By: Priyanka Saurabh
India is the second largest online market in the world. Although the advancement of technology and the Internet has brought with it all the associated benefits, there has also been an increase in cybercrime affecting people globally. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 50,035 cases of cyber crime were registered in 2020. Cybercrime is on the rise in India with the increasing use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of a crime or is used as a tool to commit a crime. Cybercrimes are at an all-time high, affecting individuals, businesses, and countries.
There are many factors behind this if we look at the shortcomings in the infrastructure to deal with cyber crimes; there is no procedural code to investigate cyber or computer-related crimes. Half-hearted efforts have been made by the states to recruit technical staff to deal with cyber crimes. Only technically qualified personnel can obtain and analyze digital evidence. The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 emphasizes that offenses registered under the Act should be investigated by a police officer, not below the rank of an Inspector. Districts have a limited number of police inspectors, and most area investigations are carried out by sub-inspectors.
Cryptocurrency-related crimes are under-reported as the ability of laboratories to solve such crimes is limited due to poor standards. Most of the cyber crimes are national with inter-regional jurisdiction. Police still have to The Cyber Tipline Report on Online Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) comes from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a non-profit agency in the United States. Most equipment and technology systems are just as vulnerable to cyber threats as any other connected system. Although the government has set up the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, it is yet to identify and implement measures to protect critical information infrastructure.
The cyber forensic laboratories of the states have not advanced with the advent of new technologies. Crimes related to crypto-currency are under-reported because the ability to solve such crimes remains limited. Most of the cyber crimes are transnational and with extra-territorial jurisdiction. India has extradition treaties and extradition arrangements with 48 and 12 countries respectively. Because of the problems related to cyber loopholes, the courts of India have also taken cognizance such as in Arjun Pandit Rao Khotkar Vs. Kailash Kushanrao Gorantyal and others, the Court held that an offense under Section 65B(4) of the Indian Evidence (IE) Act. The certificate (secondary) is a necessary condition for the admissibility of the electronic record if the original record could not be produced. Nupur Talwar Vs State Of UP. In Allahabad High Court observed that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) expert was not provided details of Internet logs, router logs, and laptop logs to prove whether the Internet was physically operated on that fateful night.
With ‘police’ and ‘public order in the state list, the primary responsibility of investigating crime and creating the necessary cyber infrastructure rests with the states. As resolved at the High Court Chief Justices’ Conference in April 2016, a five-judge committee was constituted in July 2018 to prepare draft rules that will serve as a model for the reception of digital evidence. I could work. Since there is now a state-of-the-art National Cyber Forensic Lab and Delhi Police’s Cyber Prevention, Awareness, and Detection Centre, professional help may extend to states notifying their laboratories. In most social media crimes, other than immediately blocking the offending website or the suspect’s account, other details are not quickly revealed from large IT firms abroad. Therefore, ‘data localization’ should be included in the proposed personal data protection law. The Center and the states should not only work together and formulate statutory guidelines to facilitate cybercrime investigations but also need adequate funds to develop the much-awaited and necessary cyberinfrastructure.
State governments should build adequate capacity to deal with cybercrime; this can be done by setting up a separate cyber police station in each district or range or by having technically qualified staff in each police station. The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 emphasizes that offenses registered under the Act should be investigated by a police officer, not below the rank of an inspector. Since the number of police inspectors in districts is limited, most of the field investigation is done by sub-inspectors. Therefore, it would be practical to consider a suitable amendment to Section 80 of the Act and enable sub-inspectors to investigate cyber crimes.
Establishment of a separate cyber-police station in each district or range, or technically qualified staff in each police station, there is an urgent need to build capabilities and capacity for testing applications, equipment, and infrastructure. ‘Data localization’ should be included in the proposed Personal Data Protection Act so that enforcement agencies can get timely access to the data of suspected Indian nationals. (The author is a Research Scholar in Political Science, poet, freelance journalist, and columnist)