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How To File A Complaint In Regards To Violation Of Cyber Laws

The idea of cybercrime has increased in scope as a result of the widespread use of the internet and its associated benefits. The Information Technology Act of 2000,[1] which was later updated to the IT Amendment Act of 2008, is the Indian legislation that deals with penalties linked to such offences.

Hacking has been increasingly popular in recent years, and cyber-crime in India is on the rise. Many government websites have been hacked and are vulnerable today. Cyberstalking, pornography, morphing, online harassment, libellous or unpleasant comments, trolling or bullying, blackmailing, threat or intimidation, e-mail spoofing, and impersonation are some of the most common and often reported types of cybercrime against women.

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 governs the procedure for criminal proceedings, including how to file a criminal complaint or FIR against an accused person, as well as the procedure for criminal trial and disposition of a criminal case. Similarly, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 governs the procedure for civil cases, including how the plaintiff can begin the proceedings by submitting a plaint in civil court and how the defendant can respond to the plaintiff with a written declaration.

It also lays out the method for the full civil action as well as the resolution of the civil complaint. But the main question is as to how can a victim of cybercrime file a case against the perpetrator?

What is cyber Crime?

Simply put, cyber-crimes in India are wrongdoings or crimes committed via the use of technology. There is no particular definition of cyber-crime; however, it is a white-collar crime when any illicit or criminal conduct is carried out utilising a computer as the principal means of operation. Cybercrime is a wide phrase that refers to criminal activity that involves the use of computers or computer networks as a tool, a target, or a location for illegal activity.

It encompasses anything from electronic theft to denial-of-service assaults. It is a broad word that encompasses crimes like phishing, credit card fraud, bank robbery, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, child abduction through chat rooms, scams, cyber terrorism, virus production and dissemination, and spam, among others.

In India, there are cyber cell departments in practically every state established to deal with cyber concerns.

Since the number of reports of cyber-crime complaints, both online and offline, has risen dramatically in India, cyber cell departments and cyber police have recognised a variety of cyber-crimes.

Types of Cyber Crime in India

Many sorts of cyber offences have been established under India's cyber legislation.

The Six Most Common Issues That One Encounters And Deals With Are As Follows:

  1. Cyber Stalking:
    After hacking, cyber-stalking is the most commonly reported cyber-crime online complaint or cyber-crime cell complaint. It is a crime of online harassment, which is mostly committed against women.
     
  2. Online Theft:
    When a criminal extorts money from a victim, they use the internet to gain access to the victim's personal bank account, credit card, debit card, and other sensitive information.
     
  3. Cyberbullying:
    Cyberbullying is when a person is harassed, defamed, intimidated, or harassed via the internet, mobile phones, or social media.
     
  4. Cyber Terrorism:
    Cyber terrorism occurs when a person is threatened with extortion or other forms of extortion.
     
  5. Hacking:
    In India, it is one of the most frequent kinds of cybercrime. When a person virtually hacks into another person's computer in order to get access to personal and sensitive information such as banking data, e-mail accounts, and so on. As more and more things become digital, the chance of being hacked rises.
     
  6. Phishing:
    Sending bogus messages or e-mails with a link to a certain webpage in order to trick victims into inadvertently entering personal information (such as contact information, bank account information, and passwords) or infecting victims' devices with hazardous viruses as soon as they click the link.
     
  7. Cyber terrorism and cyber extortion:
    Hacking into someone's computer and encrypting all of the data and files on it, then demanding a ransom to decode it.
     
  8. Child solicitation and abuse:
    When a youngster is approached over the internet to be used in the creation of child pornography

There has been the usage of technology, such as electronic devices (computers, computer networks, or mobile phones) and the internet, in the circumstances stated above (social media, e-commerce websites, fraudulent web pages and e-mails, etc.). Everything linked to computers, computer networks, computer equipment, software, the internet, e-mails, websites, data storage devices, and other electronic devices is referred to as "cyber" (mobile phones, ATM machines, etc.). As a result, a cybercrime is defined as a crime committed with or through the use of a computer, computer network, internet, or any other online service or electronic device.

How to file a Cyber Crime Complaint

Complaints about cybercrime can be filed with the cybercrime cells. The victim can file the complaint both online and offline, and he or she can select which method is most convenient for him or her. Because cybercrime falls under the purview of global jurisdiction, the victim does not need to file a complaint with the cybercrime cell in the city where he or she resides or where the crime was committed. Instead, the cybercrime complaint can be filed with any of the cybercrime cells established in India.

Cybercrime cells have been formed in several Indian cities to make it easier for people to receive help in the event of an accident or harm caused by a cybercrime perpetrated against them.[2] These cells have also been raising awareness about cybercrime and the steps that may be taken to avoid being a victim. Cybercrime cells keep track of cybercrime reports and conduct investigations.

If the victim does not have access to any of the cybercrime cells, he or she can file a police report under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure at the local police station. If the cybercrime conducted against the victim is a punishable offence under the Indian Penal Code, the police officer is required to file an FIR. If the police officer refuses to submit the victim's report, the victim can file a formal complaint with the Judicial Magistrate in his or her district, who can then order the police officer to begin an investigation. The materials needed to file a cybercrime FIR vary depending on the type of cybercrime perpetrated against the victim (Social Media Crime, Cyber Bullying, and so on).

How to file a Cyber complaint online

The online portal where a victim can file a cyber-crime complaint is https://cyber crime.gov.in/Accept.aspx[3], a Government of India initiative that caters to complaints pertaining to online Child Pornography (CP), Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), or sexually explicit content such as Rape/Gang Rape (CP/RGR) content, as well as other cyber-crimes like social media crimes, online financial frauds, ransomware, hacking, cryptocurrency crimes, The portal also allows users to make an anonymous complaint regarding Child Pornography (CP) or sexually graphic content like Rape/Gang Rape (RGR) content.

To report a cyber-crime online, follow the procedures outlined below:

  1. STEP 1: Go to https://cybercrime.gov.in/
  2. STEP 2: Click on 'Report other cyber crimes' on the menu.
  3. STEP 3: Click on 'File a Complaint.
  4. STEP 4: You can either report anonymously if you are a woman or child or click on "Report other Cyber Crimes."
  5. STEP 5: Read the conditions and accept them.
  6. STEP 6: Register your mobile number and fill in your name and State.
  7. STEP 7: Fill in the relevant details about the offence.
Note: You can also report the offence anonymously. After reporting, you can track your report on the same website.

How to file a complaint against Cyberstalking

The continuous use of the internet, e-mail, social media, instant messaging, or other digital technologies to annoy, harass or threaten individuals is known as cyber stalking. There was no particular statute prohibiting it before to the February 2013 modification; currently it is covered under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, which added Section 354D to the Indian Penal Code, 1860, that defines what constitutes as "Stalking."

If a guy follows a woman and tries to contact her in order to develop a personal relationship, notwithstanding the lady's aversion to it, he is committed to stalking and can be prosecuted with it under Section 354(d). Stalking is also committed when a guy observes a woman's usage of the internet, e-mail, or any other kind of electronic communication.

The procedure for filing a complaint about Cyber Stalking is as follows:

  1. Submit a written complaint to the city's nearest cyber cell.
  2. Fill out an FIR form at your local police station. In the event that your complaint is not accepted, you can always take it to the municipal commissioner or court magistrate.
  3. You will be supplied with legal advice and support in order to help you file a case.
     

How to file a complaint against Cyberbullying [4]

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that occurs via the use of digital devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets and results in humiliation. It also includes disseminating, transmitting, or spreading bad, rude, or misleading information about another person in order to humiliate them, a practice known as character assassination.

Most social media networks, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and others, have explicit reporting and anti-bullying policies. These platforms may be able to assist you in getting the objectionable content removed.

You may report the cybercrime on cybercrime.gov.in, following the steps mentioned above. Furthermore, if you are a woman or child that has been a victim of cyberbullying, you may report cyberbullying in India by sending a detailed complaint to [email protected] You may also file a complaint with your local cyber cell.

If the cyber cell refuses to submit or accept your cyber complaint, you can make a direct complaint with the local Judicial Magistrate, noting that the complaint was not accepted under any/certain conditions.

Crimes Against Women And Children

The increase of cyber-crime has resulted in the most vulnerable members of society, namely women and children, being targeted. Cyberstalking, pornography, morphing, online harassment, trolling and bullying, threat and intimidation, and e-mail spoofing are the most common and often reported types of cyber-crimes against women. Cybercrime against children includes the distribution of paedophilic videos/messages, child pornography, and other forms of child pornography. The level of depravity has reached a point where rapes and child pornography are among the top searches for a porn site.

The procedure for filing a complaint online, i.e., the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, allows for the registration of cybercrime under two distinct categories: (1) Cybercrime against women and children; and (2) Other cybercrime. Additionally, it enables anonymous reporting of Child Pornography, Child Sexual Abuse Material, and Sexually Explicit Content (Rape/Gang Rape) by the victim/complainant. Additionally, the "Report and Track" option enables the complainant to monitor the progress of his or her complaint. The complainant is needed to provide information about the event that occurred, the suspect of the crime committed, and the complainant's identity (save for the "Report Anonymously" option).

Additionally, the complainant receives a copy of the complaint that was submitted on the site. After a complaint is successfully registered, a PDF of the complaint is created and may be downloaded from the site. If the victim does not have access to the internet, they can file an FIR at their local police station.

With an estimated cost of Rs. 223.198 crores (approx.), the Ministry of Home Affairs launched the Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCWC) scheme to effectively tackle cyber-crimes against women and children in the country and formulated:
  1. The unit for reporting cyber-crime online,
  2. Unit of Forensic Science,
  3. Unit for Capacity Building,
  4. Units of Research and Development and
  5. Unit for raising awareness.

Procedure for filing complaint offline

Making a written complaint to the cybercrime cell has proven to be the most acceptable method of reporting the crime, as some individuals still cannot pay internet costs or lack the necessary information. A cybercrime victim can register a written complaint with the nearest cyber-crime cell or any other cyber-crime cell in India.

The written complaint must be submitted to the Cybercrime Cell's Head and include the following details about the victim or the person filing the complaint:
Name, phone number, and mailing address.

The type of cybercrime perpetrated against the victim determines what further documents must be included in the complaint. It is required to include these documents in both offline and online complaints.

Conclusion
Cybercrime, which includes phishing, identity theft, and fraud, has risen dramatically in the last year. However, the present laws do not adequately or comprehensively address it. Consolidation of cybercrime infiltration is also anticipated. This highlights the need of developing more effective and deterrent regulatory frameworks and strict rules to combat cybercrime.

The passage and implementation of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, was a significant cyber law development in India for 2021. India has hitherto lacked a distinct data protection legislation. In December 2019, the government introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 in Parliament. By 2020, the aforementioned Bill would have been actively considered by a Joint Parliamentary Committee. Apart from enhancing proper protection for personal data, enacting the personal data privacy legislation would boost the Indian information technology ecosystem.

End-Notes:
  1. Appknox, All You Need to Know About Cybersecurity Laws in India.
  2. Law Vaccine, Cybercrime In India
  3. MyAdvo, What is Cyber Crime in India & How to File Cyber Crime Complaints.
  4. GoGuardian, How to Prevent Cyberbullying as Teachers.

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