Crimes in Virtual reality call for real time immediate action

Written by Vrishti Beniwal | New Delhi, Aug 17 | Updated: Aug 18 2007, 10:30am hrs
The increasing penetration of computers in India has begun to show its side effects. With the PC user base in the country swelling to 22 million, the number of cyber crimes is also on the rise. As per the data maintained by the National Crimes Records Bureau, the incidence of cyber crimes rose from 347 in 2004 to 481 in 2005.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has so far registered nine cases of cyber crimes in India, which is more than the total number of cyber crime cases registered in the previous three years. In 2004, CBI recorded just one case of cyber crime, whereas in 2005 and 2006 the figure rose to four and three, respectively.

The trend is similar to most other developed countries, where cyber crimes have rapidly expanded, due to extensive use of computers, Internet and electronic equipment. In India, the Information Technology Act 2000 and the Indian Penal Code, provides a legal framework for countering cyber crimes. In 2005, 179 cases were recorded under the IT Act, compared with 68 cases in the previous year, thereby reporting a significant increase of 163.2%. Of these, 38 cases were reported from Karnataka, followed by Maharashtra (26), Tamil Nadu (22) and Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan (18 each).

About 50% cases were related to cyber pornography, and 125 persons were arrested for committing such offences during 2005. There were 74 cases of hacking into computer systems during the year, wherein 41 people were arrested.

To combat cyber crime cases in the future, the government has introduced the IT (Amendment) Bill, 2006 in Parliament. The Bill deals with publishing of material containing sexually explicit acts in the electronic form, video voyeurism, breach of confidentiality and leakage of data by service providers, e-commerce frauds through phishing, identity theft, and offensive messages through communication services.

The government has conducted several awareness and training programmes on cyber laws and crimes, for judicial officers and law enforcement agencies. CBI also acts as a nodal agency, to train the state police personnel, dealing with investigation of such crimes.