Computer Crime Laws
Computer crime laws, also referred to as “cyber laws”, are well formed legal regulations by different governments to track and avoid crimes related to computers, Internet and related networks. These crimes generally include hacking, phishing, security exploitation, password cracking, spoofing, key logging, cyber spying, data sniffing, cyber terrorism, child pornography trafficking and others.
Different governments of different countries create varied computer crime laws to punish people who are involved in computer crimes. Various agencies and units are set up to tackle and manage computer crimes.
The agencies in the United States of America that look after computer security and crimes are – United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Secret Service (USSS), National Cyber Security Division (NCSD), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In India, the cyber crime enforcement agencies are – Cyber Crime Police Station, Cyber Crime Investigation Cell, Crime Branch of Criminal Investigation Department and Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Let’s look at few common computer crime laws of different countries.
Computer Crime Laws in the United States of America (USA)
|U.S. Code Title 17||Copyrights|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 47, Section 1029||Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47, Section 1030||Fraud and related activity in connection with computers|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 65, Section 1362||Communication lines, stations or systems|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113, Section 2318||Trafficking in counterfeit labels for phonorecords, copies of computer programs or computer program documentation or packaging, and copies of motion pictures or other audio visual works, and trafficking in counterfeit computer program documentation or packaging.|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113, Section 2319||Criminal infringement of a copyright.|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113, Section 2319A||Unauthorized fixation of and trafficking in sound recordings and music videos of live musical performances.|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 119||Wire and Electronic Communications Interception and Interception of Oral Communications|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 121, Section 2701||Unlawful access to stored communications|
|U.S. Code Title 18, Part II, Chapter 206, Section 3121||General prohibition on pen register and trap and trace device use; exception|
Computer Crime Laws in India
The primary computer law in India is the Information Technology Act (IT Act) formed in the year 2000. The key objective of this act was to provide legal recognition to electronic commerce and to facilitate filing of electronic records with the Government. It also states different punishments for various computer crimes – like imprisonment upto 10 years or a fine of 1,00,00,000 INR.
With time, there were other laws created and amendments made to existing ones. The Negotiable Instruments (Amendments and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act introduced in 2002 talks about electronic cheques and truncated cheques. The Information Technology (Use of Electronic Records and Digital Signatures) Rules created in 2004 talks about filing of documents and issuance of licenses. The Information Technology (Certifying Authority) Regulations of 2001 talk about procedures for Certifying Authorities.