The development of information technology and electric media especially from 1980's onwards have given rise to a new variety of computer related crimes which are commonly called "cyber crime." The widespread growth of cyber crime has become a matter of global concern and challenge for the law enforcement agenciesin new millennium.Definition of Cyber Crime
Some authorities feel that the term 'cyber crime' is a misnomer as this term is nowhere defined in any statute or Act enacted by the parliament. In a sense, it is not radically different from the concept of conventional crime insofar as both include conduct whether act or omission, which causes breach of law and therefore, cyber crime is punishable by the state.
A cyber crime may be defined as any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or means of perpetrating further crime( Parthasarthi Pati: cyber crime page-5). In other words, cyber crime is an unlawful act wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both.
The distinction between cyber crime and conventional crime and conventional crime lies in the involvement of the medium in cases of cyber crime. That is, there should be involvement, at ant stage, of the virtual cyber space medium in case of a cyber crime.
Reasons for Cyber Crime
Before embarking upon the various types of cyber crimes and the modes of committing them, it would be appropriate to dwell upon the main reasons for unprecedented rise in cyber crime in recent years. The main reasons may briefly be stated as follows
1. The computer has the unique characteristic of storing data in a relatively very small space. This affords to derive and remove information either through physical or virtual medium more easily.
2. Computer are easy to access and therefore unauthorised access by the use of complex cyber space technology is easily possible by-passing security system.
3. The computer work on operating systems which are composed of millions of codes. The cyber offenders take advantage of the fallibility of human mind and penetrate into the computer system.
4. One of the significant features of computer system is that evidence is destroyed in no time. The criminals find it easy to destroy the evidence soon after the crime is committed which makes it difficult for the investigating agencies to collect relevant material evidence for prosecuting the offender.
5. Slightest negligence on the part of computer user in ensuring security of the computer system may lead to catastrophic consequences as the cyber criminal may gain illegal access and unauthorised control over the computer system to accomplished his evil design.
Preventive Legal Measures Against Cyber Crime
Laws are generally meant for meeting the needs of society and it is, therefore, a dynamic concept which undergoes with the changing need of the society. The modern information technology evolution has enabled human society to prosper and make tremendous progress but at the same time given rise to new problems hereto unknown to mankind and cyber criminality is one such grave area. The progressive trend of computer technology has accelerated transfer of information and telecommunicate and increased our capacity to store, search, retrieve and communicate data over the world in shortest possible time.
Consequent to the advancement of information technology and computer network, a variety of legal issues related to use(misuse) of Internet as digital processing devices such as piracy, IPR(Intellectual Property Rights) violations, pornography, commercial and banking frauds etc. have emerged which need to tackled through the instrumentality of law. Since cyber space has no geographical boundaries, nor has it physical characteristics such as sex, age etc. it poses a big challenge before the law enforcement agencies for regulating cyber-space transactions of citizens within a country's territorial jurisdiction. Though in practical terms, an Internet user is subjected to the laws of the state within which he/she goes online, but this general rule into conflict when the disputes are international involving other countries as well. Because of the anonymity of its character and negligible chances of being detected, the cyber crime offenders are misusing the computer technology for committing a variety of crimes which need to be prevented by an effective law and regulatory measures.
1. Virus Hoax
Md. Shahnewaz Zwaki Advocate The Supreme Court of Bangladesh (High Court Division).