Currently, the Information
Act, 2000 is the
primary law for dealing with cybercrime and digital commerce in the country.
The Act was first formulated in
2000, and then was revised
in 2008 and came into force a year late. The Information Technology
(Amendment) Bill, 2008 amended a number of sections that were related to digital
data, electronic devices and cybercrimes.
In the Information Technology
Amendment Act, 2008, cybersecurity is exercised under sections 43 (data
protection), 66 (hacking), 66A (measures against sending offensive messages), 66B (punishment for illegally
possessing stolen computer resources or communication devices), 67(protection against unauthorised
access to data), 69 (cyberterrorism), 70 (securing access or attempting to
secure access to a protected system) and 72 (privacy and confidentiality) among others.
Although currently, there is neither a
Joint Working Group on Cyber Security nor is the Ministry planning to set up an
autonomous body to deal with cybersecurity issues, the Government is becoming
stricter with its cybercrime policies.
The Government approved a framework to
enhance security in cyberspace for cybersecurity in the Indian cyberspace, with
the National Security Council Secretariat functioning as the nodal agency.
Cyber Security Policy, 2013 was developed to build a secure and
resilient cyberspace for India’s citizens and businesses. The Ministry of
Electronics and Information Technology said that the policy aims to protect
information and the information infrastructure in cyberspace, build
capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats, reduce vulnerabilities
and minimise damage from cyber incidents through a combination of institutional
structures, people, processes, technology and cooperation.
The National Technical Research
Organisation is the main agency designed to protect national
critical infrastructure and to handle all the cybersecurity incidents in
critical sectors of the country.
Additionally, the Indian Computer
Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is responsible for incident
responses including analysis, forecasts and alerts on cybersecurity issues and
Advisories have been issued by the Ministry
of Home Affairs (MHA) to states and Union Territories in the country on the steps
to take to prevent cybercrimes, which are available on the Ministry’s website.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is
implementing the ‘Cyber-Crime Prevention against Women & Children’ Scheme with
the intent to prevent and reduce cybercrimes against women and children. This
scheme will implement stricter laws and policies and conduct programmes to
spread awareness about the cyber threats and how to deal with them.
The release said that the Ministry of
Home Affairs has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Phone Fraud and
has issued advisories to states and Union Territories on the ways to check and
handle phone frauds.
India is at number 23 of the UN
Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2017. According to Mr Gulshan Rai,
the National Cyber Security Coordinator, it is not a desirable number but is much
better than many of the countries on the list. He said that India’s target this
year is to make it among the top 10.