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The IT Act 2000 is also known as an IT Act and was proposed by the Indian Parliament on 17 October 2000 by the Indian Parliament. The Act provides a legal framework for electronic governance by giving recognition to electronic records and digital signatures. It also defines cyber crimes and prescribes penalties for them. The Act directed the formation of a Controller of Certifying Authorities to regulate the issuance of digital signatures. The IT Act is based on the UN Model Electronic Commerce Law 1996 (UNCITRAL Model), proposed in a resolution dated 30 January 1997 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The cybercrime and e-commerce Act is the most relevant legislation in India.

This act is primarily aimed at carrying out legal and reliable transactions in electronic, digital and online and at alleviating or reducing cybercrimes. The IT Act contains 13 and 90 chapters. The last four sections begin with the revisions to the Indian Penal Code 1860, Section 91–Section 94.

The IT Act, 2000 has two schedules:

  • First Schedule –
    Deals with documents to which the Act shall not apply.
  • Second Schedule –
    Deals with electronic signature or electronic authentication method.

Crimes and penalties under IT Act 2000:

The offences and the punishments that falls under the IT Act, 2000 are as follows :-

  1. Tampering with the computer source documents.
  2. Directions of Controller to a subscriber to extend facilities to decrypt information.
  3. Publishing of information which is obscene in electronic form.
  4. Penalty for breach of confidentiality and privacy.
  5. Hacking for malicious purposes.
  6. Penalty for publishing Digital Signature Certificate false in certain particulars.
  7. Penalty for misrepresentation.
  8. Confiscation.
  9. Power to investigate offences.
  10. Protected System.
  11. Penalties for confiscation not to interfere with other punishments.
  12. Act to apply for offence or contravention committed outside India.
  13. Publication for fraud purposes.
  14. Power of Controller to give directions.

Sections and Punishments under Information Technology Act, 2000 are as follows :


SECTION 43 Where a person without the permission of owner or any other person-in-charge damage the Computer, or Computer System, or Computer Network, the he shall be liable for Penalty and Compensation to such person so affected.
SECTION 43A Any corporate body dealing with sensitive information that fails to implement reasonable security practices causing loss of other person will also liable as convict for compensation to the affected party.
SECTION 66 Hacking of a Computer System with malicious intentions like fraud will be punished with 3 years imprisonment or the fine of Rs.5,00,000 or both.
SECTION 66 B, C, D Fraud or dishonesty using or transmitting information or identity theft is punishable with 3 years imprisonment or Rs. 1,00,000 fine or both.
SECTION 66 E This Section is for Violation of privacy by transmitting image or private area is punishable with 3 years imprisonment or 2,00,000 fine or both.
SECTION 66 F This Section is on Cyber Terrorism affecting unity, integrity, security, sovereignty of India through digital medium is liable for life imprisonment.
SECTION 67 This section states publishing obscene information or pornography or transmission of obscene content in public is liable for imprisonment up to 5 years or fine or Rs. 10,00,000 or both.


Realizing the importance of the enactment of suitable Act to combat cyber crimes, the Government of India after careful consideration passed the Information Technology Act 2000. But, experts felt that the IT Act, 2000, is primarily meant to be a legislation to promote e- commerce and it is not very effective in dealing with several emerging cyber crimes like cyber harassment, defamation, stalking and so on.

Cyber crimes in India are rapidly evolving from a simple e-mail crime to more serious crimes like hacking and source code theft. It is a known fact that given the unrestricted number of free Web sites, the Internet is unquestionably open to exploitation. Further, cases of spam, hacking, cyber stalking and email fraud are rampant and, although cyber crimes cells have been set up in major cities, the problem is that most cases remain unreported due to a lack of awareness.

Cybersecurity (and cybersecurity awareness) are critical to your survival in an industry dominated by growing virtual crime. Certainly, most people know about costly identity theft and reputation-destroying network hacks, which seem to be on the news almost every day.

If we are a victim of a cyber crime we should take action. There are just a few victims and their families who report cyber-bullying. Many people tend to remain quiet and expect to change things by themselves.  Feel that you have a responsibility to commit to fighting cyber crime. This means for most people to take a few easy measures to keep you and your family safe. That also ensures that cyber attacks are identified at the proper time to relevant authorities. You help stop cyber crime from happening further to others too if you just follow the rules and report them to the responsible authorities.

The National Cyber Crime Reporting Platform is an initiative of the Government of India to allow the online reporting of cyber crime reports by victims/complainants. Law enforcement agencies/police deal with complaints posted on this portal on the basis of the details available in the complaints. When filing charges for timely action, it is important to provide accurate and detailed information. To File a Complaint on National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, visit: 

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