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  • Nidhi Rathore

Navigating the Legal and Ethical Landscape of Cybercrime: Balancing Prosecution and Privacy Protection

Nidhi Rathore,

Vidyasthali Law College

The Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Cybercrime: Challenges in Prosecution and Privacy protection

Introduction

In this modern day , Internet and digital media has become a necessary component of our day to day life. Most of the folks have depended on the internet whether it is for their work purpose or for time pass like surfing on the internet or using different social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. It has many advantages but on the same side it has drawbacks also and one of the most popular downsides of the internet is cybercrime. Today the world has become connected but the threat of increasing cyberbullying is also increasing day by day. Various forms of cyberbullying trends, ranging from traditional types of cyberbullying to more modern and sophisticated methods of cybercrime like state-sponsored cyber espionage. It also has a negative effect on the global economy and on social life. This article inspects the dynamic and evolving state of cybercrime by exploring its various manifested natures and the challenges . India became one of the countries in the global stats for most cybercrime rates.

Cybercrime refers to doing crime by using computer systems and on the virtual platform. some people does not want to earn money by doing hard work instead they try to earn money by robbery, pickpocketing, theft etc. earlier these traditional ways of crime were used by the people but now a days people developed new various forms of illegal acts which includes cyberbullying, deep fake photos, child pornography etc. cybercrime is increasing day by day but the government is unable to take preventive measures for these illegal acts and the major reason behind this is that the different organs of the government is not being able to match the dynamic nature of the e-crime or unable to understand the psychology of the hackers, cyber thieves and cyber terrorists.

Cybercrime

In today's world new various technologies have emerged but with emerging new technologies various criminal opportunities are also developing. Earlier also crimes or illegal activities were committed but now digital medium is used for committing the crimes. Most of the cybercrime basically involves attacking the personal information of the individuals and then they use this information for blackmailing. They not only threatened the individuals but also various companies and governments. In a landmark case the defendant was found guilty of culpable under the sections of IPC and IT act as he distributed the personal information of the victim and sent threatening Emails[1]. In the digital age people only care about the information on the social media platforms or over the internet thus, offenders use this information for extortion and take money from them.

Types of cybercrime

Some prominent types of cybercrime which are often used are:

Computer hacking: It refers to the unauthorized access of others computer systems or accounts for blackmailing or for other harmful uses.

Identity theft: purloin and forgoing personal information of individuals such as name, phone number, E-mail address, social media ID etc.

Malware: spreading of worms, viruses or other malicious software inside the device or enclosed by the network for the purpose of harming or data leaking.

Phishing: now-a-days this type of cybercrime is very popular where attackers or hackers use personal or sensitive information with the mindset of stealing money or to initiate other attacks. example- sending fraud bank messages or E-Mail with the purpose of gaining a one time password so they can withdraw money from the bank account to the respective individual.

Cybercrime: Legal Challenges in Prosecution

Some legal challenges in prosecution of cybercrime are as follows[2]:

Judicial problems

Cybercrime often crosses borders and creates significant judicial challenges. The laws and regulations related to cybercrime vary from country to country, and the process of investigating and prosecuting criminals is complex. For example, cybercriminals in one country can easily target victims in another country, which can lead to legal disputes in which the laws of their jurisdiction apply and a trial must be held.

The problem of evidence

The nature of digital evidence poses its own challenges. Digital evidence can be easily altered, deleted or hidden, making it difficult to collect and store. Moreover, the huge amount of data involved in cybercrime cases can be overwhelming for legal systems that are not equipped to deal with such complexity. Ensuring the authenticity and integrity of digital evidence is essential for successful prosecution.

Difficulty in Extradition

Extradition is another major obstacle in the prosecution of cybercriminals.1. Many countries are reluctant to extradite their citizens, especially when crimes are not perceived as such in the legal system. In addition, the extradition process can be lengthy and complicated, which often prevents October prosecution in a timely manner.

The Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Cybercrime: Challenges in Prosecution and Privacy protection

Cybercrime : Ethical Challenges in Shielding Privacy

 Difficulty in Extradiction

Extradition is another major obstacle in the prosecution of cybercriminals. Many countries are reluctant to extradite  their citizens, especially when crimes are not perceived as such in the legal system. Thus,the need for surveillance to detect and prevent cybercrime often conflicts with an individual's right to privacy.

Data Protection

With the increase in cybercrime, the protection of personal data is becoming increasingly important. Organizations are obliged to take ethically sound security measures to protect their users' data from   breaches. Failure to do so can cause serious harm to the individual, such as identity theft or financial loss.

Ethical Use of Hacking

Law enforcement agencies can use computer hacking techniques to investigate cybercrime. While this is effective, it raises ethical questions about the legality and morality of using similar methods for the criminals being pursued.

Motivation behind the Cybercrime

Every person on this planet wants to be successful and to get success or victory they use various means, some of them choose honesty and hard work and others who want to be successful quickly use other paths which are imposture, fraudery, hacking etc[3]. Moreover the definition of success differs from individual to individual but for the majority of them is financial gain. The most prevalent and pervasive reason behind the cybercrime is financial gain. The basic need of a human is food, clothes and shelter and to fulfill this necessity hackers do cybercrime and this can be done by various methods like steal passwords of financial institutions and banks and then transfer their all assets to their accounts. Sometimes some hackers are involved in these illegal activities for recognition and achievement. These hackers think that there is some sense of achievement or they will be recognised. For national interest, states occasionally appoint geeks, they are specifically engaged in cybercrime only for the realism and common good.

Legislations and Law enforcement on Cybercrime

Most of the cybercrime were already included under the provisions of Indian Penal Code, 1860 but in indirect sense like sending threatening messages and defamatory messages are treated under section 506 (Criminal Intimidation)  and 499 (Defamation), web-jacking covered under section 383 (Extortion) , pornography and online harassment are covered under section 292 (obscenity) and section 354-D (stalking). But with the introduction of a new IPC known as Bhartiya Nyaya Samhita, 2023 has provision for cybercrime under section 111 known as organized crimes. It is a punishable offense under the new act with the imprisonment of not less than 5 years and fine of maximum 5 lakhs. Cybercrime is also defined under section 43 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the punishment is given under subsections from B to F of the section 66 which comprises both imprisonment and fine.

Conclusion

From the above examination I concluded that India is standing at the censorious juncture of cybercrime and the government and the private sector should work together to take initiative against cybercrime. Government should spread awareness in the society and should take strict actions against cybercrime such as cyberbullying, phishing, online harassment etc. so that people involved in cybercrime have some sense of fear before committing the crime. It should organize camps to inform people. This awareness is very important because most innocent people do not know about online frauds and cyberbullying as they are not aware of the most innovative technologies. Thus, the nation should take legal measures to reduce this illegal act and to secure the digital future of the country.

References

[1]  Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti,  (Madras High Ct. 2004).

[2] Cyber crime, National Crime Agency (Apr. 12, 2022), https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/what-we-do/crime-threats/cyber-crime.

[3] Cyber Crime, GeeksforGeeks (Apr. 8, 2019), https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/cyber-crime/.

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