There has been a sharp increase in the incidence of cyber crime in the country. The number of cases registered in 2013 under the IT Act has gone up by 52 per cent to 4,192 as against 2,761 in the previous year.
If you add the cases registered under the IPC, the total number of cyber crime cases crosses the 5,500-mark. Police across the country arrested 3,301 persons in connection with these cases.
Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh (undivided) have topped the list with 681 and 635 cases respectively under the IT Act, both showing an almost 50 per cent growth in cyber crimes over the previous year. In the previous year, Maharashtra had registered 471 and Andhra Pradesh 429.
Cyber security experts have been cautioning people to be careful while using the Internet. Besides increasing the security of the networks they are using, users must be careful while engaging with strangers.
A recent Microsoft report said many customer infections involve users tricked to install secondary offers, indicating a shift in malware proliferation. According to the latest data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau, the official chronicler of crime in the country, cyber crime registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has shown a much higher growth rate of 122 per cent in 2013 over the previous year’s figure. IPC cases went up to 1,316 in 2013 from 595 in the previous year. Maharashtra topped the list here too with the cops booking 226 cases in this category.
Wrong nomenclature? Bhairav Acharya of the Centre for Internet and Society feels that the term cyber crime has not been defined well. “It is time we do away with the practice of calling any crime a ‘cyber crime’ just because the person who does it uses a computer,” he said.
“Instead, I think the term ‘cyber crime’ should only be used in relation to offences that can only be committed by using information and communications technology (ICT) such as the internet (which is comprised of the world wide web, email protocols, file transfer protocols, and more) as well as network infrastructure that is not the internet,” he said.
Hence, only if there is a direct causal link between the crime and ICT and network technology should a crime be called a cyber crime, Acharya says.
Other States with a high number of cases booked under the IT Act include Karnataka (513), Kerala (349), Madhya Pradesh (282) and Rajasthan (239). Gujarat showed a decline with the number coming down to 61 from 68 in the previous year.