Cyberlaw is a new phenomenon having emerged much after the onset of internet and there is no one exhaustive definition of the term “Cyberlaw”1. Internet grew in a completely unplanned and unregulated manner. Even the inventors of internet could not have really anticipated the scope and far reaching consequences of cyberspace. The growth rate of cyberspace has been enormous. Internet is growing rapidly and with the population of internet doubling roughly every 100 days, cyberspace is becoming the new preferred environment of the world.
With the spontaneous and almost phenomenal growth of cyberspace, new and ticklish issues relating to various legal aspects of cyberspace began cropping up. In response to the absolutely complex and newly emerging legal issues relating to cyberspace, cyberlaw or the Law of internet came into being. The growth of cyberspace has resulted in the development of a new and highly specialized branch of law called cyberlaws- laws of the internet and the World Wide Web.
2. What is Cyber Crime?
Cybercrime2 refers to criminal activities that specifically target a computer or network for damage or infiltration. Cybercrime also includes the use of computers as tools to conduct criminal activity such as Internet extortion and Internet fraud. Computers significantly multiply the criminal’s power and reach in committing such crimes.
Some argue there is no agreed-upon definition for “cybercrime” because “cyberspace” is just a new instrument used to help commit crimes that are not new at all. Cybercrime can involve theft of intellectual property, a violation of patent, trade secret, or copyright laws. However, cybercrime also includes attacks against computers to deliberately disrupt processing, or may include espionage to make unauthorized copies of classified data. These attacks have such colorful names as:
- denial-of-service attacks
- distributed denial-of-service attacks
- Trojan horse
- spyware, and
1. Cyberlaw is a term which refers to all the legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the World Wide Web and concerned with or related to any legal aspects concerning any activity of citizens and others, in Cyberspace.
2. Definition of Cybercrime has given in section 57(1) of the Bangladesh Information & Communication Technology Act 2006(As amended in 2009).
3. The Department of Justice Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section’s website at www.cybercrime.gov
3. CYBER LAW: WHY?
Cyber Law deals with the legal issues of the internet usage and all devices connected over the network, their proper use in order to prevent and control cyber crimes. Since the internet is all over the world the rules and regulations are a bit cloudy but we need to keep in mind a few things to ensure that we are using the internet in a proper and safe manner without causing any trouble.
a.The internet’s jurisdictional boundaries may not be clear but the users are bound by the jurisdictional laws of the area in which they reside.
b. Do not access web sites that may not be approved by the jurisdiction in your area.
c. Do not post any offensive material that may cause an outrage among other internet users. Articles with an offensive tone on sensitive subjects like religion, politics etc., Uploading child pornography and other offensive materials is considered a crime in many countries and is punishable depending upon the country’s laws.
d. Illegally downloading and distributing protected items like intellectual property and copyrighted articles is a cyber crime and those who are caught engaging in such acts can be prosecuted.
e. Duplication of content or software from CDs and DVDs that are copyrighted and distribution of these on the internet is punishable.
f. Stealing user information (phishing) and impersonating a user (ID theft) are serious cyber crimes.
g. Sending bulk messages that can affect networks and jam mailboxes is called spamming. The US introduced CAN-SPAM Act t in 2003 that allows prosecution of spammers.
h. Sending malicious codes such as viruses and worms through websites and e-mails is a cyber crime that can cause serious damages and anyone caught engaging in the act can be seriously punished.
i. Any site that allows users to download materials without acquiring proper permissions can be prosecuted or even be made to close down. Napster.com was shut down for similar reasons.
The governments of USA, UK, Canada and China have enforced Cyber Laws to control Cyber crimes4. The other nations that have followed in introducing Cyber laws are India, Australia, Malaysia, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Thailand etc. Among all these nations China emerges to be the strictest in its laws regarding the use of the internet6.
4. Even though the Cyber Laws are not very clear to every one the increase in cyber crime rate has pushed many governments to introduce Acts that would govern the cyber space at least within their jurisdictions.
5. Illegal bank transactions through internet, to any dangerous individuals who might threaten national security is a cyber crime that will be considered as a breach of national security and those caught engaging in such acts can be punished by the government
4. CYBER LAW IN BANGLADESH:
There are not enough laws in Bangladesh which may punish the cyber criminals. In Bangladesh court there is a law named “The Bangladesh Information & Communication Law 2006” (As amended in 2009) . In this law section 56(1) has declared the penalty of 10 years imprisonment with or without fine.
Section 68 of the said act has declared the formation of a special tribunal named “Cyber Tribunal”. Who is may take cognizance of such kinds of Cyber Crime but it has yet to prevent or punish the criminals. It has not yet reward any kind of punishment.
Due to the scarcity of trained specialist assisting the court it has become very much impossible for the judge to trace the crime as well as the criminal and to punish him. There is only a cyber tribunal in Dhaka City established under section 82 of the said act. This tribunal has not yet reward any punishment to any criminal. Out of this till to the establishment of Cyber Tribunal in the district court the Session Judge has the cognizance to trial such kind of crime under section 74 of the said act.
In Bangladesh there is a statutory authority named BTRC which perform as a watchdog in cyber protection but it is yet to fulfill its promises. It has the authority to conduct mobile courts with the help of other government organs for the speedy trial of such kind of crime.
5. WEAKNESS OF CYBER LAW IN BANGLADESH:
The offences of the Bangladesh Information & Communication Technology Act 2006 are non-cognigible in nature under section 76(2). The victim has to file an allegation to the law enforcing agencies to get remedy. This is the main weakness of the said act. In the time of enactment of the said act it was said in section 68 that a special tribunal named Cyber Tribunal will be established in every district of Bangladesh. But till now only a tribunal has established in Dhaka City.
Because of the dependency of technology specialist and well trained lawyer and judges the disposal of Cyber cases are rare. To remove such kind of pendency of cases judges, lawyer and specialist should be well trained.
The Bangladesh police have a special branch named “Anti-cyber Crime Department” headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police to protect e-mail fraud, treat by e-mail, defamation or publishing of unauthorized pictures. But the department is yet to fulfill the public demand due to the scarcity of well trained man power. A case cannot be started due to the non visibility of the plaintiff. There is no scope for the state to take liabilities as being a plaintiff.
The Cyber Tribunal has not yet reward any punishment to any criminal. Due to this the criminals are insisting to occur crimes thinking that they will not be punished. This is one of the main weaknesses of the implementation of the Bangladesh Information & Communication Technology Act 2006.
There are a lot of systems to protect and trace the cyber criminals worldwide. Among them Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT7) is the most efficient method. It consists of the cyber specialists all over the world. The function of CERT is to monitor the computer network of the world. When any interruption, irregularities or any kind of unlawful activities occurred CERT can know about it. Knowing about it necessary steps are taken to protect or prevent the crime. By this no occurrence of network is unknown to CERT. Bangladesh has formed the authority of CERT by taking permission from the international CERT. But the government is yet to permit this for this it is working only for the necessity of international CERT. But not for the necessity of Bangladesh. According to the specialist of Bangladesh if the government permits the authorization of CERT of Bangladesh every occurrence will be traced by the law enforcing agencies. In these cases the crimes may be traced at the initial stage and then legal enforcement may be taken easily. On the other hand taking initiatives in accordance with the law may become easier in the case of taking contingence and filing any case. As cyber crimes can be traced technically by the specialist of Bangladesh and necessary knowledge can be ensured by the Bangladeshi for this a specialists team of CERT. can be formed for the greater benefit of the people of Bangladesh8.
7.CERT is an organization devoted to ensuring that appropriate technology and systems management practices are used to resist attacks on networked systems and to limiting damage and ensure continuity of critical services in spite of successful attacks, accidents, or failures. For more detailed information about our work, see Meet CERT.
Professional and developers of ICT-software, -middleware and -hardware and others responsible for ICT innovations have a crucial role in providing the knowledge and means by which information protection can be enhanced. As home users and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) usually do not have the resources or professional skill sets to design ICT systems and their means of protection in face of the growing number of cyber incidents, there are double responsibilities for public and private institutions, and for countries to establish security procurement policies and standards.
It is therefore recommended to:-
– Establish means and processes of evaluating new ICT developments and products that might include establishing accreditation agencies, certification policies and procedures of information security enhancing measures.
– Continue development of national CERTS (Computer Emergency Response Teams) around the world, and their liaison with the international FIRST (Forum of Incident, Response and Security Teams) community. Their activities should include not only information sharing, analysis case studies and warning roles, but also a response capability operated by ICT security professionals. This will improve end-user awareness and responsibilities with respect to safeguarding information, security and privacy. Unwittingly, these end users in cooperation’s, SME’s, and at home can become a „launch point (pad)“ for attacks on the basic communication and other infrastructure.
– Heighten awareness of end users in developing – as well as in developed -countries, as they acquire or upgrade ICT capabilities, of major risks, and of the importance of security policies and capabilities. This recommendation pinpoints the need especially for home users and SMEs to learn more about information protection and privacy, by, inter alia, participation in education and training programs; the development of model education curricula and „drivers licenses“ for computer users;
– Develop warning and reporting points‘(WARPs, at www.niscc.gov.uk) which serve as a means Information sharing about incidents at a local community and business level. These can be developed in association with local government, the local branches of the International Chamber of Commerce, and like-minded SMEs and other civil society groups.
As stated in the introduction to this document, the underlying central premise of the Panel’s work is to help ensure that the full benefits of the information age accrue to all users of ICTs, and that they are not undercut by negative uses of these technologies, be it through cyber attacks on digital archives and the flow of messages and on information infrastructures, or be it through denials of access. In the view of the World Federation of Scientists it is important to safeguard the integrity and privacy of communications and thus full confidence in ICTs and their security, but also the choice to access freely the full range of information available through these technologies and principally through the Internet9.
The free flow of information is a basic tenet, indeed fundamental characteristics of free societies. Established under the auspices of the World Federation of Scientists, this Permanent Monitoring Panel feels a special obligation to support the appeal of the Erice Statement to all governments to make every effort to reduce or eliminate restrictions on the free flow of information, ideas and people. This appeal is consonant with Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights which explicitly guarantees the freedom to “receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. The broader authority that issues from this Declaration is independent of the exact signatory status of individual countries. It establishes the basic principle of free communication through the Internet. The Declaration of Principles adopted at the Geneva phase of the World Summit solemnly confirms Article 19 in its paragraph A 4, strengthening its language, and affirming that it is central to the Information Society.
1. Tauhidul Islam, Advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court, Prothom Alo, 26th September 2010.
2. Mohammad Mustafa Kamal, Senior Lecturer, Criminology & Science of police Department.
3. Mujib Ahmed, Student, Criminology & Science of police Department, Maolana Vashani science & technology.
4.Rafikul Rahman Patowary, Advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court.
5.Computer Law: Drafting and Negotiating Forms and Agreements, by Richard Raysman and Peter Brown. Law Journal Press, 1999–2008.
6. Emerging Technologies and the Law: Forms and Analysis, by Richard Raysman, Peter Brown, Jeffrey D. Neuburger and William E. Bandon, III. Law Journal Press, 2002-2008.
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The Erice Statement of August 1982, www. federationofscientists.com, has attracted
the attention of World Leaders and has been signed by more than ten thousand
scientists from all over the world