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How would you define cyber crime?
When the European Convention drafted the Cyber Crime Convention, no exact definition of cyber crime was provided. Every country has its own way of defining cyber crime, which is peculiar to its own socio-cultural situations. For instance, in India defamation is a significant and rampant form of cyber crime.
What are the global instruments available to tackle the menace of cyber crime which is on the rise?
Well at present, the UN is trying to put in place a global mechanism to improve awareness as well as to install effective curatory measures for cyber crime.
The Council of Europe Cyber Crime Convention is also in place. Countries have to bring their own national laws upto the international benchmark and then ratify the convention.
What are the major threats of cyber crime in the current scenario?
Well at present, cases such as credit card thefts and online money-laundering are on the rise. Cyber crime has also exposed the impending hazards of e-banking.
Zenophobia, hate-mail cases and cyber-terrorism are the most pronounced aspects of cyber crime across countries
Is the Indian legal system well equipped to address cases of cyber crime? Your comments.
Well, as far as India is concerned, I don't see very effective laws in place to address such cases. However, I appreciate the amendment made in the IT Act, 2000.
When the IT Act was passed way back in 2000, the Act majorly addressed issues related to e-commerce. Now its scope must go beyond that. I spoke to two lawyers who seemed to be rather disgruntled by the IT Act.
The Data Protection law is the only law in place so far.
Which countries have an effective counter-mechanism in place?
In Russia and Nigeria, mafia-type operations take place on the net. Romania and Russia have better systems in place.
How far are businesses exposed to the menace of cyber crime?
As businesses all over the world are increasingly operating in the online mode, hence all sectors are equally vulnerable to cyber crime.
However, I would say that SMEs in the IT industry are the greatest stake holders. Piracy and copy right protection are the major threats.
Further, cyber criminals are also invading the privacy of people which is very gruesome indeed.
What can companies and entrepreneurs do to ward of cyber criminals?
Well, the most important step would be to educate people on how to protect themselves (privacy) from being intrusively invaded by cyber criminals. Secondly the employees need to be trained on how to protect their work.
As for the HR department, the task is to conduct thorough pre-employment checks.
What are the major deterrents for the police and the companies so for as detecting cyber crimes is concerned?
Yeahh...that's a pertinent case in point. Companies in India do not want to be publicized for the wrong reasons. If ever they are in trouble, they try their best to sort it out through own in-house security system.
As far as the police are concerned they are usually reluctant to take up cyber crime cases as investigation is highly labour-intensive and expensive.
Prevention of Cyber crime
Prevention is always better than cure. It is always better to take certain precautions while operating the net. One should make them a part of his cyber life.
Sailesh Kumar Zarkar, technical advisor and network security consultant to the Mumbai Police Cyber crime Cell, advocates the 5P mantra for online security: Precaution, Prevention, Protection, Preservation and Perseverance.
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The Last Word
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