Lawyers In Kohima

Cyber Terrorism Under IT Act, 2000 [U/S-66F of the IT Act,2000]

INTRODUCTION: 

Section 66F: Punishment For Cyber Terrorism 

66-F. Punishment for cyber terrorism. — (1) Whoever,  

(A) with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people by— 

(i) denying or cause the denial of access to any person authorised to access computer resource; or 

(ii) attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorised access; or 

(iii) introducing or causing to introduce any computer contaminant, and by means of such conduct causes or is likely to cause death or injuries to persons or damage to or destruction of property or disrupts or knowing that it is likely to cause damage or disruption of supplies or services essential to the life of the community or adversely affect the critical information infrastructure specified under Section 70; or 

(B) knowingly or intentionally penetrates or accesses a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorised access, and by means of such conduct obtains access to information, data or computer database that is restricted for reasons of the security of the State or foreign relations; or any restricted information, data or computer database, with reasons to believe that such information, data or computer database so obtained may be used to cause or likely to cause injury to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, group of individuals or otherwise, commits the offence of cyber terrorism. 

(2) Whoever commits or conspires to commit cyber terrorism shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life. 

DEFINITION 

Section 66F of the IT Act defines ‘Cyber Terrorism’ as all those acts by any person with an intent to create threat to the unity, integrity, sovereignty and security of the nation or create terror in minds of people or section of people by way of disrupting the authorised access to a computer resource or getting access to a computer resource through unauthorised means or causing damage to computer network. If these acts cause injuries to persons, cause the death of any person, damage or destruct any property, cause disruption of essential supplies or services, or negatively affect the critical information structure, they become punishable in nature. It also includes all those acts committed knowingly or intentionally in connection to getting access to a computer resource in an unauthorized way and that the data so obtained was restricted in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.  

This section was added to the Act in 2008 as a result of a legislation amendment. The terrible 26/11 terror strike in India prompted this modification. In this case, the terrorists used the communication services to aid the terrorists who carried out a series of 12 shooting strikes across Mumbai. This tragedy is a textbook example of terrorism through the use of the internet. The punishment for those who execute or conspire to commit cyber terrorism is also outlined in this section. According to the Section, such individuals would be punished by imprisonment, which may include life imprisonment. 

Major Terror attack 

  1. 9/11 

On September 11, 2001, a major attack occurred in America, shocking not just Americans but the entire globe and raising the question of whether or not the cyberspace is safe. Is this something that could help in a terror attack? For the first time, America took cyber terror seriously after this strike. Following the attack, the United States decided to eliminate any cyber threats in their country. They began taking all necessary steps to prevent additional harm to their country. They didn’t just employ typical measures to keep terrorists out; they also paid close attention to every detail. Following this occurrence, they took cyber security very seriously and devised every means feasible to mitigate the cyber threat. It was act wake up call for every country related to these kinds of threats. After 9/11 many similar attacks took place which increased the requirement of cyber security against this type of terror more.  

       2. 26/11 

On November 26th, 2008, India witnessed a horrific incident involving 12 coordinated shootings and explosions that spanned four days across Mumbai. Experts believe it was a significant cyber strike rather than a basic terror attack. The terrorists were in constant contact with Pakistan via VOIP, and all of the computer systems at the Taj Hotel, Leopal Cafe, Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Obori Trident, Came Hospital, and Nariman House were hacked, giving them access to the hotel’s and other locations’ data. They had the entire guest list for the Taj Hotel, including check-in times, room numbers, and so on. They primarily targeted foreign visitors from the United States, England, and other countries. As they had access to the whole data of cafe, hospital they had specific list of people whom they wanted to tar gate. The blast lasted four days and terrorist were connected to Pakistani hacker all the time. 26/11 was one of the major incidents in our country which made government to think over the cyber security and cyber threat which could occur in a nation like India and what steps government could take for it. 

       3. Ahmedabad Bomb Blast 

The Ahmadabad bombings of 2008 were a serious set of 21 explosions. On July 26, 2008, a series of 21 bomb blasts occurred in 70 mines, killing more than 70 persons and injuring more than 200. Many news organisations reported getting 14-page emails from the terror group Indian Mujahedeen, Islamic Militant Group (Harkat-Ul-Jihad-al-Islim) apologising for the terror strike. News agencies told that they received this email just before 5 minutes of the blast email contain the following; 

  • “Awaited 5minuts for the Revenge of Gujarat” referring to the 2002 Gujarat Godhead Train Burning incident.
  • Do whatever you can, within 5mins from now, feel the terror of death!
  • Email also contains threats to Chief Minister of Maharashtra and his deputy, “we wonder at your memory. Have you forgotten the evening of 11 July 2006 so quickly and easily?”
  • The threat went on to warn India businessman Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, “building a citadel on a land in Mumbai that belong to Waif board…. least it turns into horrifying memories for you which you will never forget.
  • And few Bollywood actors to stop acting.

CONCLUSION 

With each passing year, legal system in our country is attempting to enact new measures to combat cyber terrorism. However, as new innovative ways of operating in cyberspace emerge, additional loopholes emerge, which will require our country to close by altering procedures and regulations in place to combat cyber terrorism. Furthermore, to fight this worldwide issue, a united international framework should be in place. Furthermore, the public should be made aware of the threats, as well as the means by which they are disseminated, and how to respond in the event of a terrorist attack. All of these actions will go a long way toward providing the secure internet space that citizens seek. 

 

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