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Information Technology

Information Technology is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information. An information technology system (IT system) is generally an information system, a communication system or, more specifically speaking, a computer system – including all hardware, software and peripheral equipment – operated by a limited group of users.

The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. Several products or services within an economy are associated with information technology, including computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, and e-commerce.

History of Computers

Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating, and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed in about 3000 BC, but the term information technology in its writing modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that "the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)." Their definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs.

Devices have been used to aid computation for thousands of years, probably initially in the form of a tally stack. The Antikythera dating from about the beginning of the first century BC, is generally considered to be the earliest known mechanical analog computer, and the earliest known geared mechanism. Comparable geared devices did not emerge in Europe until the 16th century, and it was not until 1645 that the first mechanical computer capable of performing the four basic arithmetical operations was developed.

Electronic computers, using either relays or valves, began to appear in the early 1940s. The electromechanical Zuse Z3, completed in 1941, was the world's first programmable computer, and by modern standards one of the first machines that could be considered a complete computing machine. Colossus, developed during the Second World War to decrypt German messages, was the first electronic digital computer. Although it was programmable, it was not general-purpose, being designed to perform only a single task. It also lacked the ability to store its program in memory; programming was carried out using plugs and switches to alter the internal wiring. The first recognizably modern electronic digital stored-program computer was the Manchester Baby, which ran its first program on 21 June 1948.

The development of transistors in the late 1940s at Bell Laboratories allowed a new generation of computers to be designed with greatly reduced power consumption. The first commercially available stored-program computer, the Ferranti Mark I, contained 4050 valves and had a power consumption of 25 kilowatts. By comparison, the first transistorized computer developed at the University of Manchester and operational by November 1953 consumed only 150 watts in its final version.

Several later breakthroughs in semiconductor technology include the integrated circuit (IC) invented by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1959, the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahn at Bell Laboratories in 1959, and the microprocessor invented by Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin, Masatoshi Shima and Stanley Mazor at Intel in 1971. These important inventions led to the development of the personal computer (PC) in the 1970s, and the emergence of information and communications technology (ICT).

Cyber Crime

Wikipedia defines Cybercrimes as: Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directy,using modern victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet(SMS/MMS).

Any activity using a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for means for means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cyber crime.
Cyber crimes span not only across State and national boundaries, but also the international boundaries, the extent of cyber crime is so vast and complicated that an act which maybe crime in one nation may not be so in another. Cyber crime ranges across a spectrum of activities.

It may be divide into two categories:
  1. crimes that target computers directly
  2. crimes facilitated by computer networks or devices.

Cyber Crimes And Related Sections

  1. Spam is the unsolicited sending of bulk e-mails for commercial purposes.
     
  2. Fraud may be committed by:
    altering, or deleting stored data, suppressing or stealing output, usually to conceal unauthorized transactions, altering or misusing existing system tools or software packages ,or by altering or writing code for fraudulent purposes. Other forms of fraud facilitated by using computer systems include bank fraud, identity theft, extortion, and theft of classified information.
     
  3. Obscene or offensive content:
    ( Section 67) certain countries place restrictions on racist, blasphemous, slanderous or inflammatory material which tend to incite hate crimes.
     
  4. Harassment:
    maybe in the form of cyber bullying, stalking, hate crime or directing obscenities to specific individuals focusing on gender, race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. In the case of United States v. Neil Scott Kramer, Kramer was served an enhanced sentence for his use of a cell phone to persuade, induce, entice, coerce, or facilitate the travel of, the minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct.
     
  5. Threats:
    (Section 503 IPC) spoken or written true threat speech/text is criminalized because of intent to harm or intimidate, that also online or any type of network related threats in written text or speech.
     
  6. Drug Trafficking:
    (NDPS Act) drug traffickers are increasing talking advantage of the Internet to sell their illegal substances through encrypted e-mail .The virtual exchanges allow the more inhibited individuals to comfortably purchase illegal drugs.
     
  7. Cyber Extortion: It is form of crime in which a website ,e-mail server, or computer system is subjected to repeated denial of service or other attacks by malicious hackers, who demand money in return for promising to stop the attacks.
     
  8. Pornography:
    It may be defined as describing or showing sexual acts in order to cause sexual excitement through books, films, etc. This would include pornographic websites, pornographic material produced using computers and use of internet to download and transmit pornographic videos, pictures, photos, writings, etc. Research has shown that pornography and its messages are involved in shaping attitudes and encouraging behavior that can harm individual users and their families.
     
  9. Forgery (Section 463 IPC):
    Counterfeit currency notes, postage and revenue stamps, mark sheets etc. can be forged using sophisticated computers, printers and scanners.
     
  10. IPR violation:
    These include software piracy, copyright infringement, trademarks violations, theft of computer source code, patent violations etc.
     
  11. Banking/Credit Cards related crimes:
    In the corporate world, Internet hackers are continuously looking for opportunities to compromise a company's security in order to gain access to confidential banking and financial information in order to commit frauds and thefts.
     
  12. E-commerce/Investment Frauds:
    Merchandise or services that are purchased or contracted by individuals online are never delivered.
     
  13. Pedophiles:
    They are persons who intentionally prey upon children. After earning their trust they gradually seduce them into sexual or indecent acts.
     
  14. Trojan Attack:
    The program that acts like something useful but does things that are quiet harmful. The programs of this kind are called as Trojans.
     
  15. Virus and worm attacks:
    A program that has capability to infect other programs and make copies of itself and spread into other programs is called virus. Programs that multiply like viruses but spread from computer to computer are called as worms. These programs have the capability of destroying all the date available in a computer.
     
  16. Defamation:
    (Section 499 IPC) is the intentional infringement of another person's right to his good name. Cyber Defamation occurs when someone's name is defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e-mails containing defamatory information to all of that person's friends.

Some Cases Related To Cyber Crime:

  • Bazee.com case: The CEO of Bazee.com was arrested in December 2004 because a CD with objectionable material was being sold on the website. This opened a Pandora's Box as to how much is the service provider responsible for what is being sold through his website.
     
  • In 1983,a nineteen-year-old UCLA student used his PC to break into a Defense Department international communications system.
  • On 26 March,1999,the Melissa worm infected a document on a victim's computer, then automatically sent that document and copy of the virus via e-mail to other people.

Capacity of human mind is unfathomable. It is not possible to eliminate cyber crimes from cyber space. One of the greatest lacunae in the field of Cyber Crime is the absence of comprehensive law anywhere in the world. Until recently, India had been ignorant of cyber law.

Only a deluge of cyber crimes forced the lawmakers to sit up and take stock of the situation. The Information Technology Act, 2000 was passed, but with many flaws. The 2008 Amendment of Information Technology Act brought great many changes in this regard. Through this amendment by extending its horizon has made a new beginning, problems associated with cyber crimes continue to persist.

Jurisdiction is a highly debatable issue because cyber crimes transcend national boundaries. Thus the concept of territorial jurisdiction as envisaged under Section 16 of Cr.P.C. and Section 2 of the I.P.C. will have to give way to alternative method of dispute resolution.

Loss of evidence is also a very common problem as all the data are routinely destroyed. Further collection of data outside the territorial extent also paralyses the system of crime investigation. So newer methods need to be devised in order to be ahead of the criminal minds and be able to combat them.

The home user segment is the largest recipient of cyber attacks as they are less likely to have established security measures in place and, therefore, it is necessary that people should be made aware of their rights and duties. Users must try and save any electronic information trail on their computers, use of anti-virus software, firewalls, use of intrusion detection system etc. Further the application of cyber laws need to be made more stringent to check crime.

Conclusion:
Information technology (IT) benefits the business world and it allows organizations to work more efficiently and to maximize productivity and so on. In business, people look for ways to do more work in a shorter amount of time and it should be only possible through the development of Information Technology . Faster communication, electronic storage and the protection of records are advantages that IT can have on our enterprise. IT is driven by the demands of the new, competitive business environment on the one hand and profound changes in the nature of computers in the other.

Information Technology systems come in the shape of many technologically advanced devices which help deliver important information to managers and thus they use this information to make crucial decision regarding the operations of their organization. IT has to do with computer applications, on which nearly every work environment is dependent.

Since computerized systems are so widely used, it is advantageous to incorporate information technology into our organization. Information technology creates electronic storage systems to protect our company's valuable records.

Secure maintenance of customer and patient files is vital to business integrity. Set of tools, processes, and methodologies (such as coding/programming, data communications, data conversion, storage and retrieval, systems analysis and design, systems control) and associated equipment employed to collect, process, and present information which is included in the Information Technology. Information technology plays the mainrole in students being able to keep their jobs and go to school. With the introduction of computers, the business world was changed and by using computers and software, businesses use information technology to ensure that their departments run smoothly.

Storage systems, such as virtual vaults, keep information safe by only allowing certain users within our company to access, withdraw, add or change the documents. IT security engineering systems protect our electronic information from being hacked, or wiped out during a technological disaster. Electronic security engineering means our valuable records will remain untouchable. Information technology improves our company's efficiency by developing automated processes to take burden off our staff. In turn, our employees are free to work on other things while the computer runs their reports, creates queries, tracks projects and monitors financials.

IT systems give us remote access to our company's electronic network, so that we can work from home or on the road. This accessibility allows us to increase our productivity because we can still get work done, even when we aren't physically in the office. Communication is essential to the business world and information technology gives our company the resources it needs to communicate quickly and effectively.

Our IT department can hook our employees up with email, video conferencing equipment, and internal chat rooms, so that they always have an efficient way to conduct business and communicate.

In the present time the whole world has been affected by pandemic COVID-19 and IT made it possible to work from home, online classes, other social networking sites, Internet, Video calls to relatives and friends to maintain relations this very necessary as Lockdown brings depression, and as the number of infected persons and deaths are increasing at a alarming number it is very necessary to take precautions and remain at home with family, and these connections which are far-off can only be maintained virtually in the present context as Lockdown is going on. A study shows that more than 200 million people are using ZOOM app all around the globe.

Written By: Devyani Dixit

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