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Indian Cyber Crime Laws And Regulations: Specifically Focusing On Women’s Online Safety

Cyber law is a field that is constantly changing thanks to the Internet. Cyber law covers internet commerce, freedom of speech, intellectual property rights, jurisdiction and choice of law, and privacy rights. A few examples of cybercrime include credit card fraud, unauthorised access to computer systems, child pornography, software piracy, and cyber stalking. Encryption and data security are part of electronic commerce.

Defamation, obscenity laws, and censorship are all examples of violations of the right to free speech. Copyright, software licencing, and trademark protection are all protected by intellectual property rights. Who is in charge of creating and enforcing the laws controlling the internet is the topic of jurisdiction. On the internet, privacy and data protection are addressed by privacy rights. Cyber law still has a lot of unresolved problems.

In developing nations like India, using mobile phones and the internet to stalk, abuse, bully, frighten, and degrade women is all too common. Furthermore, there has been a steady rise in cybercrime as a result of men and women not using technology.

In order to provide a secure, safe space where people can exercise their right to communicate without fear of abuse, harassment, or violence, this research will touch on all of the significant aspects of cybercrimes in a comprehensive manner. The study will also help India develop its regulatory and legislative framework for cyber security.

The emergence of a common area known as "cyberspace" is the result of the convergence of computer networks and telecommunications made possible by digital technology. It now serves as a hub for a vast array of human activities that rely on the internet. The most active area in society nowadays is actually the internet. More and more people are using the internet for things like communication, business, banking, advertising, research, and entertainment. Practically no human activity is unaffected by the internet.[1]

As a result, the Internet has something to give to everyone, and it continues to grow and never decrease. Humanity has received numerous gifts from cyberspace, yet these advantages also carry some unanticipated risks. People with intelligence have been badly abusing the element of the internet to perpetuate illegal acts in cyberspace because of the anonymity of the internet, which makes it possible to engage in a variety of criminal actions with impunity.

Pornography, gambling, illegal drug and organ trafficking, hacking, copyright infringement, terrorism, invasion of personal privacy, money laundering, fraud, software piracy, and corporate espionage are just a few of the ways it is increasingly being utilised.[2]

Review of literature:
  1. Dr. Vishwanath Paranjape in his book "Legal Dimensions of Cyber Crimes and Preventive Laws with Special Reference to India"[3] the author has noted that the issue of cyber-crime has grown to enormous proportions and become a global problem as a result of the internet's and computers rapid development over the years in this book.
  2. R.K. Chaubey in his book "An Introduction to Cyber Crime and Cyber Law"[4] the author has emphasised the importance of the "right to privacy" in the digital age, claiming that new technology have increased the likelihood of privacy breach and given eavesdroppers new tools. As a result, personal privacy is more important than ever.
  3. Dr. M. Dasgupta in his book "Cyber Crime in India: A Comparative Study"[5] has well described the definition, nature, scope, traits, and components of cybercrimes. He has said in response to the magnitude of cybercrimes that "it is very important to emphasise that the world is not run by weapons, or energy, or money anymore."
  4. Vivek Sood in his book "Cyber Law Simplified"[6] In this era, cybercrime is the deadliest epidemic to affect our world. This work is crucial, especially for academics who view cyber law as just another social ill that has to be healed. It seeks to provide us a comprehension of cyber law. This book is divided into four sections: an analysis of the IT Act 2000; cybercrime; e-commerce; and intellectual property rights.
  5. Nandan Kamath in his book "Law relating to Computers, Internet and E- commerce: A Guide to Cyber Laws and the Information Technology Act, 2000"[7] has made comments on how "electronic evidence" is becoming more common in cybercrime trials. He has conducted extensive research on a number of topics, including the production and use of such evidences, video-conferencing, forensic computing, the best evidence rule, the admissibility and authenticity of electronic data, the burden of proof in cybercrimes, and other related topics.
  6. S.K. Verma and Raman Mittal in their book "Legal Dimensions of Cyber Space"[8] have outlined the fundamental ideas of the internet, including the history, development, benefits, and drawbacks of the internet as well as the many computer irritants like viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. They have emphasised the value of computers and the internet in daily tasks, saying that today it touches and influences almost every aspect of our lives. Computers are the engine of the information age that we are currently living in.
  1. Behra, Abhimanyu in his article "Cyber Crime and Law in India"[9] has examined numerous cybercrime subtypes and offered preventative measures.
  2. Paranjape, Vishwanath in his article "Cyber Crime: A Global Concern",[10] emphasizes the international scope of cybercrimes and the demand for international action to reduce them.
  3. Tanaya Saha and Akancha Srivastava in their article "Indian Women at Risk in the Cyber Space: A Conceptual Model of Reasons of Victimization"[11] They have made an effort to discover the many causes of the fact that Indian women are victims, and they have suggested a conceptual model of Indian women's online victimisation.
  4. Shobhna Jeet "Cyber-crimes against women in India: Information Technology Act, 2000"[12] The Information Technology Act of 2000 was brought to light in a study of cybercrimes against women in India, and it was found that no explicit provisions exist to ensure the safety of women.
Scope of the study
The purpose of the study is to understand Indian cyber law and conduct a critical comparative examination of cyber laws produced in other nations. From both a theoretical and practical standpoint, the study is significant.

Theoretically, it demonstrates the judicial understanding of all the pertinent information related cybercrimes. By defending the populace against numerous cybercrimes, it amply illustrates how the legal system currently satisfies contemporary needs. The study's findings would offer previously unidentified criteria to assess the judicial and legislative philosophies in the subject field.

The work's practical value rests in its potential to clear up any confusion around cyber regulations among entities responsible for formulating policy. Additionally, they may pass particular cyber laws addressing offences against women.

Indian cybercrime laws and regulations: Specifically focusing on women's online safety.

The sophistication of criminal activities on the Internet has been observed to increase. Cybercriminals launch big attacks using large networks of commercially leased, hijacked machines in addition to modest, targeted Internet strikes. In addition, cybercrime is harder to investigate and causes more harm to society than traditional crime. The last several years have seen an increase in the severity, sophistication, and possible harm that cybercrimes may cause to people, businesses, and even countries.

Because the perpetrators of these crimes are anonymous and incur relatively minimal costs to carry out a cybercrime while the cost of prevention is quite high, law enforcement agencies are having a tough time monitoring and preventing crimes in cyberspace. Due to people's increasing dependency on the internet, targets have multiplied dramatically.

Due to its rapid digitization and proliferation of mobile data without a corresponding increase in cyber security and cyber hygiene, India is becoming more and more susceptible to this threat. India presently has approximately 74 million Internet users, up 31% from March 2012, making it the third-largest Internet user in the world after China and the United States. Its users are also substantially younger than those of other rising nations.

When it comes to cybercrimes reported in India under the new Information Technology Act, Andhra Pradesh (undivided), Karnataka, and Maharashtra have held the top 3 spots. It's interesting to note that these three states collectively account for more than 70% of India's IT and associated industry revenue. This demonstrates unequivocally how significant an impact information technology has. Both society and technology are functioning in a way that corresponds to the rate at which each is developing. The world is evolving, new technology is developing every day, and as a result, society is evolving at a faster rate.

The development of information and communication technology has had an impact on all aspects of human existence, including education, health, entertainment, and communication. In this approach, it offers a number of benefits, including enhanced productivity, more channels for communication through email, discussion boards, and chat rooms, a positive motivational impact on learning and knowledge, e-governance and citizen participation, increasing worldwide company, and similar. The World of Information and Communication Technology (abbreviated "ICT") is no exception to the adage that with every benefit comes a drawback.

Along with the many opportunities it has created, there are some difficulties as well. In general, it has raised some serious issues, including privacy threats, cultural overtones, a greater reliance on technology, a boycott of social gatherings, computer viruses, malware, spam, phishing, and many more. The proliferation of cybercrimes in the world today is one of the primary concerns of the ICT era.

A number of nefarious acts, known as cyber crimes, have emerged as a result of the remarkable advancements in ICT and the growing frequency of internet use for various purposes. In plain English, cybercrime is a crime that technocrats commit that is dependent on technology. According to statistics supplied by a top security provider, which collated information on bot-infected computers controlled by cybercriminals in various nations, India is currently rated third in terms of cybercrime incidences behind the United States and China. According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), there was a cybercrime reported in India every 10 minutes in 2017.

Given the sharp rise in the number of cybercrimes recorded in recent years, it is crucial and essential to learn the definition of the term and the many categories of cybercrimes. Cybercrime is defined as any crime committed by the unauthorised or unlawful use of information technology, electronic fraud, such as data deletion, alteration, interception, concealment, forging, etc. As a result of the global revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs), cybercrime is now a transnational crime. As more and more cybercrimes are perpetrated every day, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between them and more traditional crimes.

To overcome this difficulty, internet users are, deliberately or unknowingly, falling prey to various forms of cyber-attacks. The following are the primary categories into which cybercrimes are divided based on their nature and various sorts of attacks.

  • Cybercrimes Against Individuals:

    These are crimes against a person, as well as crimes against their property. The sending of harassing emails, stalking online, posting of pornographic content online, libel, hacking and other forms of indecent exposure are all examples of crimes committed against people. Computer vandalism, virus transmission, Internet intrusion, unauthorized control of a computer system, and hacking/cracking are a few examples of cybercrimes committed against an individual's property.
  • Cybercrime against the government:

    Encompasses offenses against the federal, state, local, corporate, and individual governments. These offenses can be committed through hacking and cracking, by having access to unauthorized information, or by engaging in cyberterrorism against a government organization. These assaults also involve the distribution of illegal software.
  • Cybercrimes against Society:

    These crimes don't just damage one person or one organization; they also have an impact on society as a whole.
  • Cybercrimes against Property:

    Include credit card frauds, crimes involving intellectual property, and internet time theft, among other things. They include trafficking, indecent exposure to children, and pornography (particularly child pornography) that defiles the youth.

Cybercrime against women
Every society's social, economic, cultural, and political aspects are affected by the use of cyberspace and its accompanying features of anonymity, both favourably and unfavourably. The same advantages of anonymity and privacy, however, also apply to those who use ICTs for criminal activities and use the internet to commit violence against women. This is true even though the cyberspace has created secure tools and spaces where women can enjoy their freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy of communication.

In developing nations like India, it is evident that mobile phones and the internet are used to stalk, abuse, and traffic, frighten, and degrade women. The Information Technology Act of 2000, as revised in 2008, starts to address the issue, however it does not directly address all cybercrime and cyber security issues that affect people, particularly women.

Women are the worst victims of cybercrime; in one case, a student at a Delhi school disseminated a cellphone video clip showing two other students having sex, sparking a contentious discussion over women's privacy rights and even forcing officials to outlaw mobile phones in schools.

One Indian woman is deceived into becoming a victim of cybercrime every second, and the internet environment is a brand-new platform where a woman's protection, privacy, and dignity are constantly being threatened. Indecent representation of women in all its forms-trolling, abuse, threatening behaviour, stalking, voyeurism, body-shaming, defamation, spying, revenge porn-is pervasive. While the rules safeguarding women's security place a greater emphasis on preventing bodily harm than mental harm, the effects of cybercrimes against women are more mental than physical in nature.

It is true that there is no specific database of cybercrimes against women kept by India's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Some of the perpetrators who use technology to defame women send vulgar WhatsApp messages, offensive e-mails, stalk them online through chat rooms and websites, and worst of all, create pornographic videos, often without their permission, spoof e-mails, and morph images for pornographic content using a variety of online software.

Due to lack of knowledge about where to report such crimes or a lack of seriousness on their part to do so because of the potential for social disgrace, Indian women are unable to instantly report cybercrimes. They must extend their perspectives and act as the whip to rein in such offenders by using force against them, which entails filing an instant report.

The majority of issues can be resolved if women report crimes right away and let abusers know that they will face serious legal consequences. Cybercrimes start with fake IDs made on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others, seriously harming women as offenders use these sites for email and messenger blackmail as well as massive blackmail.

Men who have bad intentions do various cybercrimes, such as illicit gain, vengeance, insulting a woman's modesty, extortion, blackmail, sexual exploitation, defamation, inciting hatred against the community, prank satisfaction of acquiring control, and information theft. Due to e-harassment, some of the most significant and well-known cybercrimes have caused thousands of women to experience a range of health problems, including depression, hypertension, and anxiety.

Women also experience heart disease, diabetes, thyroid conditions, and diabetes-related illnesses. If further research is done on the etiology of the crimes, the reasons behind the perpetrators, "crime hubs," and the nature and features of the victims and perpetrators, it may be possible to adequately understand the victimisation of women in cyberspace and the type of cyber-crimes that may happen to women.[13]

Among the most serious cybercrimes:
  1. Women are the most probable targets of cyberstalking, which is on the rise. Cyberstalking is a technique for stalking someone online for abuse and harassment. Instead of making direct physical threats to a target, a cyber stalker observes their online behaviour to learn more about them and to intimidate them verbally. Cyberstalking is more widespread than physical stalking since it is less likely to be detected and because it is anonymous.
  2. Libel and defamation both fall under the umbrella of cyber defamation. It entails posting information on the subject on a website or disseminating it among victim's social networks or groups, which is a simple way to ruin a woman's reputation by causing her excruciating mental anguish and sorrow.
  3. Cyber pornography and morphing: Changing the original image to be used inappropriately is morphing, which is on the rise. Due to easy access to the internet, perpetrators can quickly download images of women from social media, WhatsApp, or other sources and publish altered versions of those images to websites like social media, pornographic ones, or those where they can register anonymously. Another hazard to women is cyber-pornography, which involves publishing pornographic content on websites that include pornography utilising computers and the internet. Women who engage in this activity aren't even aware that their own images are being used in such an unethical way.
  4. An email that appears to have come from one source but actually came from another is referred to as email spoofing. It could result in losses in money.
  5. Phishing: Phishing is the effort to get sensitive data, such as a login and password, with the purpose of obtaining personal data.
  6. Trolls incite conflict online by publishing inflammatory or off-topic statements in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) in an effort to elicit an emotional, distressing response from the target audience. Trolls are professional bullies that create a cold war atmosphere on social media by generating and exploiting bogus identifications. They are also difficult to track down.
Suhas Kutti v. State of Tamil Nadu
It was the first instance where the Information Technology Act of 2000 resulted in a conviction. First, an Indian court found the defendant guilty of cybercrime. Within seven months of filing the FIR, the court issued the ruling in 2004, bringing about the conviction for the cybercrime. The order of conviction has been issued by the Honourable Judge of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

In one instance, the victim was a divorcee who was repeatedly bothered by bothersome phone calls, assuming that she would seek them due to a remark put on a Yahoo message board and then forwarded emails. The massage was highly offensive, hurtful, and infuriating. The accuser turned out to be a friend of her family who was interested in getting married.

In Fatima Riswana v. State Rep. by ACP., Chennai & Ors[14]
The district lady judge was spared the inconvenience of having to view some CDs that are part of the evidence after the public prosecutor and the petitioners' attorney jointly requested that the case be transferred to another (male) judge. The trial would involve the accused exploiting women and using them in sexual adventures, and since the evidence would be in the form of CDs and viewing them during the trial would be necessary, the decision to transfer the case was made because it would be embarrassing for a female presiding officer.

The new medium that has abruptly entered human civilization does not distinguish between good and evil, between national and international, or between just and unjust, but rather offers a stage for the activities that take place in human society. Law, which controls how people behave, has entered the online world and is attempting to navigate its many obstacles. E-Commerce Act, 1998, a piece of legislation, was developed in India as a legal framework for the internet.

After that, the Information Technology Act, 2000, which was revised in 2008, became the fundamental legal framework for transactions conducted in India's cyberspace. The Indian Evidence Act of 1872, the Bankers Book Evidence Act of 1891, and the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934 are among the statutes that have been modified by the IT Act. The IT Act 2000 was put in place in India to combat cybercrime, but the issue is that it still focuses more on paper than on implementation because judges, prosecutors, police officers, and lawyers find it difficult to comprehend the statute's extremely technical language.

Additionally, cybercrime is a global issue, not just one that India should be concerned about, thus the entire globe must take action to stop this threat.

Limitation of the Study
The current study is limited to an analysis of India's domestic cyber security laws. It also focuses on the judiciary's response to cybercrime and makes some recommendations for corrective action to deter it. Additionally, the study's focus is only on how women are affected by cyberviolence.

Over the past few years, India's cyber landscape has experienced technological advancements that have had far-reaching effects and caused enormous disruptions. On the one hand, these have facilitated smart policing, better healthcare, and greater governance, while on the other; there has been an increase in cybercrime, fraud, and data theft. Cyberstalking, cyberbullying, cyberextortion, child pornography, and other illegal activities have increased as a result of the repeated criminalization of the internet.

The main characters have advanced from being opportunistic individuals to organised criminal organisations that provide cybercrime as a service through the dark net for a low price. A well-considered and efficient cybercrime management strategy must be developed to combat these new generation cybercriminals. A paradigm shift in policing is required if the law enforcement authorities are to prevail in this conflict. With the proper balancing act of upskilling and upgrading the three pillars-people, processes, and technology-the focus needs to shift from conventional to current techniques.

To stop the growing criminal underworld, predictive policing is required. To coordinate the actions of all agencies against these faceless and borderless foes operating across time zones, policy adjustments at the national and international levels are necessary. To provide a flexible framework for carrying out efficient cybercrime management, greater cooperation is required.

Cybercrimes can be effectively controlled with the help of improved public awareness, quick reaction mechanisms, technical augmentation, and capacity building of law enforcement officials. Law enforcement personnel must have access to tools and technology like big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and blockchain in addition to international cooperation if they are to stay ahead of cybercriminals.

  • Farooq Ahmad, Cyber Law in India- Law on Internet, 367(New Era Publication, Delhi, 2008).
  • M. Dasgupta, Cyber Crime in India, A Comparative Study, 8(Eastern Law House, 1st Edn, 2016).
  • Dr.Vishwanath Paranjape, Legal Dimensions of Cyber Crimes and Preventive Laws with Special Reference to India, (Central Law Agency Publication, 2010).
  • R.K. Chaubey, An Introduction to Cyber Crime and Cyber Law, (Kamal Law House Publication, 2009).
  • Dr. M. Dasgupta, Cyber Crime in India: A Comparative Study, (Eastern Law House Publication, 2009).
  • Vivek Sood, Cyber Law Simplified, (Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2001).
  • Nandan Kamath, Law relating to Computers, Internet and E-commerce: A Guide to Cyber Laws and the Information Technology Act, 2000, (Universal Law Publishing Co., 2009).
  • S.K. Verma and Raman Mittal, Legal Dimensions of Cyber Space, (Indian Law Institute Publication, 2004).
Articles (journals)
  • Behra, Abhimanyu, "Cyber Crime and Law in India", IJCC, p. 16-30 (2010).
  • Paranjape, Vishwanath, "Cyber Crime: A Global Concern", pp. 20-27, IPJ, Jul.-Sep. (2007).
  • Tanaya Saha and Akancha Srivastava, "Indian Women at Risk in the Cyber Space: A Conceptual Model of Reasons of Victimization", IJCC, Vol 8, Issue 1, January - June (2014).
  • Shobhna Jeet, "Cyber-crimes against women in India: Information Technology Act" pp. 8891-8895, ECLJ 47, (2012).
  • Dhruti M Kapadia, "If there is cybercrime, women start reporting right now" (2008) Available at
End Notes
  1. Farooq Ahmad, Cyber Law in India- Law on Internet, 367(New Era Publication, Delhi, 2008).
  2. M. Dasgupta, Cyber Crime in India, A Comparative Study, 8(Eastern Law House, 1st Edn, 2016).
  3. Dr.Vishwanath Paranjape, Legal Dimensions of Cyber Crimes and Preventive Laws with Special Reference to India, (Central Law Agency Publication, 2010).
  4. R.K. Chaubey, An Introduction to Cyber Crime and Cyber Law, (Kamal Law House Publication, 2009).
  5. Dr. M. Dasgupta, Cyber Crime in India: A Comparative Study, (Eastern Law House Publication, 2009).
  6. Vivek Sood, Cyber Law Simplified, (Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2001).
  7. Nandan Kamath, Law relating to Computers, Internet and E-commerce: A Guide to Cyber Laws and the Information Technology Act, 2000, (Universal Law Publishing Co., 2009).
  8. S.K. Verma and Raman Mittal, Legal Dimensions of Cyber Space, (Indian Law Institute Publication, 2004).
  9. Behra, Abhimanyu, "Cyber Crime and Law in India", IJCC, p. 16-30 (2010).
  10. Paranjape, Vishwanath, "Cyber Crime: A Global Concern", pp. 20-27, IPJ, Jul.-Sep. (2007).
  11. Tanaya Saha and Akancha Srivastava, "Indian Women at Risk in the Cyber Space: A Conceptual Model of Reasons of Victimization", IJCC, Vol 8, Issue 1, January - June (2014).
  12. Shobhna Jeet, "Cyber-crimes against women in India: Information Technology Act" pp. 8891-8895, ECLJ 47, (2012).
  13. Dhruti M Kapadia, "If there is cybercrime, women start reporting right now" (2008) Available at
  14. AIR 2005 712

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