posted by on Mar 1
The rapid progression of I . t . poses new challenges before the law. These challenges aren’t limited to any single traditional legal category but arise in, for instance, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, Contract and Tort. One such challenge could be the growing menace of “Data Theft”. It’s the expression used when any information in the form of information is illegally copied or obtained from an enterprise or other individual without his knowledge or consent.
Data as being a valuable asset
Data is a very important asset with this modern era of Information Technology (IT). Data is a crucial raw-material for Call Centers and I.T. Companies. Data has become an essential tool and weapon for Corporates to capture larger market shares. As a result of need for Data on this new trend, its security has developed into a major issue with the I.T. industry. The piracy of data can be a threat, faced from the I.T. players, who spend millions to compile or buy data from the market. Their profits rely on the security of these Data.
The most important issue regarding Data Theft is its International character, by way of example Systems may be accessed in USA, the info manipulated in China and also the consequences felt in India. Caused by this ability is always that different sovereignties, jurisdictions, laws and rules arrive into play which again is an issue by itself. Further, assortment of evidence such circumstances become another issue as investigation in three different countries, most of whom might not be in talking terms, is practically impossible and poor technical know-how individuals cops increases the woes. Also, having less coordination between different investigating agencies along with a not-so-sure extradition process is the one other head ache. Even so the biggest of most these issues will be the lack of specific laws in the country coping with this crime, so set up culprit is caught he is able to easily escape by picking and choosing the of assorted loopholes in our law.
Does India have sufficient Laws?
The challenge of information theft which includes emerged as the major cyber crimes worldwide has attracted little attention of law makers in India. Unlike U.K which includes The information Protection Act, 1984 there isn’t a specific legislation in India to tackle this concern, though India offers its Information Technology Act, 2000 to handle the fast growing menace of cyber crimes, including data theft. In fact our IT Act, 2000 just isn’t well equipped to tackle such crimes. The different provisions in the IT Act, 2000 which deal with the issue to some extent are briefly discussed below.
Section 43:- This provides protection against destruction and unauthorized access from the computer by imposing heavy penalty up to one crore. The unauthorized downloading, extraction and copying of data are covered under this section. Clause ‘C’ of the section imposes penalty for unauthorized introduction of computer viruses of contaminants. Clause ‘G’ provides penalties for assisting the unauthorized access.
Section 65:- This section provides for computer source code. If anyone knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys, alters or causes another to perform as such shall ought to suffer imprisonment all the way to 36 months or fine as much as 2 lakh rupees. Thus protection continues to be provided against tampering of computer source documents.
Section 66:- Protection against hacking has been provided under it. As per it, hacking is described as any act with an intention to cause wrongful loss or injury to anybody or with all the knowledge that wrongful loss or damage will likely be caused to anybody and information surviving in your personal computer resource have to be either destroyed, deleted, altered or its value and utility get diminished. This section imposes the penalty of imprisonment all the way to three years or fine as much as two lakh rupees or both around the hacker.
Section 70:- This section provides protection to the data saved in the protected system. Protected systems are the types computers, computer system or computer network to which the correct government, by issuing gazette information inside the official gazette, declared it as being a protected system. Any access or attempt to secure access of the system in contravention of the provision of this section can make anybody accessed answerable for punishment of imprisonment which might extend to ten many shall be also liable to fine.
Section 72:- This section provides protection against breach of confidentiality and privacy with the data. According to this, any person upon whom powers are actually conferred under IT Act and allied rules to secure entry to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information document of other material discloses it to any other person, will be punished with imprisonment which can extend to two years or with fine that might extend to 1 lakh rupees or both.
Can Data Theft be covered under IPC?
Section 378 in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines ‘Theft’ as follows:-
Theft – Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property from the having anybody without that person’s consent, moves that property so as to such taking, has been said to commit theft.
Section 22 of I.P.C., 1860 defines “movable property” as follows:-
“The words “movable property” are intended to include corporeal property of each and every description, except land and things coupled to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which can be connected to the earth.”
Since Section 378 I.P.C., only refers to “Movable Property” i.e. Corporeal Property, and Data by itself is intangible, it is not covered within the concept of “Theft”. However, if Info is stored in a medium (CD, Floppy etc.) and such medium is stolen, it could be covered beneath the definition of ‘Theft’, since medium can be a movable property. But, if Data is transmitted electronically, i.e., in intangible form, it would not specifically constitute theft underneath the IPC.
“Data”, rolling around in its intangible form, can at best go at par with electricity. The wonder if electricity could possibly be stolen, arose before the Hon’ble Top court in the event that “Avtar Singh vs. State of Punjab” (AIR 1965 SC 666). Answering the question, the Supreme Court held that electricity isn’t a movable property, hence, just isn’t covered underneath the definition of ‘Theft’ under Section 378 IPC. However, since Section 39 in the Electricity Act extended Section 378 IPC to apply to electricity, so it so became specifically covered inside concept of “Theft”. Therefore , it is imperative a provision like in the Electricity Act be inserted within the IT Act, 2000 to give the use of section 378 IPC to data theft specifically.
So what can we want and so why do we’d like?
It really is imperative in today’s world that an emerging IT super power like India has a comprehensive legislation to protect its booming IT and BPO Industries (worst affected industries) against such crimes. Although IT Act may appear sufficient in this regard but it’s not comprehensive enough to tackle the moment technological intricacies involved in a real crime which leaves loopholes within the law and the culprits get away easily. Because problem is not confined to one nation and it has international dimensions, India must expect be described as a signatory to any international convention or treaty in this connection. Plus it about time our national police organizations are educated to handle such crimes.