Cyber laws in India - An Introduction

With the growth of advanced technology cyber crimes have been increasing manifold. Read this article to get an introduction on the common cyber laws and their role in the cyber world. Get familiarized with the foundation of cyber laws.

Let us first get familiarized with terms with the prefix cyber. Taken from the Greek word cybernetic, the prefix Cyber is a very familiar term in the internet world. Cybernetic means "governing". Cyberspace refers to the network of computer systemsf or the world of internet. Cyber Laws are the internet laws that deal with the use of the networks and which govern the virtual world of internet. With the success of internet, a lot of issues relating to privacy invasion, breach of intellectual property and access to the internet etc have emerged.

Importance of the cyber laws in India

Cyber laws are very essential primarily due to the following reasons:

  • Access to the internet is frely available from every nook and corner of the world.
  • Almost 42% part of the internet users in the world are constituted by Asians.
  • Almost every transaction, be it college admissions (education), bank transactions, shopping (from groceries to electronic goods), business transactions, sports, bill payments, entertainment; almost everything is done via internet.
  • Companies save all of their critical data in their networks
  • Online shopping is mostly done with the help of credit cards and the bank data is also used for transactions and that could be exposed.
  • Digital signatures are now widely used.
  • All confidential data are stored in e-formats
  • Huge traffic is accessing the data over the internet within a fraction of a second
  • All this can be done without proper user authentication
  • Softwares' can be sold without any proper licenses.

  • With every great technology, comes great disadvantages too. Cyber crimes are increasing with the technological advancement. Cyber crimes can be defined as any illegal activity involving computers, the internet or a network. Cyber laws play a very important role in all activities on the internet. With the increase in the usage of internet, comes the need for better cyber laws. Cyber laws are the laws that has been approved by the government, which has been enforced over a certain area and must be obeyed by all in that area. Cyber laws cover the following areas:
    1. Cyber crimes
    2. Data Privacy And Protection
    3. Electronic And Digital Signatures
    4. Intellectual Property

    Cyber crimes

    Cyber crimes involves any illegal activity having the computer as a medium or as a target. The most common cyber crimes are cyber thefts which also includes identity thefts, fraud, forgery, defamation, pornography and hacking. Reports show that forgery was done mostly by youngsters in the age group of 18-30 years, whereas cyber frauds were committed mostly by middle aged people in the age group of 30-45 years.

    Electronic And Digital Signatures

    Electronic records are authenticated or validated data using the electronic signatures. Digital signatures are a variant of electronic signatures.

    Digital signatures serve the following purposes:
  • Authentication of the signer.
  • Authentication of the message.
  • Integrity of the message.
  • The technology used in digital signatures makes them more valid than the normal hand written signatures.

  • Data Privacy And Protection

    Cyber laws provide protection of the privacy of individuals. It deals mainly with protection of data uploading of a person or its usage without the person's consent or knowledge. The punishment prescribed in India is up to 3 years in jail with or without monetary fine. The data transmission may be intentional. It can be a image or photo videotaped, photographed or recorded. The person shouldn't be worried about the data. Using the latest technologies, data can be manipulated from controllers like bank gateways, service providers and social networking websites. With the rise of mobile devices, it is possible to locate the location of a person and his/her preferences and updates, which violates the privacy.

    Privacy on the internet can be achieved through different means such as encrypting e-mails, making networks and proxies anonymous. Social networking sites often set default settings, which permits use of private information. The users are mostly ignorant of the same. Mostly adults are concerned about their privacy than their younger counterparts.

    Intellectual Property

    The Intellectual property basically means that any creation, let it be music, dance, symbols, designs created out of the human mind has the legal rights for exclusivity.

    The Intellectual Properties include:

  • Patents: This means, the exclusive legal rights are provided for an invention or method of doing something for a certain period of time. This is normally around twenty years that differs from country to country. The inventor is supposed to disclose the technical details about the invention, so as to help the public on further discoveries. The inventor can sell the patent rights to someone else. Others can use it with the permission of the owner of the patent. After a period of time, others can use it.

  • Trademarks: It is the protection given to the identity of a business, product or a firm. It can be a symbol, 3D depiction, music or any other features. Once the trademark is registered, it gives proof to the validity of the owner. The trademark helps consumers trust the brand, which is known for its products.
  • Copyrights and related rights. These legal rights are given to the owner of a creation. It is allowed to copy, but the credit of the creation goes to the copy righter. These include artistic creations, literary works, music, choreography and so on. There is no need to register. However, if it is registered, it gives better credibility. These include Authors' rights, Moral rights and Related rights
  • Geographical Indications: Rights specified mainly for goods to indicate that they are from a specific geographical place of origin. It helps figure out the quality and skills of that region. It helps distinguishing the area. Some examples are Kanchipuram silks, Kulu shawls
  • Industrial Designs: The legal rights protects the visual design or a creative design right. It helps protect the industrial status of the country.
  • Trade Secrets: These are confidential rights of a business regarding any process, distribution, sales or could even be the list of suppliers. These could be kept secretive for unlimited period of time. This can also be linked with the geographical indications.
  • Layout Design for Integrated Circuits: The legal rights provide protection for chip design layouts.
  • Protection of New Plant Variety: The legal rights protect the plant variety. It helps promote the farmer contributions.
  • ­
  • Utility model: The rights are similar to patents, except that it is for a very short period of time, normally ranging from 6 to 15 years.

  • In conclusion, cyber laws govern the basic four tenets of cyber crimes, electronic and digital signatures, Intellectual property and data privacy and protection. It is essential that strong laws are present, so that the cyber world can run smoothly.

    Read Legal issues with downloading copyrighted content on Torrent

    Article by Tony John
    Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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