In a revelation the government made yesterday, it said that last year, more than 1,600 people were arrested for cyber crimes registered under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and under sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC). In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Milind Deora, Minister of State for Communications noted, “As per the crime data maintained by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 154, 178, 288, 799 and 1,184 persons were arrested for cyber crimes registered under IT Act, 2000 during 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.”
The IT Act, 2000, allows detection/tracking on cyber crimes and punishment to culprits, thereby providing a legal framework to address issues pertaining to such crimes in the cyber space. Deora added that a total of 429, 195, 263, 394 and 446 persons were arrested for cyber crimes registered under sections of IPC relating to cyber crime cases during 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. “As per the crime data maintained by NCRB, a total of 217, 288, 420, 966 and 1,791 cyber crime cases were registered under IT Act, 2000 during the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively, thereby showing a rising trend,” he added further.
Rising spate of cyber crimes in the country (Image credit: Getty Images)
It has been further known that the cases in question pertain to tampering computer source documents, hacking, obscene publication/transmission in electronic form and failure of compliance/order of certifying Authority, among other reasons. Importantly, in his response to another query, Deora shared that on the request of law enforcement agencies, the Computer Authority issued direction for blocking of 310 webpages/URLs carrying anti-social, anti-national and hateful content, under section 69A of the IT Act, 2000.
“In addition, a total of 339, 176, 276, 356 and 422 cyber crime cases were reported under sections of IPC during 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively,” Deora said. He added that these related to false electronic evidence, destruction of electronic evidence and forgery. “The government is in regular dialogue with the intermediaries, including social networking sites for effective and efficient disablement of such content,” he added.
A recent report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) – Crime in India 2011 – shed light on how the nation has fared, as far as cyber crimes go. According to the report, the number of cases that were registered under the nation's IT act last year were 1,791 – a considerable rise of 85.4 percent from the 966 cases registered in 2010.
Reports at the time had revealed that the highest number of cases were registered in Andhra Pradesh (349), Maharashtra came second with 306 registered cases, followed by Kerala (227 cases), Karnataka (155 cases) and Rajasthan (122 cases). 46.1 percent of the total cases pertained to Loss/damage to computer resource/utility reported under hacking with computer systems for which 487 persons were arrested. 496 cases pertaining to Obscene publications/transmission in electronic form were registered in 2011, following which 443 persons were arrested. It added, “Out of total (983) Hacking cases, the cases relating to Loss / Damage of computer resource/utility under Sec 66(1) of the IT Act were 84.0% (826 cases) whereas the cases related to Hacking under Section 66(2) of IT Act were 15.9% (157 cases). Andhra Pradesh (267) followed by Karnataka (87), Rajasthan (69) and Maharashtra (68) registered maximum cases under Sec 66(1) of the IT Act out of total 826 such cases at the National level.”
The report further revealed that of the total 157 cases of Hacking under Sec. 66(2), 23 cases, i.e the maximum came from Karnataka, followed by 22 from Kerala and 20 from Andhra Pradesh. Further, Andhra Pradesh accounted for 242 arrests, i.e. 20.4 percent of the total 1,184 arrests in cases pertaining to the IT Act, 2000, followed by Maharashtra with 226 arrests.