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Criminal Liabilities In Relation With Social Media

Social media is becoming a vital part of everyday life in this high-tech era, and most young people these days choose to use it to share their ideas, opinions, and thoughts. Users may easily access social news, blogs, vlogs, and other content through a variety of social networking channels.

As this paper begins by exploring the social media what it is exactly now a day's what is its importance in the modern era, shedding rights on the criminal liabilities in reference with social media. Including the two sides of social media and what is its advantages, how it is helping the young generation and how it is not helping it out.

The core focus of this paper is to aware the people about the criminal liabilities which is occurring by the way of social media. It discusses about the cyber crime and how Indian laws are dealing it with, and what are the precautions one should do take while using social media. Furthermore, the paper evaluates the types of cyber crime and its legal implications.

The paper ends by concluding the various case laws in relation with criminal liabilities in reference with social media.

Introduction
A crime is an illegal act that is penalized by the government or another legitimate authority. An act that harms an individual as well as the community, society, or state is considered a crime or offense. Such behavior is illegal and subject to penalties. As we all know, technology has two sides, and its users must constantly weigh the potential and hazards it presents. We are all linked, always and everywhere in the globe; our loved ones, friends, neighbors, mentors, heroes, and even complete strangers are just a click away. This cliche has become true.

This paper will also discuss why this crime persists in our nation despite strong legislation against it under the Information Technology Act of 2000 and the Indian Penal Code of 1860. As a result, the internet, which was once a secure place, is now causing uncertainty and fear. However, what is cyber bullying and how is it distinct from traditional forms of bullying is discussed in this paper.

This paper will go into the specifics of cyber bullying in relation with social media, its various forms, and why it is illegal. Thus, the legislature must regulate virtual user freedom to the extent that it poses a real threat or is extremely offensive before enacting any cyberspace regulations, and it must unrestrict virtual user freedom to the extent that it is merely criticism and not a real threat.

What Do You Mean By Social Media

Social media referred to as digital technology makes it possible to share concepts and knowledge including text and images through online groups and networks through various social media platforms like face book, Instagram, X, YouTube and many more. While social media is criticized for spreading divisive content and misinformation, it is also praised for aiding in the development of communities. Additionally, social media plays a bigger and bigger role in the marketing strategies of many businesses. It provides us with an instantaneous electronic means of communicating with others and can establish connections with individuals worldwide. Particularly, young people make up a large portion of social media users. As it helps us to be updated on daily basis.

As social media gives individuals a platform to debate and voice their thoughts, people of all ages are drawn to it. One of the earliest social networking sites to become well-known in India was Orkut. When it first started in 2004, users could connect with friends, create profiles, and exchange material. The emerging cyber world was brought about by the technology's quick development and emergence, but regrettably, this also paved the way for its inevitable abuse, which gave rise to a variety of cybercrimes.

Importance Of Social Media In The Youth Generation

People as well as companies are appreciative of this efficient, affordable, and quick method of mass communication. Social media is essential for everyone, from residents of little villages to those living in large cities, and from small-scale startups to well-established corporations. As importance of social media can differ from an individual to a business.
  • One of social media's greatest benefits is its ability to keep us connected with our close ones. Social media aids in establishing and maintaining that emotional connection even when people don't get together all that often.
  • The majority of people use social media to keep up with news and current affairs. We can also get some insights on contemporary issues via social media. Breaking news is really widely disseminated these days via WhatsApp and X. Additionally, you learn about any new developments through this medium in the fields of science and technology, gastronomy, fashion and lifestyle.
  • If you're looking to purchase something these days, you usually check for reviews or comments from previous customers. To make well-informed selections, it's easy to find product or service evaluations on social media.
  • Social media is undoubtedly one of the greatest venues for businesses to establish a brand identity, especially because over half of the population uses it.
  • Social media platforms also help businesses by giving them the ability to work together with relevant accounts. These days, there are a lot of influencers on all the social media sites, and they are willing to recommend any product to their followers.
  • Social media networks comprise both current and prospective clients, which facilitates the quick creation of leads. The greatest method to reach clients, regardless of their location, area, or diverse taste preferences, is through social media.
  • People are following brands social media account. They anticipate that their concerns will be distributed in addition to communication from the brand side. In contrast to traditional media, social media operates on a two-way basis. Thus, consumers may use the brand's social media profile to voice any issues they may have. Brands are required to promptly respond to inquiries via this channel.
  • Businesses may use social media to actively monitor their competitors' status in the market because of this. Everything is transparent, including their opinions on the evolving needs of their customers and how they market their goods and advertise. Businesses are now more focused on their customers than ever thanks to social media.


Two Sides Of Social Media

Social media and technology are utilized by criminals to commit crimes, but they are also used to prevent, guard against, and investigate crimes. In the past, individuals formed their own ideas based on what they saw on television and in newspapers, but these days, social media is quite important. Social media users in their social network share their experiences online, and this aids in the investigation and prosecution of offenders.

Social media gives law enforcement organizations access to a wealth of composed of words, video, and photo data that aids in the profiling and capture of offenders. All coins possess both beneficial and bad aspects; nevertheless, it is up to the users to select and utilize the favorable aspect. While some users choose to utilize social media for negative purposes and commit crimes, law enforcement organizations exploit social media's beneficial aspects to identify offenders. Thus, the decision to select the right or wrong side ultimately comes down to personal opinion, and each person must make their own decisions.

What Do You Mean Criminal Liability

A legal notion known as "criminal liability" states that if someone have committed a criminal act, they are accountable for their deeds or inactions. One may face legal repercussions if they have violated the law. They are either a suspect in a crime or have actually committed one, depending on your level of responsibility. If a person is found guilty in court, they will be held accountable for their crimes.

Types of criminal liability:
  1. Actus reus
  2. Mens rea
Actus reus - Actus reus, is referred as "guilty act," is an essential concept in the law of criminal liability. This Latin phrase conveys the objective or exterior aspect of a crime. In essence, it deals with the deeds or inactions that, according to the law, make up the physical components of a crime. There cannot be a crime or a lawsuit for damages without a guilty conduct. But an act by itself does not constitute a crime; rather, if an act is forbidden, the act's intent and the actual deed come together to constitute the crime. In the case of R v Dytham (1979)A police officer who was on duty witnessed a person being fatally kicked but failed to intervene. The officer was convicted of the common law offence of misconduct in a public office due to his negligence in protecting or apprehending the victim. [1]

Another way to have Actus Reus is to not do an act�that is, to refrain from doing something that the accused acknowledges he is required to perform by law or obligation. In this case the court established that the actus reus necessary for an attempted crime would be fulfilled if the defendant takes a step towards committing a specific crime that is directly linked to it and cannot reasonably be seen as having any other purpose. Actus reus primarily focuses on the actual physical act rather than the mental state of the perpetrator. It is associated with human behaviour and conduct.[2]

A car driver was prosecuted for failing to give precedence to a pedestrian on a zebra crossing, but was acquitted when it was established that his car had been pushed onto the crossing by another car hitting it from behind.[3]

Mens rea is a crucial component in determining the guilt or innocence of an act. Mens rea shows that the accused had a definite intention when he committed the offense for the reason that he is charged. It must be established beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knew exactly what they were doing, intended harm to the victim, and committed the offense. In this case the Allahabad High Court mentioned that mens rea was adopted from English Criminal Law when it was not codified. [4]

No Mens Rea without Actus Reus
When there is a combination of malice and deliberation with misconduct(wrong doing), a criminal offense is committed. Every offense requires proof of misconduct. If there was no wrongdoing, it is insufficient that there was malice aforethought for the offense. In this case the Supreme Court quoted a relevant excerpt from the book, which underscored the importance of the Latin maxim "Actus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea" in understanding the two components of every crime: the physical element (actus reus) and the mental element (mens rea).[5]

The prerequisite of having "intention to commit the crime" has at times been questioned. In this case it was noted that the general conditions of penal liabilities in criminal actions are reflected in the maxim "actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea." [6]

Social Media Related Criminal Liabilities

Cyber Crime

Cybercrime is a general phrase used to describe criminal action involving computers or computer networks as a tool, an objective, or a location. Examples of this type of activity include denial-of-service attacks and electronic wracking. This is a generic word that encompasses a variety of crimes, including cyber terrorism, scams, child pornography, kidnapping minors through chat rooms, credit card fraud, bank robberies, illicit downloading, industrial espionage, and spam. The number of cybercrimes is rising daily; these days ,it's common to make money by making fraudulent calls or to exact revenge by breaking into other people's accounts. Modern telecommunication networks like the Internet may be used as an example of an electronic method, but they are not the only ones.

Cybercrime includes a wide range of actions. Three main categories may be used to categorize cybercrime:
  1. Cybercrimes against individuals, such as harassment, take place in or via the use of internet. Harassment may be cultural, religious, sexual, or in another kind.
  2. Cybercrimes against property include delivery of malicious programs, unlawful trespassing, unauthorized acquisition of computer information, and digital wreckage (harm of other people's property).
  3. Cyber terrorism and other cybercrimes against the government.
The Information Technology Act (IT Act) 2000 includes many categories of offenses under Indian cyber law since the implementation of cyber legislation in India. The IT Act of 2000 addresses the following categories of cybercrimes.

Identity Theft

The use of another person's financial or personal information for fraudulent purposes, such as carrying out unsanctioned transactions or purchases, is known as identity theft. As identity theft is mentioned under section 66 (c) of Information and Technology Act 2000. Identity theft may take many various forms, and the victims usually suffer consequences to their reputation, wealth, and credit. And the person committing identity theft will be liable upto 3 years of imprisonment and the fine may extend upto 1 lakh rupees.

It is possible to utilize fingerprints as an identity theft tool. Any fraudulent biometric equipment that collects a large amount of personal data may result in a data breach. In our digital age, identity theft is a very important concern for all individuals. It's a severe crime that's growing at an alarming rate, harming customers monetarily, impacting major retailers, and damaging the economy overall.

Modes Of Identity Theft

Data theft may be carried out in a number of ways, and technological gadgets can be used to obtain personal information. These are the ways:
  • Hacking

    Finding weaknesses in computer networks or systems and using them to your advantage to access data and sources is the essence of hacking. Hacking is the effort to use a computer to get into a private, public, corporate, or organization's network in order to obtain information without authorization. Threats via the internet, email, and communications are among them. Hackers' only goal is to steal sensitive information or embezzle money, disrupt businesses, etc. As Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 deals with the hacking. Requirement of an offence to be said hacking:
    • The accused must have had the malicious intent to alter or breach the other person's computer in order to take or destroy its sources or data.
    • Data damage or other wrongdoing must be committed with malice in mind.
    According to the act the punishment of hacking is imprisonment which may be extended up to 3 years and fine may extend up to 2 lakhs and in some cases both can be done. In this case the ex-employees have stolen the information and database of the company and given it to some other company. The apex court ruled that the criminal provisions of the IT Act would be enforced in conjunction with the offenses under the Indian Penal Code in cases of data theft and hacking, and that the IPC would still be applicable in these situations. This demonstrates the seriousness with which the legal system has viewed the crime of hacking, with the IPC and IT Act holding hackers or their perpetrators accountable. In this case an unidentified criminal compromised the email address of Madhusudan Padhy, IAS, Transport Commissioner, Odisha. The accused used this stolen email to threaten and send damning emails to other persons. Section 66 of the IT Act, 2000 held the accused accountable based on evidence that the real accused was guilty of concealing his true identity behind an alias. Because a Senior IAS Officer of the State's email account was compromised in order to collect private and sensitive information illegally, the accused faces the penalties outlined in the IT Act, 2000.
     
  • Phishing

    Phishing is a type of cybercrime where an attacker poses as a legitimate organization and communicates with a target or targets through chat rooms, assistance calls, or other verbal and nonverbal means with the intention of tricking them into divulging personal information like credit card numbers, pins, and financial information.

    A phony alert or other message intended to entice a victim is the first step in phishing. The message is meant to look as though it originated from a secure source. Phishing is a type of fraud that is classified as cybercrime and is subject to several criminal prohibitions under the IT Act, 2000. In 2008, this statute underwent an amendment that included several new requirements and methods to address the issue of phishing.

    As Section 43 of the IT Act, 2000 lays down that, anybody can be held accountable if they access, download, introduce, disrupt, deny, or help others without the owner of the computer, computer system, or computer network's consent.

    As Section 66 of the IT Act, 2000 lays down that, a phisher who compromises a victim's account and commits any of the crimes listed in Section 43 of the IT Act faces a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment, a maximum fine of five lakh rupees, or both.

    As Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000 lays down that, the penalties outlined in Section 66 of the IT Act will apply to anybody who provides material that they know to be false but do so with the intention of damaging a victim.

    The court held that, internet intermediaries would only be required to remove information upon receiving an order from a government agency or the courts. [10]

    As Section 66C of the IT Act, 2000 lays down that, this clause forbids the use of passwords, electronic signatures, and anything else that serves as a person's unique identity. Phishers carry out fraudulent activities while disguising themselves as the real account owners.

    As Section 66D of the IT Act, 2000 lays down that, This section's provisions address deceiving another person through the use of communication devices or software source materials in fraudulent actions. Scammers take advantage of the system by tricking financial institutions and other businesses with hyperlinks that lead to fake versions of these genuine websites, creating the impression that these entities are all a part of the same company.

    In this case Delhi High Court declared that phishing is an illegal activity, damages were recovered and a temporary restraining order was issued. And this is the case where defendants were running a recruitment agency. For the aim of headhunting, NASSCOM sent an email to a third party requesting personal information. Approximately eighteen lakhs in damages were assessed.[11]
     
  • Email / Sms Spoofing

    Spam and phishing assaults employ email spoofing as a tactic to fool people into believing a message originated from someone or something they recognize or trust. Spoofing attacks include the sender forging email headers in order to show the fraudulent sender address on client software, which is accepted at face value by most users.

    When an SMS is sent over the internet using a phone number that someone else has stolen, it is known as SMS spoofing. The victim's cell number is used by the recipient to receive the message.

    Nykaa Email Spoofing Case

    Nykaa was duped by con artists who sent fake emails that changed the destination of a payment meant for one of Nykaa's Italian suppliers to their personal bank accounts. The thieves mimicked the email address of a legitimate provider. Since the sender's address clearly displayed a legitimate supplier's email address, emails from such an address would have seemed as valid. Nykaa received an invoice and an indication that the order was ready from the supplier. Nevertheless, the consignment carrying flight was unable to reach India due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Nykaa was thus obliged to postpone accepting the products. As a result, the payment was also delayed.

    The scammers requested that Nykaa, a supplier of cosmetics, reroute the cash to a different bank account in a fictitious email. They cited taxation as the cause of this accounting adjustment. They discovered their serious error only when Nykaa requested confirmation of the payment. All allegations of such an email were refuted by the original Italian source. The staggering amount, Rs 62 Lakh, was lost forever since it was discovered too late and the secret was revealed.
     
  • Atm Card Skimming

    It is described as a form of fraud that happens when an ATM is penetrated by a skimming device in the business dictionary. It may be thought of as debit card identity theft in which a skimmer device records the data found on the card's magnetic strip. It is a little gadget that is meant to seem like an accessory for the ATM. It is positioned close to the opening where the ATM is inserted. The card is then faked using the information. Skimming keypads or PIN collecting devices are used in conjunction with the skimmer device.

    The former is essentially a camera that is positioned next to the ATM to capture the card's PIN number. At times, hackers even manage to gain access to the bank's installed camera. Placing a phony keypad over the machine's keypad, which records the PIN, is another method of PIN theft.

    A bank cannot claim its security mechanisms are infallible and so avoid accountability. In the event that a defect or a gap exists in the system, the bank would be responsible for compensating its client for any losses. Banks conceal the existence of security flaws in their systems. When anything goes wrong or a fraudster takes advantage of a weakness, banks place the burden on the client.[12].
  • Pharming

    Cybercriminals use this type of online fraud, which involves harmful code and phony websites, to install malicious software on computer servers. These codes, without the user's knowledge or agreement, automatically send them to fraudulent websites.

    These websites bear resemblance to the actual website, thus consumers may not even be aware that they are providing financial information and personal information that is fake.
 

Cyber Terrorism

The goal of cyber terrorism is to inflict severe harm or demand any form of ransom on an individual, a group of persons, or a government. Cyber terrorism, often referred to as digital terrorism, is the term used to describe disruptive assaults on computer systems by authorized terrorist groups with the goal of inciting fear, panic, or the actual destruction of the information network.

Cyber terrorism is the act of denying authorized individuals access to computer resources, breaking into a secured system, or introducing contamination into an apparatus with the goal to endanger India's security, unity, integrity, or sovereignty.

As section 66F deals with the punishment of cyber terrorism. With the intention of terrifying the populace or any portion of the populace by endangering the unity, integrity, security, or sovereignty of India. If someone engages in cyber terrorism or negotiates to do so, they will be held accountable. Since foreign entities are involved in terrorist operations, it is required that you read Section 75 of this Act as well as Insertion 66F. Imprisonment, with the possibility of lifelong incarceration.

Requirements Of Cyber Terrorism:

  • Intention: a desire to create fear in someone or pose a threat to India's sovereignty, unity, integrity, or security.
  • Cause or likely to cause:
    1. death or personal harm
    2. destruction or harm to property
    3. harm or interruption of the supply chain
  • Purposefully or knowingly using a computer resource with unauthorized permission or using more access than is permitted.
  • Obtaining entry to data, information, or computer databases that are otherwise inaccessible.

26/11 Terror Attack

The terrible incident that occurred on November 26, 2008, in Mumbai, India, involved 12 coordinated gunshots and explosions that lasted over four days. According to experts, it was a significant cyberattack rather than a straightforward act of terrorism. The terrorists had constant communication with Pakistan via VoIP phones, and they had gained access to all of the data stored on the computers of the Taj Hotel, Leopal Cafe, Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Obori Trident, Came Hospital, and Nariman House.

They had the entire Taj Hotel guest list, along with room number, check-in time, and other details. They primarily targeted foreign visitors from the United States, England, and other countries. They had a particular list of persons they were looking for targate since they had access to all of the hospital's and cafe's data. The explosion continued for four days, and terrorists were constantly in contact with Pakistani hackers. One of the significant events in our nation, 26/11, forced the government to consider cyber security, the potential for cyber threats in a country like India, and possible counter measures.

 

Cyber Bullying

When someone targets, threatens, harasses, or embarrasses someone else via technology. It occurs on gadgets such as gaming systems, PCs, tablets, and cell phones. Cyber bullying causes harm to individuals and is illegal in some situations.

It is the duty of the government and the courts to implement reforms that eliminate needless restrictions on this right, but this does not give you the freedom to express yourself anyway you choose without adhering to fundamental decorum. You have the basic right to express your opinions on any topic, but you are not allowed to talk in an offensive or vulgar manner since doing so would cause great harm to other people.

Section 66 A of the IT Act of 2000 used to be the primary provision that addressed the offense of cyber bullying; however, the section's meaning was extremely ambiguous and did not offer a specific description of the offense. The clause stipulated a three-year imprisonment sentence and/or fine. However, the fact that the offense was subject to bail was not given a lot of importance.

However, a number of IPC provisions, including Section 507 for coercion or threats, Section 354(C) for taking pictures of women without their agreement, and Section 354(D) for spying or monitoring the conduct of another without their knowledge, may be used to bullying offenses. In addition, sending disparaging messages�which, if performed via social media, may be considered cyber bullying�is punishable under Section 499.

In this instance, the IT Act of 2000's Section 66A, which permitted the arrest of people for posting obscene remarks on social media, was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court. The clause, according to the court, was ambiguous and infringed on the right to free expression. Many people hailed the court's ruling as a major win for free expression in the internet era.[13]

For the first time, the Supreme Court recognized cyber bullying as a concern. In this instance, the Supreme Court considered the relevant statutes and constitutional provisions to offer guidance on addressing the issue of cyber bullying while safeguarding women from sexual harassment.[14]

Defamation

Defamation is the act of disseminating false information about someone with the intent to damage that person's reputation. Cyber defamation, often known as online defamation, is the act of falsely accusing someone of anything over the internet. Statements sent on online platforms or via social media.

According to Section 66A the penalties listed in this section for transmitting "offensive" texts on a tablet, smart phone, or laptop are covered by this law.

Section 499 of Indian Penal Code as this section states that, with the exception of situations that are expected to occur in the future, anyone who makes or publishes a false accusation or something else untrue or false with an objective to harm someone's reputation is guilty of defamatory action.

Anyone found to violate Section 499 of IPC may face charges under Section 500 of IPC. This section discusses punishment; the offender faces a two-year imprisonment sentence, a fine, or both.

The petitioner was being stalked at the time, and the perpetrator later created a fake account for her and sent offensive comments to the victims' friends. There was also a picture of a changing neck on the wall of the victim's dormitory. The offender was found to have committed the offense by the court.[15]

In this instance, after receiving a divorce letter from her husband, the respondent filed a complaint against him for continuously scaring her by posting insulting images and defaming her. The respondent's wife has requested maintenance in the sum of Rs. 75,000 per month since the offense was previously reported.[16]

Cyber Stalking

Cyber stalking is the practice of using technology to instill fear or anxiety in another person about their safety. This behavior entails an infringement on someone's relative right to privacy and is intimidating or otherwise frightening. Direct communication isn't always necessary in cases of cyber stalking, and some victims don't even realize of the fact they are being tracked online.

Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000 this section is an exact replica of Indian Penal Code Section 292A. The "electronic form" of pornographic content is the topic of this section. This section addresses internet stalking as a result. Should the stalker attempt to post pornographic content about the victim on social media.

Section 67A of the IT Act, 2000 lays down that cyber stalking is the subject of this section. This clause was inserted subsequent to the change in 2008. It states that a stalker will be prosecuted with an offense under Section 67A of the IT Act and penalized if he attempts to disseminate any "sexually explicit" material using electronic means, such as emails, texts, or social media.

Section 67B of the IT Act,2000 - The Amendment Act of 2008 introduced this Section for the first time. This section deals with stalkers who prey on minors below the age of eighteen and scare them by posting images of young people having sex.

Kinds Of Cyber Stalking

  • Email stalking
  • Internet stalking
  • Computer stalking
The Indian Constitution's Article 21, which safeguards the right to privacy, is obviously broken by stalking. This was the ruling in the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy and Others v. Union of India and Others. Its main purpose is to frighten people, yet social isolation is one of its indirect effects.[17]

Pornology

As pornology is described as the process of producing, displaying, distributing, importing, or publishing pornographic or obscene items via the use of the internet. Online and digital pornography has essentially taken the role of conventional pornography since the emergence of internet.

While it is illegal in many nations, cyber pornography is allowed in others. This is an ambiguous part of the law in India under the IT Act, 2000, where it is neither illegal nor authorized.

According to Section 67A of the Information Technology Act, publishing, transmitting, or causing to be published in electronic form any content that contains sexually explicit acts or behavior is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to ten lakhs.

Bazee.Com Case

Avinash Bajaj, the CEO, was taken into custody when a user advertised the DPS sex scandal video for sale. Despite Avinash's arrest under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, the video was not posted on the platform. The Intermediary rules were enacted in 2011 as a result of this case, and they stated that an Intermediary's liability would be waived provided they took reasonable steps to ensure that pornographic information was not published on their site.

Morphing

The technique of altering an image or form through a smooth transition is known as photo/video morphing. Something else than the original image is created by altering it. Sometimes it's even hard to see any errors in the transformed image. Celebrity morphing pictures are frequently discussed, particularly in relation to still and moving photos. Celebrities file several complaints for these kinds of incidents each year.

The Information Technology Act of 2000's Section 67 makes it illegal to disseminate or disclose any content that, among other things, is lewd or appeals to voyeuristic tendencies. First-time offenders face a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a fine of five lakh rupees. Repeat offenders face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine that can reach 10 lakh rupees. The punishment will be increased if the perpetrator is a habitual offender, meaning that they will still face consequences if they try to change who they are and harass others.

In this case it was decided that it was decided that this section covers any conduct performed in the presence of a woman that, in the eyes of humanity, is suggestive of sex. More specifically, within the context of the matter, this Section covers any communication that expresses lewd or lusty remarks about a girl's body and circulates the image. According to this section, a woman's dignity may be violated by imprisonment for up to a year, a fine, or both.[18]

Tampering With Computer Source Documents

Section 65 of the IT Act,2000 deals with the offence of tampering computer source documents.

Requirement To Be Considered Under An Offence Of Tampering:

  • Intentionally hides, deletes, or modifies the source code for a computer system, computer program, computer network, or computer,
  • Deliberately or willfully allows someone else to hide, obliterate, or change any computer source code that is utilized for a computer, system program, computer system, or computer network; and
  • However, the crime is only shown to exist when computer source code must be preserved or is required to be maintained by law while it is still in effect.

This section's goal is to safeguard the computer's "intellectual property." The goal is to protect electronic source materials (codes) above the point at which the Copyright Act permits access. The Copyright Act, which enables companies to safeguard the source code of their programs, is added to this section. According to the IT Act, crimes for which a life sentence or a sentence of more than three years in jail is specified are punishable by compound interest.[19] bailable if found guilty of a three-year imprisonment sentence. [20] and cognizable if the offense carries a three-year or longer imprisonment sentence. The act of tampering with computer source materials is consequently punishable by up to three years in imprisonment under Section 65, making it a cognizable, compoundable, and bailable offense.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court ruled that the Legislature employed the disjunctive phrase "or" in Section 65 to separate the two sentences. "when a computer source code is required to be kept" and when it is "maintained by law for the time being in force". It indicates the differences between the two scenarios. But it depends on the evidence whether a mobile phone provider keeps track of a computer's source code. Employees of Tata Indicom were detained in this instance for using a 32-bit electronic serial number (ESN) that was specifically licensed to Reliance Infocom in order to hack into mobile phones. The Court ruled that Section 65 of the IT Act was applicable as this case involved tampering with source code.[21]

Conclusion
Knowing what constitutes an offense in the eyes of the law is essential for responsible citizenship. If there is an offense, there is a penalty for it. People become unaware and scared, making the wrong decision. In case of any issue, a remedy is also always available. In the end, it is determined that social media may be a blessing or a curse for everyone depending on how well it connects them to their loved ones. However, some users have fallen prey to cyber attacks. Even if there are many laws protecting victims from wrongdoers, the necessity for new laws is never completely eliminated.

End-Notes:
  1. R v Dytham (1979) Q.B.722
  2. Davey v. Lee (1967)
  3. Leicester v Pearson (1952)
  4. Commissioner of Sales Tax v. Rama and Sons, General Merchant, Ballia, 1999
  5. R. Balakrishna Pillai v. State of Kerala, 1995
  6. Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, 1994
  7. Section 66 Information and Technology Act, 2000.
  8. Jagjeet singh v. state of Punjab ,2016
  9. Kamalakanta tripathy v. respondent: state of odisha and others ,2021
  10. Shreya singhal v. U.O.I on 24th ,2015
  11. Association of software and service companies v. Ajay Sood & others
  12. Business Standard, https://www.business-standard.com/article/pf/consumer-court-grants-relief-to-atm-fraud-victim-115040500695_1.html
  13. Shreya singhal v. Union of India, AIR 2015 SC 1523
  14. Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, 1997, 6 SCC 241
  15. Kalandi Charan Lenka v. State of Odisha AIR 2016 SC 7596
  16. Rajiv dinesh gadkari through P.A. deepmala gadkari v. smt nilangi rajiv gadkari AIR 2009, Family Court Appeal no. 67.
  17. Justice K.S. Puttaswamy and Others v. Union of India and Others 2012.
  18. State of Punjab v. major singh 1996
  19. Information Technology Act, 2000, Sec 77A, No. 21, Acts of Parliament, 2000 (India)
  20. Information Technology Act, 2000, Sec 77B, No. 21, Acts of Parliament, 2000 (India)
  21. Syed Asifuddin and others vs. The State of A.P. and another, (2005) S.C.C. OnLine AP 1100

Written By: Shambhavi,
B.B.A.Ll.B (H) , Amity Law School, Amity University Jharkhand

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The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...

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The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

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