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Nature and Scope of Cyber Crime

Crime is a socially correlated phenomenon. No matter how much we try, we cannot experience a society without cybercrime. In actual sense, when we are not yet able to control the crime rate to the desirable minimum in the real world, how would it be possible to curb the same in the virtual world, as the same is comparatively more unreal, everlasting and legally less controllable. However with the time, nature and scope and definition of crime changes in a given society. Crimeless society is a myth and crime cannot be segregated from a society. Thus the nature of the crime depends upon the nature of a society.

Complexity of the society determines the complexity of the crime that evolves’ around it. To understand the crime in a society, it is essential and crucial to verify all the factors which influence and contribute to the crime. The socio- economic and political structure of the society needs to understand the crime and the recourse that may curb the same. The preventive and corrective measures adopted by the machinery to control the crime and delinquent behaviour in the society are also taken into consideration while studying the nature and scope of a crime.

The advancement of the technology has produced new socio-economic and political problem in the society and instead of helping the state in controlling the problem it has created new complex situation which is difficult to understand and even more difficult to apply current law to face the situation. The state machinery is not equipped with enough sources and knowledge to handle the modern crime.

Computers have transformed the modern society beyond expectations in last three to four decades. It has made life not only convenient but has also immensely helped different sections of the world come closer socially, economically and culturally. The Computer technology has made it possible to have access to all corners of the world while sitting in a room. Modern technology has put an end to the barriers of time and space. However, unlikely with the remarkable merits of having computers today, due to this the jurisdictional issue has been created in legal system.

Jurisdiction is one aspect which is very difficult to determine in transnational transaction over the internet. There was unmanageable ambiguity when courts were subjected to questions pertaining to jurisdiction law and were unable to decide the proper forum to entertain cases involving cyber crime as the cyberspace or virtual world is borderless if we compare it with physical world and that is why it is very difficult to control cybercrime. Through the local machinery we are not able to tackle the problem related with cyber crime because our machinery is not compatible to deal with transnational crimes. The law applicable to the territory is not advanced enough to regulate the cyber crime as their nature is far different from the existing crime.

Thus, the global dimension of cyber crime is made it difficult to handle and dealt with. The evolution of internet technology has given us so many advantages to deal with future problems and grow with rapid rate but also it has provided the scope for criminals to commit their crime with least chance of detection. The cyberspace has proved a boon to the deviant behaviour in the society. The concept of cyber crime has gained speed and we are facing great threat of its impact on world society. The human society is become vulnerable to cyber crime due to more and more dependence on technology.

Cyber crime becomes a global phenomenon and hence the nationwide generalization of crime cannot workable in present scenario. Our understanding and regulation of cyber crime cannot be national but has to be international. We have to enact new laws and prepare preventive and defensive mechanism globally, only then we can able to protect our society from this evil called ‘Cyber Crime’.

Therefore, the threat of cyber terrorism throws serious challenge to world and its agencies. The terrorist organizations using technology to spread hatred among people and using it to recruit militants and train them using teaching tools. They are also launching websites which show them how to use weapons make bombs etc.

Doctrine of Mens Rea & Actus Reus in Cyber Crime

As far as Traditional Crime is concerned Mens Rea and Actus Reus are the two most important elements to crime. Actus Reus means “Such result of human conduct as the law seeks to prevent”. There must be commission or omission to constitute a crime. As far as mens rea is concerned, it means “A guilty state of mind”. The mental element forms the other important ingredient of crime. The act remains the same while the state of mind makes the act ‘reus’ and hence an offence. Almost all the crime requires proof of mental element of some sort. As far cyber crime goes it is very difficult to determine the mens rea in cybercrimes.

In Cyber crimes, one should see what the state of mind of hacker was and that the hacker knew that the access was unauthorised. Thus, a “Particular Computer” needs not to be intended by the hacker, it is enough if the unauthorised access was to “any computer”. Awareness on the part of the hacker becomes easier to prove where he is an outsider and has no authority to access. But where hacker is already has limited authority as ion the case of the employee of a company, it becomes difficult establish that he exceeded his limits and was even aware of the fact that he is exceeding it.

Actus Reus in cybercrimes has become a challenge as the entire act is committed in intangible surroundings. The perpetrator may leave some footmarks in the machine itself though it becomes a herculean task for the law enforcement machinery to prove it in the courts, as it is required to be in physical form or atleast in such a form where it becomes admissible in evidence.

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