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Technological development and enhancement not only widens scientific horizon but also comes up with constant challenges for the jurisprudence, legal system, law enforcement agencies and legal world as a whole. In this modern era, computer, internet and cyberspace together known as communication or information technology become part and parcel of our life. This altogether challenging the law and law enforcement agencies as cybercrime is increasing day by day in various types, qualities and quantities. As computer and internet technology is advancing day by day and spreading more among general people and also more used for businesses purposes it is creating more and more opportunities for cybercrime. Because of technological constraints and inadequacy of present laws, the cyber world is more vulnerable for crime. Issues surrounding cybercrime become high profile, particularly those surrounding hacking, copyright infringement, child pornography and child grooming. Cybercrime can be easily done across the border and it makes things more difficult to prevent or to find culprit of this type of crime.
Cybercrime is one of the fastest criminal activities on the planet. Many nations have created new section of laws specifically for cybercrime and developing it further to stop cybercrime. Developed nations are far ahead in this and developing nations are trying to follow their way. As developing nations, like Bangladesh, are using computer and internet much more than before and becoming more and more vulnerable to cybercrime.
It is very difficult to implement law against cybercrime for countries like Bangladesh as we do not have proper infrastructure, technology and specialist to do so. Moreover, our law makers are not much aware and concern about this type of law and not capable of making strong laws that is feasible to implement. So, we all need to be very focused and aware about different kind of cybercrimes to safeguard ourselves.
Cybercrime refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network, where the computers may or may not have played an instrumental part in the commission of crime. Netcrime part of cybercrime refers, more precisely, to criminal exploitation of the internet. According to Duggal Pawal, an Indian cyber law analytics, “Cybercrime may be said to be those species, of which, genus is the conventional crime, and where either the computer is an object or subject of the conduct constituting crime. Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cybercrime”
A generalized definition of cybercrime may be “unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both”. The computer may be used as a tool in the following kinds of activity- financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, pornography, online gambling, intellectual property crime, e-mail spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, cyber stalking. The computer may however be target for unlawful acts in the following cases- unauthorized access to computer/ computer system/ computer networks, theft of information contained in the electronic form, e-mail bombing, data didling, salami attacks, logic bombs, Trojan attacks, internet time thefts, web jacking, theft of computer system, physically damaging the computer system. All these falls under cybercrime.
“The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun. Tomorrow’s terrorist may be able to do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb”.
2.1 Mode and Manner of Committing Cybercrime
There are many ways of conducting cybercrime. Some of the most frequent ones are-
- Unauthorized access to computer systems or networks
- Theft of information of electronic form
- Email bombing
- Data diddling
- Salami attacks
- Denial of service attack
- Virus/worm attacks
- Logic bombs
- Trojan attacks
- Internet time theft
- Web jacking
- Net trespass
- Cyber bullying
- Cyber terrorism
- Intellectual property crime
- Cyber Stalking
- Cyber pornography
2.2 Types of Cybercrime
Cybercrime includes a broad range of potential illegal activities. It can be divided into many types based on different aspects and applications. In general, primarily it can be divided into two categories
- Crimes that target computer networks or devices directly.
(e.g. computer viruses, malware etc.)
- Crimes facilitated by computer networks or devices, primary target of which is not a device or network.
(e.g. cyber stalking, fraud, identity theft, information theft, phishing scams etc.)
Again, we can divide cybercrimes into three classification based on the target or victim of the crime. Classifications are-
- 1. Against Individual
- their person &
- their property of an individual
- 2. Against Organization
- firm, company, group of individuals.
- 3. Against Society at large
There are lots of ways to commit cybercrime. Based on above classification, some examples of cybercrime are-
- Harassment via e-mails.
- Dissemination of obscene material.
- Unauthorized control/access over computer system.
- Indecent exposure
- Email spoofing
viii. Cheating & Fraud
Against individual property:-
- Computer vandalism.
- Transmitting virus.
- Net trespass
- Unauthorized control/access over computer system.
- Intellectual Property crimes
- Internet time thefts
- Unauthorized control/access over computer system
- Possession of unauthorized information.
- Cyber terrorism against the government organization.
- Distribution of pirated software etc.
Against society at large:-
- Pornography (basically child pornography).
- Polluting the youth through indecent exposure.
- Financial crimes
- Sale of illegal articles
- Online gambling
2.3 Reasons for Cybercrime
- Capacity to store data in comparatively small space
- Easy to access
- Difficult to track location
- Loss of evidence
2.4 Cyber Criminals
- Children and adolescents between the age group of 6-18 years
- Organized hackers
- Professional hackers/crackers
- Discontented employees
3. Cybercrime in Bangladesh
Cybercrime can involve criminal activities that are traditional in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are subject to penal laws of a country. The abuse of computers has also given birth to a new age crimes that are addressed by the special laws enacted to penalize these crimes. For example, in Bangladesh, Taththa Jogajog Projukty Ain 2006 (Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006) defines certain offence which does not cover by the Penal Code. In this regard, the Penal Code 1860 is not effective enough in dealing with cybercrimes.
3.1 Cybercrime Act
The parliament of Bangladesh has enacted Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006 which defines certain activities as crime. The activities which made punishable under the Information and Technology Act of 2006 shall be the cybercrimes for the territory of Bangladesh. The activities are-
i. Mischief of computer and computer system.
ii. Alteration of source code of commuter.
iii. Hacking in computer system.
iv. Publication of false, indecent and defamatory statement or information in electronic form.
v. Access in reserve system.
vi. False representation and concealment of information.
vii. False electronic signature certificate.
viii. Transmission of secrecy.
ix. Disclosing electronic signature for cheating.
x. Committing crime through computer.
3.2 Cybercrime Tribunal
According to section 68 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006 for the speedy and effective disposal of cases under this Act, Government shall establish one or more cyber tribunal. The tribunal shall try only the offences under this Act and the Government shall determine the local jurisdiction of the tribunal. In consultation with the Supreme Court, Government shall appoint on Sessions Judge or Additional Sessions Judge as a judge of Cyber Tribunal.Cyber tribunal shall take a case for trial –
- upon the report of a police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector or
- upon a complaint made by a controller appointed under this Act or by any other person authorized by the controller.
The trial procedure of cyber tribunal shall follow chapter 23 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1893 (trial procedure by the Court of Sessions) so far it is consistent. If the accused is absconded, tribunal can try the case in absentia. In this case tribunal has to circular an order in two bangla newspaper to appear the accused on a specified date. Cyber tribunal shall apply the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code and it shall have the same power, a Sessions Court empowered to apply in its original jurisdiction. Public prosecutor shall conduct the case on behalf of the Government
Tribunal shall conclude the trial within six months from the date of framing charge. This period may be extended for three months. Tribunal shall pronounce its judgment within ten days after the conclusion of trial which may be deferred for ten days.
3.3 Real Scenario of Cybercrime in Bangladesh
It is very difficult to get the proper scenario of cybercrime in Bangladesh, as we do not have proper updated statistics regarding this. There may be many crimes happened but not reported or cannot be considered by the law enforcement agencies because of law restraints. As use of computer and internet is increasing sharply in Bangladesh, for both individual and commercial purpose, chance of cybercrime is also increasing. Specially, business dealings like internet banking need to be taken care of.
Bangladesh has been carrying out anti- cybercrime activities from last year providing training for a group of professionals and developing software. According to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the CID of the Police, “as part of the strategy, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Police would run a cybercrime laboratory later if the plan goes accordingly. The DIG said by initiating the anti- cybercrime activities, Bangladesh had come to the age of combating high-tech crimes though no single cybercrime was recorded in the country.
Bangladesh had only 0.45 million Internet users since 2006 and the number of Internet hosts was 376 in 2007, according to available statistics. But the ratio of commercial users of Internet was significantly higher than household users. So, the law-enforcers should be prepared for resisting such high-tech crimes, which were usually taking place in the commercial sector. At present, the cybercrimes, including sending of porno pictures and cooked porno activities to achieve particular targets, may take place, but those were isolated events, and the number were very few. Basically, no notable cybercrime has yet been committed in Bangladesh. The gradual dependence and extensive use of computer and information technology by the financial institutions like bank, insurance company, and other non-government organizations increase the fear of commission of cybercrime here. Computer has been used as a tool of crime like making forged certificates and documents for a number of years in Bangladesh though the incident of targeting computer or computer system is very unusual.
Some of the incidents that bring the notice of the public are:
- E-mail threatening to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from a cyber café.
- Hacking the mail of BRAC Bangladesh.
- Stealing the transaction report of Dhaka Stock Exchange through hacking.
- Inserting porno movies to the web site of Bangladesh National Parliament.
- Inserting the porno movies to the website of the Daily Jugantor newspaper.
- E-mail threatening to World Bank Dhaka office.
3.4 Prevention of Cybercrime
It is going to be very difficult for our government to stop cybercrime if done by specialist or professional groups. As our government do not poses high-tech infrastructure, especially in telecommunication sector. Lack of proper knowledge and intelligence in government body of this particular sector also aid the difficulties of preventing cybercrime. People won’t get regular help from law enforcement agencies in case of any cybercrime or any issues regarding this. No law will be adequate and enforceable perfectly to prevent cybercrime. So, all the computer and internet user must be focus and aware about using cyberspace. Only by this, one can reduce the chance of being victim of such crimes.
Prevention is always better than cure. It is always better to take certain precaution while operating the internet. One should make them his/her part of cyber life. Saileshkumar Zarkar, technical advisor and network security consultant to the Mumbai Police Cybercrime Cell, advocates the 5P mantra for online security: Precaution, Prevention, Protection, Preservation and Perseverance. 
A citizen should keep in mind the following things-
- To prevent cyber stalking avoid disclosing any information pertaining to one. This is as good as disclosing your identity to strangers in public place.
- Always avoid sending any photograph online particularly to strangers and chat friends as there have been incidents of misuse of the photographs.
- Always use latest and update anti-virus software to guard against virus attacks.
- Always keep back up volumes so that one may not suffer data loss in case of virus contamination
- Never send your credit card number to any site that is not secured, to guard against frauds.
- Always keep a watch on the sites that your children are accessing to prevent any kind of harassment or depravation in children.
- It is better to use a security programme that gives control over the cookies and send information back to the site as leaving the cookies unguarded might prove fatal.
- Web site owners should watch traffic and check any irregularity on the site. Putting host-based intrusion detection devices on servers may do this.
- Use of firewalls may be beneficial.
10. Web servers running public sites must be physically separate protected from internal corporate network.
In this era of globalization which is aided by the science of information technology, it is not possible to remain separate from the world of computer and internet. It is also not possible to get the benefit of information technology without facing the threat of cybercrime. Similar to all other crimes, cybercrimes cannot be stopped totally rather can be reduced to a tolerable level.
In the countries like Bangladesh, users must keep in mind that government won’t be able to safeguard them from the threat of cybercrime and for that they must be careful about their own safety and take precautionary measures by themselves. On the other hand, government must ensure that no exotic or intolerable incident of cybercrime happens, especially about the corporate financial sector. Government should take more steps to make the general computer and internet users aware about their responsibilities regarding cybercrime.
1. The Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. XLV of 1860).
2. The Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006.
3. Boham and Haley (2002).
4. Kumar Vinod – Winning the Battle against Cyber Crime.
5. Kapoor G.V. – Byte by Byte.
6. Mehta Dewang- Role of Police In Tackling Internet Crimes.
7. Duggal Pawan – The Internet: Legal Dimensions.
8. Hindustan Times.
9. Sify News.
10. Monjur Kader: Criminology (Cyber Crime).
 Moore, R. (2005) “Cybercrime: Investigating High-Technology Computer Crime,” Cleveland, Mississippi: Anderson Publishing
 Mann and Sutton 1998: >>Netcrime: More change in the Organization of Thieving. British Journal of Criminology; 38: 201-229.
 Pavan Duggal- http://www.pavanduggal.net.
 Nagpal R. – What is Cyber Crime?
 National Research Council, “Computers at Risk”, 1991.
 What is cyberterrorism? Even experts can’t agree. Harvard Law Record. Victoria Baranetsky. November 5, 2009.
 J Comput Virol (2006) 2:13–20. DOI 10.1007/s11416-006-0015-z. ORIGINAL PAPER
 Maya Babu, Mysore Grahakara Parishat, Star Of Mysore Online, October 11, 2004.
 World Information Technology And Services Alliance (Witsa) Statement On The Council Of Europe Draft Convention On Cyber-Crime
 Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006, http://www.mosict.gov.bd/
 Section 54-70 of Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006
 Section 69(1) of Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006
 The Financial Express, Dhaka, January 10, 2008
 Reported by BSS.
 Hindustan Times, October 18, 2009.
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