phones and computers. Punishment of up to 3 years and/or fine.

  • Section 420: Cheating and dishonesty like creating a bogus website. Punishment of up to seven years of jail/ or fine.

  • Section 463: Forgeries like creating a forged document or false record. Punishment of up to seven years and/or fine.

  • Section 468: Forgery for purpose of cheating. Punishment of up to seven years and/or fine.

Prevention of Cyber Crime

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has advised that the following methodology be used to approach the risk of cyberattacks:

  • The first stage is to specify the duties and functions of the employees in charge of managing cyber risk.

  • Finding the systems, resources, information, or capabilities that, if compromised, would jeopardise the operation, is the second phase.

  • It’s crucial to put risk-control procedures and backup plans in place to safeguard against a potential cyber incident and ensure operational continuity.

  • It’s crucial to create and put into practice strategies for swiftly identifying cyberattacks.

  • The creation and execution of plans to provide resilience and restore vital systems for ongoing operation.

  • Finally, decide on and put into action the steps that need to be taken to back up and restore any impacted systems.

Cyber Crime laws in India

There are five primary categories of laws that must be abided by in cybersecurity. Cyber laws are becoming more and more significant in nations like India which have extraordinarily high internet usage rates. The usage of information, software, electronic commerce, and financial activities in the digital environment are all subject to stringent legal restrictions. India’s cyber laws have aided in the growth of electronic commerce and government by ensuring maximum connection and reducing security concerns. Additionally, this has increased the scope and efficiency of digital media and made it accessible in a larger range of applications.

Cyberlaw may be required in the following situations

  • Everyone involved in stock transactions is now protected by cyber law in the case of any fraudulent activities because all stock transactions are now completed in Demit format.

  • The majority of Indian businesses use electronic records. This law might be required by a business to stop the misuse of such data.

  • Many government documents, including income tax returns and service tax returns, are now filled out electronically as a result of the quick growth of technology. By hacking into government portal websites, anyone can misuse those forms, hence cyberlaw is necessary in order to pursue legal action.

  • Today, debit and credit cards are used for shopping. These credit cards and debit cards are unfortunately duplicated by certain online scammers. A method that enables someone to acquire your information online is the cloning of a credit or debit card. Cyberlaw can prevent this as Section 66C of the IT Act stipulates a 3-year prison sentence and a fine of up to one lakh rupees for anyone found using an electronic password dishonestly or fraudulently.

  • Electronic contracts and digital signatures are frequently used in business transactions. Anyone participating in them can readily make advantage of digital signatures and electronic contracts improperly. Cyberlaw offers a defence against these kinds of frauds.

Cyber security

Cybersecurity is the grouping of technologies, procedures, and procedures used to guard against attacks, damage, and illegal access to networks, devices, programs, and data. Information technology security is an alternative name for cyber security.

Case laws

  • Gagan Harsh Sharma v. The State of Maharashtra: The Bombay High Court addressed the dispute between offences that are not bailable and not compoundable under Sections 408 and 420 of the IPC and those that are under Sections 43, 65, and 66 of the IT Act in Gagan Harsh Sharma v. The State of Maharashtra (2018).

  • Anil Kumar Srivastava v. Addl Director, MHFW: In the 2005 case of Anil Kumar Srivastava v. Addl Director, MHFW, the petitioner had falsely signed the AD’s signature and then filed a complaint that contained untrue accusations against the same person. The Court determined that the petitioner was accountable under Sections 465 and 471 of the IPC since he also tried to pass it off as a legitimate document.


People relying more and more on technology, both in India and around the world, cyber laws need to be updated and improved on a regular basis to keep up. As a result of the epidemic, there has also been a large rise in the number of remote workers, which has raised the requirement for application security. Legislators must take extra precautions to be one step ahead of the imposters so they can take action against them as soon as they appear. If lawmakers, internet service providers, banks, online retailers, and other intermediaries cooperate, it may be stopped. However, the decision to take part in the battle against cybercrime ultimately rests with the users. The only way for the growth of online safety and resilience to take place is through the consideration of the actions of these stakeholders, ensuring they stay within the confines of the law of cyberspace.


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