Cybercrime via cyberbullying: A Formidable Challenge

Representational Image [Source: Flicke/ Patterson]

The evolution of technology has made man dependent on internet for all his needs. The easy accessibility of internet has confined man to one place. Right from the social networking, online shopping, online jobs, gaming all are available at your finger tip. Internet is now used in every sphere of life. With its advancement we forget about its cons which we called as cyber-crimes. As rightly said by experts many cyber-crimes went unreported that is ‘iceberg of unseen crimes’. This should be our priority to be well known with these cybercrimes in order to protect ourselves by scam artists. We should know internet provides new cloak of anonymity to these scam artists. Why we are in a mood to write on cybercrimes because recently gone through the same. Biggest mistake was online shopping. So be aware of these scam artists.

The traditional pontification of cybercrime is posited as the crime done via computer system. This definition is quite inadequate and flimsy as it is not necessary that a cybercrime will always be carried out by using a computer system. To our mind, any form of criminal activity discharged with the assistance of modern telecommunication networks or computer system can be termed as cybercrime.

Unfortunately, this subject has been copiously deliberated and discussed by experts without suggesting any ideal or viable way out. Ironically the Indian State has no Cybercrime law at the moment. The issues concerning cybercrime are dealt with according to the Information Technology Act 2000 which faced an amendment in 2008. The basic purpose of the Act was premised on giving legal recognition to electronic documentation of disparate Indian Institutions and departments. With the law backing electronic documentation and with the limelight and significance it gained, well-nigh every important document became accessible online which shouldn’t have been the case.

The legal intelligentsia is busy suggesting futile measures and exhibiting adherence to the IT Act 2000. So far, if we are not mistaken, nobody has tried to fathom the cardinal reasons behind the online crimes. No constant constructive deliberations come about regarding the menace. What we see is that this subject is accosting a constant trivialization with respect to its trigger point. Following are the causes of cybercrime:

1. Rising Unemployment

To substantiate unemployment is one of the pernicious things which espouse the constant escalation of cybercrime, it is imperative to compare the registered cybercrime cases of 2019 to 2020. In 2019 India registered 1,393 cybercrime offences, in 2020 2,456 cybercrime offences were registered. This is a crystal-clear indication that cybercrimes are skyrocketing because of destitution and unemployment which have a trenchantly chronic and obnoxious implication. In order for the talented and educated youth to get rid of destitution and unemployment, in view of no apparent even-handed way before them, they choose illicit, immoral and unethical ways to financially armour themselves. Online financial fraud is one of the evident bywords.

2.Unchecked internet accessibility:

With vehement proliferation of internet networking, the accessibility of internet connection has almost reached every doorstep. The access to internet shouldn’t be so easy. The proliferation of online crimes demand that there should be certain hard and fast rules to contain online crimes. The people at the helm in this revolutionary field must ensure proper surveillance and scrutiny. People seeking to use internet should be impelled to agree on a clause that if caught with their hands in the cookie jar, their devices will be proscribed from accessing internet for a particular period of time.

3.No Parental Surveillance:

The egregious conceptualization of the concepts like freedom and liberalism have created an unprecedented conundrum at global level. In the name of freedom and liberal attitude, the modern youth are agitated if their electronic gadgets are put under surveillance by their own parents. The parents have capitulated unfought before their children. The parents, despite the annoyance they will have to face, must be in constant touch with what their children do with their electronic gadgets.

Since we all are privy to the skyrocketing nature of cybercrimes, amidst this perturbation, how can we assuage cybercrime? Apart from fixing causes, we need to do certain things both at legal level and educational level. Following are certain points concerning the same: –

  1. The punishments prescribed for different kinds of cybercrimes under IT Act 2000 are inadequate and less formidable. The quantum of jail term for different cyber crimes must be highly increased with fines introduced which are unbearable.
  2. The important documents regarding financial institutions and national security matters must be precluded from online publication. People don’t commit online crimes to seek pleasure, they do it either for money or to get information that will embolden them to know the preeminent secrets of an enemy nation or to attack her.
  3. Vilification, demonization and disparagement must be certain entitlements with which people who indulge in cybercrimes be introduced in general public. General mortification and societal seclusion can also succour assuage cybercrimes. The educational institutions teaching computer must introduce professional ethics as a separate subject in their curriculum.
  4. Whenever the Law enforcement machinery is approached by a victim of cybercrime, instead of calling it off and maintaining sluggishness, swift, strenuous and required action must be taken by the concerned authority without any deliberate procrastination.
  5. If the current government is really serious about the issue of cybercrimes, it should table a bill in the parliament specifically concerning cybercrimes and cybercriminals. The bill should have punitive criminal provisions making it extremely onerous for cybercriminals to circumvent the law.
  6. Finally, the COVID upheaval has substantially doused the economic growth and almost hampered every sector, giving the unemployed an easy leeway to be distracted towards online stealing and crimes. Before this devilry grows immensely, the Government must fix it by increasing the availability of vaccines amongst masses.

Dr Saadat Nazir Shah studies at  Govt Medical College, Srinagar.

Syed Shahab u Din Andrabi is  Law Student, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi