A Comparative Analysis: Cyber Laws vs Conventional Law
With the passage of time development takes place in every sphere of life, in past with the growth of civilization, rate of habitation increases in every state , peoples started different occupation to earn their livelihood and a structured framework is established, so in order to regulate this framework laws are made. In Past kings made the laws but with passage of time legislature taken this role.
There has been change in the forms of laws as classifications are made to classify laws in to general laws, special laws, and conventional laws.
In this article our main focus is to make comparative analysis of special laws that means cyber laws and conventional laws. Before moving further we would understand what are the conventional laws and cyber laws and what is need of these laws?
Crime is both a social and economic phenomenon. It is as old as human society. Kautilya’s Arthashastra was written around 350 BC, and one of the authentic administrative treatise in India, discusses about various types of crimes, security initiatives to be taken by the kings, major crimes in a state etc. and also prescribes punishment for those offences
Crime in has various forms and every forms adversely affects society at large. In developing economies, cyber crime has become threaten issue, and all its due to rapid diffusion of the Internet and making economic activities digital.
Cyber crime is basically crime committed with the computer as tool or a target or combination of both. A Cyber crime also includes crimes which are traditional in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are subjects to the Indian Penal Code.
In generally the term cybercrime was analyzed into two categories and defined thus:
a. Cybercrime when defined in narrow sense (computer crime) it can be said that any illegal act committed by means of electronic medium that targets the privacy of computer systems and the data stored in them.
b. Cybercrime when defined in a broader sense (computer-related crime): Any illegal act directed by means of or in direction towards computer system or network, including such crimes as illegal possession of any computer network or distributing information by means of computer network.
Different countries of this world has its own regulatory framework to dealt with the issue of cyber crimes , in context of India we have important legislation to regulate cyber related crimes and we call it Information Technology Act of 2000.
Before moving further one must to understand why these laws are made and what significance of these laws is.
Cyber law is important because it covers every possible aspect of cyberspace where transactions and activities related to internet and technology, global World Wide Web takes place. Every action and reaction in this cyber world has some legal and cyber legal perspectives.
Cyber law encompasses laws relating to
1. Cyber crimes
2. Electronic and digital signatures
3. Intellectual property
4. Data protection and privacy
In India, cyber laws are knows the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act) and its came into force on October 17, 2000. The object contained under this Act is to give legal recognition to electronic commerce and promotes filing of electronic records with the Government.
The rapid development in technology and its misuse call the need of the enactment and implementation of the cyber laws. As the technology gets advanced, the computer has gained popularity in daily aspects of our lives. This includes misuse of computers by persons involved in the illegal activities. Today, computers acts as tool in almost every crime that is committed.
Now what are conventional laws?
Conventional laws are those laws which are come out of agreement among different nations on specific issue which can be environment, terrorism or even cyber crime.
In dictionary meaning we have Conventional law is a species of special law and has its source in the agreement of those who are subject to it. Agreement is acts as laws who make it. For instance, company has article of association or partnership are seen as conventional laws.
There are several examples of convention laws for example
The Berne Convention deals with intellectual property rights where it provides a common agreement between nations in regard to intellectual property rights. The agreement bears title as the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, (WIPO).. In 1886 it was adopted as agreement to do honour all the rights of authors who were nationals of participated countries in the convention. The present version of the convention is the Paris Act of 1971.
The member countries form a Union, 176 countries have signed up to the convention, and the Act provides protection for the work of authors who are nationals of one of the countries of the Union, or where the work is first published (or simultaneously published) in a country that is a member of the Union.
For the purposes of the Convention, those persons who are not nationals of participating countries but have their habitual residence in a participating country will be regarded as a national of the country.
The terms of the Convention also provide an incentive for countries that are not part of this convention to protect work by nationals of countries of the Union. It states that where a country outside the convention does not have adequate protection to authors, countries of this convention are capable to extend protection to nationals of that country, subject to power which is granted by the country.
What are the relations of these laws?
As laws have their own objective each are made to regulate and prevent the crimes so as structured establishment is made. Whether its conventional laws or cyber laws all has its own domain or we can say specific domain to regulate the affairs.
As each law has their own domain but there are some similarities also for instance The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in year of 1996 provided Model Law on e-commerce. In January 1997, the General Assembly of United Nations passed a resolution inter alia, proposing all States in the United Nation to give favorable considerations to the said Model Law, which provides for legal recognition to electronic records and according it the same treatment like a paper communication and record.
From this UNCITRAL model law only our Information Technology Act, 2000 gets its evolution as we can find some genesis on UNCITAL model law in Information Technology Act, 2000.
There are some basic difference between cyber laws and conventional laws, in cyber laws domain to regulate cyber crimes are more its cover Trans boundary crimes but in case of conventional there is specific boundary.
Similarly there is choice on nations to join conventional laws by ratification but in case of cyber laws or general laws, the laws are binding when they are made by sovereign authority of nation.
Similarly the rights and duties in conventional laws for its member nations are different from the general laws such as cyber laws.
From the above discussions we can conclude that any laws either conventional or general laws such as cyber laws have their own genesis and domain, and in spite of this differences among them, each present to fulfill its objective and established the structured society in any nation.
Contributed by: Krishankant Sharma (Jagarn Lakecity University)