The Cyber Crime Cases in India
On 21 October 2019, the National Crime Records Bureau of India published the “Crime in India Report for the year 2017”. Leaving aside the reasons for the two year delay in publishing the report; this data is vital for the Cyber Crime Analysts and Cyber Evangelists’, who toil at the backstage to ensure Cyber Security in their respective arenas and for “Secure Cyber Space” free from Crime and Vulnerabilities.
This report is not exhaustive or conclusive. One is sure that over 30 percent of the Cyber Crime that happens in India is not reported and they are hence unrecorded and the black economy that is an out flow of this un-reported crimes is again pumped back to ensue more crime in the society.
The 1460 page document list out various statistics of crime booked under IPC (India Penal Code) and SLL (Special, Local Laws). There is a dedicated and deliberate effort in the report to address the Cyber Crime, in its exclusive sections. The tabulated data also provides an insight into the individual crimes classified under the Cyber Crime Heading. There is a bifurcation carried out to the Cyber Crime Main head, thereby bringing out salient details pertaining to Cyber Crime against Women as also against Children.
The report also shows a 77% rise in the number of Cyber Crime cases in the year 2017 from the previous year 2016. This again in figures shows an increase of about 9000 cases; The cyber crimes cases in 2016 was reported to be 12,317 and in 2017 it is numbered at 21,796. Most of these cases were reported from Uttar Pradesh (4,971) followed by Maharashtra (3,604) and Karnataka (3,174). The statistics shows that in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, the figures have doubled from the previous year (i.e. 2016). The report also claims that ‘fraud’ and ‘sexual exploitation’ as the prime motive behind the Cyber Crime across the country.
In Odisha the Cyber Crime reported figures, rose from 317 in the year 2016 to 828 in the year 2017, a three-fold increase. Similar is the case with Jharkhand and Karnataka which also shows a three-fold increase. In the NCRB provided statistics, only Goa State Cyber Crime figures, shows a decrease from 31 cases in the year 2016 to 13 cases in the year 2017.
Under the “Cyber Crime” head and the “Data Theft” Sub-head, Telangana reported a total number of 201 cases out of the 307(The total cases reported for the complete country).
In the sub-head; “Offences under Section 66 of IT Act”, (Computer Related Offence(other than crime involving ransomware)), Uttar Pradesh Reported a total number of 2585 cases, as against the total country figure of 3208 cases.
In the category of Cyber Crime in which “Cyber Stalking on Women and Children” is concerned for the complete country the total cases reported were 530 cases and Maharashtra alone had 301 cases in this category.
In the category of Cyber Crime in which “Online Banking Fraud” is concerned for the complete country the total cases reported were 804 cases, and Maharashtra alone had 345 cases in this category.
The alarming fact is that at the end of year 2017, a total of 35,938 Cyber Crime cases were pending for disposal which also includes the backlog of the previous years.
What is the way forward?
The released Crime Report is an eye-opener, and it also rings the bell for the hierarchy to be conscious and take actions to provide its citizens a robust, reliable, and resilient Cyber Space. Government should strengthen the Cyber Space not only from Malafide State Actors, but also unscrupulous elements and offenders within the geographic boundaries.
Much is to be done to make India Cyber Safe. The revision of the IT Act, the Methodology of redressing Cyber Crime Complaints, the setting up of improvised and time bound investigation mechanisms, empowering the LEA, equipping the LEA to handle Cyber Crime Cases, the establishment of exclusive Tribunal, augmentation of the Adjudication mechanism as provided in the IT Act, education of the end-users, and last but not the least- a Government that is sensitive to the Cyber Domain.
Taking a cue from this published report, the Indian governments should also widen their collaboration with private companies to include talent sharing. Cyber security specialists could rotate roles between the public and private sectors, as part of their natural career development.
(The Full Report is available for download at : “http://ncrb.gov.in/”)