State alerted to cybercrimesDate: February 05, 2013
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India has provided specific directions to be followed by the Police personnel of the State while arresting people in connection with cybercrimes.
Cybercrimes refer to those offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (Chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones (SMs/MMs).
Such crimes may threaten not just the security but also the financial health of a country.
According to information received by Hueiyen Lanpao, a notification issued by Dr Gulshan Raj, Group Coordinator and Director General of Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India has been sent to all the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of the States and Union Territories including Manipur for strict implementation of Information Technology Act, 2000.As per the notification, the State government has been advised that in case of complaint registered under section 66A of the Information technology Act 2002, the concerned Police Officer of a police station under the State's jurisdiction may not arrest any person until and unless he/she has obtained prior approval of such arrest from an officer who is not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police or Superintendent of Police at the district level, as the case may be.
Owing to numerous benefits brought out by technological advancement, cyberspace has become a common tool used by citizens, civil societies, businessmen and Government agencies for communication and dissemination of information.
Cyberspace has distinct and unique characteristics compared to physical space.
Massages and communications can be made from one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one and many-to-many persons or devices spread out all across the globe.
They produce great advantages in accessing and posting the information and expressing the views in our day to day life.
However, cyberspace has also the potential to be misused for variety of purposes such as spreading hate mails, posting inflammatory, harmful and offensive information in the form of images, videos, photos and text.
Provision for addressing such offences exists in section 66A of the Information and Technology Act, 2000, the notification pointed out.
While highlighting that a number of incidents have been reported wherein section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 has been invoked solely as well as with other sections of the IPC against certain persons for posting or communication certain content which was considered by the police to be harmful, the notification noted that due diligence and care should be exercised while dealing with cases arising out of the alleged misuse of cyberspace.
Legal experts, on the other hand, informed Hueiyen Lanpao that though the IT Act, 2000 has been implemented in the State long time back, many of the people of the State hardly understand what the Act is all about.
At the same time, the State Government has never considered it worthwhile to give awareness to the general public over the issue.
Legal experts further informed that big cases of cybercrime are covered under Section 66 of the Act while the punishment part is covered by the section 66A of the IT Act.
Under this section a person can be sentenced to 3 years imprisonment along with a fine.
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