Rising cybercrime and infrastructure gaps in India

    08-Sep-2022
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Priyanka 'Saurabh'
Contd from previous issue
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 in 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. 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 investi- gations but also need adequate funds to develop the much-awaited and necessary cyberinfrastructure.
State Govts 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.
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 writer is a Research Scholar in Political Science, Poet, freelance journalist, and columnist, Ubba Bhawan, Aryanagar, Hisar (Haryana)-127045