Cyber Crime – The Gen Alpha Crime
Many people still are unaware of what is Cybercrime. Even if nowadays we are constantly surrounded by Electronic Devices 24 x 7, we are still unaware about what are its beneficial uses and how we are misusing the technology to harass our fellow citizens.
From the Title, you must be wondering “What is Gen Alpha?”, “What is Cyber Crime?” Let me guide you through this.
We have been giving a name for people born in a certain year range for years now. Generation Alpha describes the current generation of children who began being born in the year 2010. They are the children of the Millennials, and often the younger siblings of Generation Z. And when describing an incident or referring to people in regards to their birth, the terms like Gen Z, Gen Millennial, and now Gen Alpha, are used.
What is Cyber Crime?
Technology is developing so rapidly all over the world that the innovations sometimes stun even the experts. Until now we had heard of crimes related to Murder, theft, robbery, assault, rape, and all such acts that required the physical presence of the victim and the assaulter. However, nowadays we have often heard about cybercrimes too, such as spam calls/ e-mails, Pornography, Cyberbullying, Hacking someone’s personal information, etc. Even though people have a rough idea about what the above-mentioned crimes are, they are still unaware of how to deal with them or how to fight against them.
These days, parents have started coaxing their kids with mobile phones and laptops/PCs to keep them entertained in their absence. However, what they fail to understand is that it is also having a negative impact on their children. And as they are busy with work or social gatherings, they fail to notice the change in their behavior sooner. Peer group influence is also a major part of the evolving cybercrime.
In simple words, Cyber Crime is harassment by a citizen through technology.
Under the IT Act 2000, cybercrime is defined as-
Tampering with computer source documents – “Whoever knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy or alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer program, computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by the law for the time being in force, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees or with both.”
Reason For Cyber Crime-
- Lack of Digital Awareness
- Lack of Understanding Scams
- Increase in Access to Digital Space
- Low Parental Guidance/ Monitoring
Types of Cyber Crimes-
- Piracy or Theft
- Cyber Stalking
- Identity Theft
- Malicious Software
- Child Soliciting and Abuse
- Unauthorized access and piracy
- Hijacking the Web
- Child pornography
- Denial of Service attack
- Virus attacks
- Software piracy
- Salami attacks
- Violation of privacy and confidentiality
- Cyber Defamation
- Data distribution
- E-mail Spoofing
Hacking is an act of invading the digital private space of an individual without their consent. Through hacking, an individual can access any sort of information, be it private or professional, and can misuse it against the victim.
Ex:- Uploading Private Pictures or confidential information about your ex-partner on social media by hacking their devices with the intention to defame them.
- Piracy or Theft:
When a person downloads documents, videos, songs, games, etc. illegally they are liable to be convicted for theft and/or piracy.
- Cyber Stalking :
Youngsters do this type of Cyber Crime on daily basis by constantly harassing their victims by sending them multiple messages and threats on various online platforms. However, if they notice that cyberstalking is not having the desired effect, they begin offline stalking along with cyberstalking to make the victims’ lives more miserable.
- Identity Theft:
Due to the increase in monetary digital transactions and banking services, the issue of Digital Identity Theft has also increased in number gradually. The act of impersonating the victim to access details of his bank account, credit card, social security, debit cards, and other sensitive information to siphon money or to buy things online is identified as Identity Theft.
- Malicious Software:
These are internet-based software or programs that are used to disrupt a network. The software is used to gain access to a system to steal sensitive information or data or cause damage to software present in the system.
- Child Soliciting and Abuse:
This is a type of cybercrime where the minors are exploited vide online platforms and chat rooms for the purpose of child pornography.
Phishing is an act of stealing an individual’s identity, or money, via calls, messages, or emails and getting you to reveal your personal information such as credit card details, bank information, etc, and rob you of your belongings.
- Cyber Defamation:
When a person posts a defamatory question about someone on a website or sends e-mails that contain defamatory information to all of that person’s friends, it is called cyber defamation.
- Email Spoofing:
E-mail representation refers to the e-mail that appears to come from a source but has been sent from another source. Representation by e-mail can also cause monetary damage.
- Violation of Privacy & Confidentiality:
Privacy refers to an individual’s right to determine when, how, and to what extent their personal data will be shared with others. Violation of privacy involves the use or unauthorized distribution or disclosure of personal information.
- Hijacking the Web:
Web hijacking means taking strong control of another person’s website. In this case, the website owner loses control over his website and its content.
CYBERCRIME IN MODERN SOCIETY
Criminals that engage in cybercrime are no longer motivated by vanity or expertise. Instead, they want to swiftly benefit from their expertise. They use this knowledge to steal, cheat, and exploit people because it is easy for them to make money without having to work hard. Cybercrime has evolved into a serious menace, distinct from traditional crimes such as robbery, mugging, or theft. Unlike these crimes, cybercrime can be committed in an instant and the criminal does not need to be physically present. Crimes can be committed remotely, and criminals do not have to worry about the law enforcement agencies of the country in which they are committing the crime. The same systems that made it easy for people to do e-commerce and online transactions are being abused by cybercriminals.
Recent Case in Ahmedabad
A private school in the Satellite area of Ahmedabad has decided to go ahead with the prelim exams for Classes 10 to 12, two days after it received an email from an anonymous sender who threatened to upload morphed photos of its girl students on the internet if the upcoming exams are not canceled. According to police, this is the second time in three months when the management of the school, Anand Niketan, was receiving threat emails alleged to be from the same sender, demanding to cancel the exams. The school received the first threat email on September 9, when the sender threatened to “leak” morphed pictures of the school’s girl students if mid-term exams were not canceled. The school management then canceled the mid-term exams for Classes 8 to 12 in mid-September.
Landmark Cases: –
- State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti
The instant case is a landmark case in the Cyber Law regime for its efficient handling made the conviction possible within 7 months from the date of filing the FIR.
Facts: The accused was a family friend of the victim and wanted to marry her but she married another man which resulted in a Divorce. After her divorce, the accused persuaded her again and on her reluctance to marry him, he took the course of harassment through the Internet. The accused opened a false e-mail account in the name of the victim and posted defamatory, obscene, and annoying information about the victim.
A charge sheet was filed against the accused person under Section 67 of the IT Act and Section 469 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Decision: The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore convicted the accused person under Section 469 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 67 of the IT Act. The accused was subjected to the Rigorous Imprisonment of 2 years along with a fine of Rs. 500 under Section 469 of the IPC, Simple Imprisonment of 1 year along with a fine of Rs. 500 under Section 509 of the IPC, and Rigorous Imprisonment of 2 years along with a fine of Rs. 4,000 under Section 67 of the IT Act.
2. SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd. vs. Jogesh Kwatra
Facts: In this case, Defendant Jogesh Kwatra was an employee of the plaintiff’s company. He started sending derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, abusive, and filthy emails to his employers and to different subsidiaries of the said company all over the world to defame the company and its Managing Director Mr. R K Malhotra. In the investigations, it was found that the email originated from a Cyber Cafe in New Delhi. The Cybercafé attendant identified the defendant during the inquiry. On 11 May 2011, Defendant was terminated of the services by the plaintiff.
Decision: The plaintiffs are not entitled to relief of perpetual injunction as prayed because the court did not qualify as certified evidence under section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act. Due to the absence of direct evidence that it was the defendant who was sending these emails, the court was not in a position to accept even the strongest evidence. The court also restrained the defendant from publishing or transmitting any information in the Cyberspace which is derogatory or abusive to the plaintiffs.
Written By –
Adv. Sakshi Jhaveri
Ms. Aathira Nair