The development
in information technology and electronic media especially from the 1980’s
onwards have given rise to a new variety of computer related crimes which are
commonly called “Cyber Crimes”. The widespread growth of these crimes has
become matter of global concern and a challenge for the law enforcement
agencies in the new millennium. Because of the peculiar nature of these crimes,
they can be committed anonymously and far away from the victim without being
physically present there. Further, cyber criminals, have a major advantage,
they can use computer technology to inflict damage without risk of being
caught. These communication services, industrial espionage, dissemination of
pornographic and sexy offensive material in cyber space, electronic money
laundering and evasion, electronic vandalism, terrorism and extortion,
tele-marketing frauds, illegal interception of tele-communication etc. In the era of cyber world as the usage of computers
became more popular, there was expansion in the growth of technology as well,
and the term ‘Cyber’ became more familiar to the
people. The evolution

n of Information
Technology (IT) gave birth to the cyber space wherein internet provides equal
opportunities to all the people to access any information, data storage,
analyse etc. with the use of high technology. Due to increase in the number of
internet users, misuse of technology in the cyberspace was clutching up which
gave birth to cyber crimes at the domestic and international level as well.

Though the word
Crime carries its general meaning as “a legal wrong that can be followed by
criminal proceedings which may result into punishment” whereas Cyber Crime may be “unlawful acts wherein the
computer is either a tool or target or both”.

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The world 1st
computer specific law was enacted in the year 1970 by the German State of Hesse
in the form of ‘Data Protection Act, 1970’ with the advancement of cyber
technology. With the emergence of technology the misuse of technology has also
expanded to its optimum level and then there arises a need of strict statutory
laws to regulate the criminal activities in the cyber world and to protect
technological advancement system. It is under these circumstances Indian
parliament passed its “INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000” to have its exhaustive law to deal with the
technology in the field of e-commerce, e-governance, e-banking as well as
penalties and punishments in the field of cybercrimes1.

It will be significant to point out that
Cyber terrorism is being studied as a one of the sub heading/branch cybercrime.
However, since the extend and effect of cyber terrorism have been such that it
needs to be taken up as a separate subject.

Despite lighter physical and border security,
terrorism has been a complex problem faced by the government and the policy
makers. With the emergence of new communication technologies, the nature and
mode of operation of the terrorism has undergone a radical change giving rise
to a new variety of terrorism called Cyber-terrorism. The purpose behind the
acts of terrorism is to create an atmosphere of fear, apprehension and to
destabilize the security system, thereby disturbing the existing social order.
Terrorism has also been described as a proxy war, both stealthy and
clandestine, where motley group of persons, because of their perceived
grievances or their anger targets, innocents and government, thereby,
paralyzing the government. The evolution of technology have, further, befitted
these terrorist groups to greater extend as, beyond, terrorist’s use if the
Internet  to train recruit, spread
propaganda and fundraise, there is the looming threat of a major cyber-attack
on critical infrastructure. This is because, technology offers an attractive
way to conspire and commit acts of terror from foreign lands without the need
to apply for visas or set foot on the soil of the targeted country. The greated
advantage that internet offers to the terrorist group is that of anonymity
where enemy is unknown and unallocated.

As observe red by Dr. Justice A.S. Anand1  Terrorism is one if the manifestation of
increased lawlessness and cult of violence. Violence and crime constitute a
threat to an established order and are a revolt against a civilized society.
“Terrorism” has not been defined under any law nor is it possible to give a
precise definition of terrorism or lay down what constitutes terrorism. It may
be possible to describe it as use of violence when it’s most important result
is not merely the physical and mental damage of the victim but the prolonged
psychological effect it produces or has the potential of producing on the
society as a whole. There may be death, injury, or destruction of property or
even deprivation of individual liberty in the process but the extent and reach
of the intended terrorist activity travel beyond the effect of an ordinary
crime capable of being punished under 
the ordinary penal law of the land and its main objective is to overawe
the Government or disturb harmony of the society or terrorize people and the
society and not only those directly assaulted with a view to disturb even
tempo, peace and tranquility if the society and create a sense of feat and
insecurity. A terrorist activity does not merely arise by causing disturbance
of law and order of public order. The fall out of the intended activity must be
such that it travels beyond the capacity of the ordinary law enforcement agencies
to tackle it under the ordinary penal law. Experience has shown us that
terrorism is generally an attempt to acquire or maintain power or control by
intimidation and causing feat and helplessness in the minds of the people at
large or any section thereof and is a totally abnormal phenomenon. What
distinguishes terrorism from the other forms of violence, therefore, appears to
be the deliberate and systematic use of coercive intimidation. More often than
not, a hardened criminal today takes advantage of the situation and by wearing
the cloak of terrorism, aims to achieve for himself acceptability and
respectability in the society because unfortunately in the states affected by
military, a terrorist is projected as a hero by his group and often even by the
misguided youth.

From the above, it is seen that the
definition of terrorism has eluded and has haunted countries for decades.
However, one of the earliest definition in the 20th century which
comes to mind is the one given in the Article I of the league if Nation
Convention on Terrorism, 1937. This defined it as “Criminal acts” directed
against a State and intended or calculated to create state of terror in the
minds of particular persons, or a group of persons or the general public2

The term terrorism according to US
department, means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated
against non-combatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents.

In Australia, the recently enacted Security
Legislation on “Terrorism” Amendment Act2002 defines a terrorist act to mean an
action or threat of action that falls within sub-section 23  and does not fall within sub-section 2A of
the said Act and the action is done or the threat is made with the intention of
advancing a political, religious or ideological cause coercing, or influencing
by intimidation, the government of the commonwealth or a state, Territory or
foreign country or of part of a state, territory or foreign country; or
intimidating the public or section of the Public.

It is concluded that the following categories
constitute terrorist acts:

(i)            
Amy
act causing death or grievous bodily harm or loss if liberty to a Head of
State, persons exercising the prerogatives of the Head of state, their
hereditary or designed successors, the spouse of such persons, or persons
charges with public functions or holding public positions when the act is
directed against them in their public capacity.             

(ii)          
Acts
calculated to destroy or damage public property or property devoted to a public
purpose.                                                                                                              

(iii)         
Any
act likely to imperial human lives through the creation of public danger, in
particular the seizure of aircraft, the taking of hostages and any form of
violence directed against persons who enjoy international protection or
diplomatic immunity.                                                                                         

(iv)         
The
manufacture obtaining possession or supply of arms ammunition, explosives or
harmful substances with a view to the commission of a terrorist activity.

Thus, three common elements that can be
identified from above discussion are:

1.    
The
use of violence.

2.    
Some
of the objectives that can be political, religious, social or ideological.

3.    
The
main purpose is to create fear within a target population.

However, there have been numerous definition and good
deal of debate on the desirability of having a comprehensive definition as new
trends and dangers have been revealed. The debate is as to whether, these
definition could be general ir enumerative or mixed or whether it should be
confined to individual and group terrorism or cover State terrorism as well and
whether it should exempt the struggles for self-determination from its scope or
embrace all situation alike, but the nature and character of the act of
terrorism is such that not one definition can be given to this term

1 H.V.ThkurVs State of Maharashtra, 1994 SCC 602)

2 Available at: http://www.cfr.org/terrorism-and-the-law/league-nations-convention-prevention-punishment-terrorism/p24778)

3 Acts that causes serious harm i.e. physical harm to a person; or causes
serious damage to property; or a person’s death; or endangers a persons’s life,
other than the life of the person taking the action; or creates a serious risk
to the health of safety of the public or a section of the public; or seriously
interferes with, seriously disrupts, or destroys, an electronic system
including. But not limited to an information system; or a telecommunications
system; or a financial system; or a system used for the delivery of essential
government services; or a system used for, or by, an essential public utility;
or a system used for; or by, a transport system.)

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