Cyber Crime Act: What you do behind the screen can lead you behind the bars
A digital version of a crime in the cyber world is known as cyber crime. It is a computer-mediated activity that is considered illegal or illicit by certain parties and is conducted through global electronic networks. The computer or network plays a vital role in such criminal activity.
It takes place through various forms such as phishing, bank robbery, illegal downloading, creation or distribution of viruses, credit card frauds, chartrooms/scams, cyber terrorism, and so on. In recent years online harassment on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is also considered as cybercrime.
Cyber crime Law
Cyber crime concerning cyberspace today is one of the essential issues. As the internet grows various legal issues do arise. Hence, to tackle such issues, the cybercrime act or law identifies the standard of appropriate actions for information and communication technology (ICT) users. It is a continuously developing process and its application differs depending upon the constitution or law of each country.
It also creates socio-legal sections for cyber crime and protects ICT users to alleviate and prevent harm to individuals, data, systems, services, and infrastructure. The main motive of the cyber crime act or law is to protect human rights from being a victim of a cyberattack. It also allows the investigator to continue their prosecution and investigation of crimes committed online and enables cooperation between countries and cybercrime issues.
Apart from that, a cyber crime act or law provides rules of conduct and standards of behavior for the use of digital technologies such as computers and the internet. The law also includes rules of the evidence and criminal procedures including criminal justice matters in cyberspace.
In addition, the act or law provides regulations to decrease the risk or alleviate the damage done to the people, organization, and infrastructure. Thus, a cyber crime law or act includes procedural, substantive, and preventive law.
Cyber crime Law in Nepal
The Electronic Transactions Act, 2063 (2008)/ETA and Banking Offences and Punishment Act 2064 (2008) is Nepal’s first cyber law. It mostly addresses the crime against financial or electronic transactions. Still, chapter 9 of the act deals with crimes related to computer systems, and the following are some highlights of it:
Three-year imprisonment or a fine up to two hundred thousand rupees or both for:
- pirating and damaging any computer system purposefully without authority.
- gaining access to any computer system without authority.
- intended destruction or deleting data from a computer system.
- Five-year imprisonment, or a fine up to one hundred thousand rupees or both for publishing illegal information in electronic means.
- Two-year imprisonment or a fine of one hundred thousand rupees or both for the commission of a computer or electronic fraud.
The Government of Nepal is in the process of drafting new cybercrime legislation under the name of the Information Technology Bill. From this new cyber crime legislation, the government expects to address the current cybercrime gaps in the country. In addition, the government through its Ministry of Communication and Information Technology had issued it’s National Information and Communication Technology Policy in 2015 to fight cybercrime, enhance cybersecurity, data protection, and develop confidence with security to the use of ICT among its citizens.
Furthermore, the government obligates to develop the current legislation on cybercrime and cybersecurity. Similarly, the government has been developing laws to enforce agencies and prosecution services on cybercrime matters. Within the ICT Policy 2072, there has been an establishment of new units within the current government agencies to enforce the law.
For example, the establishment of the Computer Crimes Investigation Unit, Information Security Response Team (NPCERT), and National Electronic Communication Security Center.
Emerging Cyber Attackers
A cybercrime magazine stated that the projected cost of cybercrime to the global economy will be around $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. As the advancement in technology has gained access for many individuals globally, internet crime has evolved and taken many forms including hacking, identity theft, and computer fraud.
These days street or physical crimes are less convenient than computer crimes. With criminals getting smarter day by day, highly sophisticated techniques are being implemented to find victims for their hard-earned cash. Today, there is various kind of cybercriminals like any other type of criminal.
Some criminals such as adults or kids enjoy hacking into the computer system or websites. Hence, they commit cybercrimes without knowing the consequences of it.
Similarly, other organized hackers use social activism and religious activism to attack prominent websites for political reasons. A dissatisfied employee may commit computer crimes instead of going on strike. Since a lot of damage can be done through the automation process.
Hackers to hack into a computer system through an automation process. Likewise, professional hackers utilize their methods to commit cybercrimes. Such professional hackers tend to implement one or more techniques depending upon what they want to accomplish.
Cybercrime Scenario in Nepal
Any cybercrime was dealt with under the country’s criminal code before the cybercrime law came into practice. There was a necessity to endorse a separate law as the cases of cybercrime were increasing day by day. As the country’s technology is developing, Nepalese citizens are also able to gain access to the internet.
According to a report presented by Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), almost 91% of the country’s population have the access to the internet. The internet users in the country have increased by 331,422 between mid-April to mid-May 2021 as compared to mid-March to mid-April 2021.
Today, more than 13 million people are direct users of social media till January 2021. With increasing, active users in the country total number of registered cybercrimes are also increasing each year.
According to the Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, 3906 cyber cases have been registered in the fiscal year 2020/21. 3451 cases out of the 3906 are directly connected with people involved through social media such as Facebook.
Not only just individuals, but many organizations have also become the victim of cyber-attacks in the country. In March 2020 an online food delivery company in Kathmandu witnessed a data breach in their system. The attack leaked more than 50,000 users’ details such as phone numbers, emails, addresses, and other personal details. Similarly, Nepal police arrested 5 foreign nationals on September 2020.
For endeavoring to withdraw cash with cloned debit cards. The attackers had hacked the Nepal Electronic Payment System (NEPS). The interface measures the transaction of money deposited into a bank through utilizing cards issued by other member banks.
Even though there is an increasing number of cases, the Cyber Bureau of Nepal Police is giving their best in each investigation. As cybercrime comes in various forms, it is defined as an investigation performed by trained professionals that collect and ensure evidence to encounter cyber-criminal activity and prosecute crimes.
For example, the team had arrested a 14-year-old teenager for allegedly hacking the social media accounts of some artists and actors in the country. They had also successfully arrested a 19-year-old teenager who had hacked and leaked the online food delivery company’s user details. As per the Cyber Bureau team, they have solved almost all the cyber crime cases.
Awareness on the individual level is essential to prevent becoming a victim of a cyberattack. And decreased involvement in cyber crime. Due to a lack of awareness, it is extremely difficult to regulate such crimes. Adequate laws along with individual awareness can assist the country against the vulnerability of cybercrime. It has become crucial for organizations that handle huge sensitive data.
To hire an information or cybersecurity consultant for better network security. Although Nepal’s government has taken a few steps to control cyber crime. Nepal does not have an adequate cyber crime act or laws to deal with cyber crimes. Electronic Transaction Act-2008 handles any form of crime that takes place online. Therefore, it is highly important for the country to update its current law that deals with cyber crime.