In this blog post, Amala Haidar, a student pursuing a Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws by NUJS, describes the process undertaken while investigating an International Cybercrime.
There are 18 victims of cybercrime every second globally. The estimated annual cost of cyber security is 100 Billion Dollars. One in every ten people using Social Media have fallen victim to cyber attacks. If these statistics are not alarming enough to make us think and be aware of the processes of systematic investigation of Cybercrime then what is?
What is meant by International Cybercrime?
Though there is no universally accepted definition of International cyber crime, it is usually referred to illegal internet-mediated activities that often take place in global electronic networks. Cyber crimes are of various categories but there is one common feature between all these crimes, and that is they challenge the effectiveness of international law and the cooperation between nations.
What are the types of International Cybercrime?
International Cybercrimes are usually categorized into many broadheads. They are as follows:
- Crime against a person: This includes any cyber crime that affects the personality of an individual. It includes offenses such as stalking, defamation, hacking, e-mail, and SMS spoofing, etc.
- Crime against property: This occurs when the property of an individual is somehow under threat. This usually includes offenses against intellectual property, cyber vandalism, cybersquatting, hacking of computer system, etc.
- Crime against Government: This is a very dangerous form of cyber crime that threatens international peace and security too. It includes cyber terrorism and warfare.
- Crime against society: Crime against society indicates those cyber activities which are harming a large number of people this includes cyber trafficking, forgery, cyber gambling, etc.
Why do we need to think of the process of investigating International Cybercrime?
The need to introspect the approach to investigate cyber crimes is NOW. The rate at which cyber crimes are increasing is mentioned already and so have we discussed the facets of cyber crimes. Thus we see it is a phenomenon which is far more real than virtual and combating it would surely take a heavy toll on the nations.
What is the process of investigation of International Cybercrime?
The process of international cyber crime investigation varies across countries. A better approach would be to see how state, national and international law enforcement agencies deal with cyber crimes.
As soon as an individual faces a case of a cyber crime he should refer or complain it to the nearest police station. It is immaterial whether it has a cyber cell or not. It is advisable that he must gather enough evidence to make his complaint look believable in the first place. The police on looking into the matter would categorize it into criminal or civil or in some cases both criminal and civil. On receiving the complaint, the police would:
- Collect ample evidence to file a case.
- Decide the pecuniary, territorial or subject matter jurisdiction of a court and subsequently file a case under section 177 to 179 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Central Bureau of Investigation
The CBI investigates a cybercrime through a specialized structure. It is as follows-
- Cyber Crime Research and Development Unit (CCRDU): This body is involved with the task of:
- Liaison with the State Police Forces and collection of information on cases of Cyber Crime reported to them for investigation.
- Liaison with software experts to identify areas which require the attention of the State Police Forces for prevention and detection of crimes.
- A collection of information on the latest cases reported in other countries.
- Preparation of Monthly Cyber Crime Digest.
- Maintenance of rapport with Ministry of IT, Government of India and organizations and institutions and Interpol headquarters.
- Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC): This cell has all-India jurisdiction and investigates criminal offenses under the Information Technology Act 2000.
- The Cyber Forensic Laboratory (CFL): The Cyber Forensic Laboratory has the following functions-
- Provides expert testimony
- Research and development in cyber forensic
- Provide on-site assistance for computer search and seizure
- Provide media analysis in support of criminal investigations
- Provides consultation on investigations
- Network Monitoring Centre: The network monitoring center uses a network monitoring tool to police the internet and search for any unusual activities.
Interpol is the world’s largest police organization. When it comes to investigating international cyber crime this agency can go a long way in ensuring full cooperation of the law enforcements agencies of various countries. Interpol helps to investigate the International Cybercrime investigation by:
- Providing operational and investigative support to law enforcement agencies
- Cyber intelligence and analysis
- Digital forensics
- Innovation and research
- Capacity building and
- Natural cyber reviews
There are several other agencies and unions that cooperate to combat this global issue. This includes:
- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation( APEC): In the Asia-Pacific region, the APEC coordinates 21 member economies to tackle cyber crime by promoting cyber security.
- Council of Europe (EOC): The Council of Europe implemented many conventions for the protection of personal data in both public and private sectors.
- The United Nations: The United Nations has had several resolutions that help promote better investigation of International Cybercrime. For example, Resolution 56/121 invited states to consider extensive work when developing national law, policy, and practice to prevent cybercrime.
- The Commonwealth Nations: The Commonwealth Secretariat prepared the “Model on Computer and Computer Related Crimes” which brought a considerable change in the domestic laws of the 53 member nations.
These were to name a few there are several other organizations that go a long way in ensuring international cooperation and thus better investigation of International Cybercrime.
What are the relevant cyber laws of India?
In the Indian context, the Information Technology Act 2000 and the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 play a major role in cybercrime investigations.
Information Technology Act, 2000
Section 70A (1): An agency in case of emergency in matters related to cybercrime is created. This Act states that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team serves as a nodal agency in respect of all Critical Information Infrastructure for coordinating all actions relating to information security practices, procedures, guidelines, response, and report.
Section 4: This section gives legal recognition is given to electronic records under this Section.
Section 79A: This section came into force after the amendment of 2008.
It stated that the Government is empowered to appoint any department, body or agency to investigate electronic records for proving electronic evidence in cyber crime cases.
Indian Evidence Act, 1872
Section 3: An amendment was made in the Act so as to make electronic records eligible to be produced in court for inspection. This went a long way in easing cyber crime investigation.
The Indian Penal Code, 1860
The world electronic records and documents were added in the IPC after the amendment after The IT Act came into effect.
The challenges faced in cases of International Cyber Crime
- Not enough laws to criminalize the variety of abuses that fall under international cyber crime.
- Often countries involved in the investigation together fail to invest adequate personal resources.
- Inability to locate the criminal is another hindrance; in this case, the physical source of the crime is not traced.
- The collection and sharing of evidence internationally are not smooth.
The means of overcoming the hindrances in the process of investigation is an extensive and wide subject. But following are a few basics that are needed to be followed:
- There should be better laws to criminalize all sorts of cyber crimes and the onus, in this case, is by the Government of various nations.
- The agencies involved in the investigation should be well equipped technically to face a cyber emergency. A team should always be kept ready for technical assistance
- People using cyber resources should be made aware.
- Countries involved in a cybercrime investigation should be willing to share resources and information.
The article highlights the bare essentials of investigating a case of cyber crime. But this is not all; cyber crime is ever expanding, and the number of victims is increasing every second. Following global trends in cyber crime is as important as staying vigilant because you never know who will be the next victim.
Because when it comes to WEB anybody can be trapped.
The references for this article were derived from: