In Simple way we can say that cyber crime is unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both. Cyber crimes can involve criminal activities that are traditional in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are subject to the Indian Penal Code. The abuse of computers has also given birth to a gamut of new age crimes that are addressed by the Information Technology Act, 2000.
We can categorize Cyber crimes in two ways
Cyber law (also referred to as cyberlaw) is a term used to describe the legal issues related to use of communications technology, particularly "cyberspace", i.e. the Internet. It is less a distinct field of law in the way that property or contract are as it is an intersection of many legal fields, including intellectual property, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction. In essence, cyber law is an attempt to integrate the challenges presented by human activity on the Internet with legacy system of laws applicable to the physical world.
When Internet was developed, the founding fathers of Internet hardly had any inclination that Internet could transform itself into an all pervading revolution which could be misused for criminal activities and which required regulation. Today, there are many disturbing things happening in cyberspace. Due to the anonymous nature of the Internet, it is possible to engage into a variety of criminal activities with impunity and people with intelligence, have been grossly misusing this aspect of the Internet to perpetuate criminal activities in cyberspace. Hence the need for Cyberlaws in India.
Cyberlaw is important because it touches almost all aspects of transactions and activities on and concerning the Internet, the World Wide Web and Cyberspace. Initially it may seem that Cyberlaws is a very technical field and that it does not have any bearing to most activities in Cyberspace. But the actual truth is that nothing could be further than the truth. Whether we realize it or not, every action and every reaction in Cyberspace has some legal and Cyber legal perspectives.
Yes, Cyberlaw does concern you. As the nature of Internet is changing and this new medium is being seen as the ultimate medium ever evolved in human history, every activity of yours in Cyberspace can and will have a Cyberlegal perspective. From the time you register your Domain Name, to the time you set up your web site, to the time you promote your website, to the time when you send and receive emails , to the time you conduct electronic commerce transactions on the said site, at every point of time, there are various Cyberlaw issues involved. You may not be bothered about these issues today because you may feel that they are very distant from you and that they do not have an impact on your Cyber activities. But sooner or later, you will have to tighten your belts and take note of Cyberlaw for your own benefit.
The IT Act 2000 attempts to change outdated laws and provides ways to deal with cyber crimes. We need such laws so that people can perform purchase transactions over the Net through credit cards without fear of misuse. The Act offers the much-needed legal framework so that information is not denied legal effect, validity or enforceability, solely on the ground that it is in the form of electronic records.
In view of the growth in transactions and communications carried out through electronic records, the Act seeks to empower government departments to accept filing, creating and retention of official documents in the digital format. The Act has also proposed a legal framework for the authentication and origin of electronic records / communications through digital signature.