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Jurisdiction Issue in Cyber Crime


Authored By Harsh Mangal


Key Words: Cyber crimes, Jurisdiction, Law, Technology, Internet, Development.


Abstract

We are living in a time when internet and technology is one of the most important factors in success and development. Today we are dependent on internet for keeping records, for meetings, for research work, for studies, etc. We cannot think of our lives without internet, especially in the time when the whole world is struggling with Corona Virus. The reason why businesses are still going on, why office work is still possible, why students are not forced to go to schools or colleges and risk their lives or to waste a complete year is internet. But there is the darker side to this, internet which was invented to solve the problems of people is used by some people for malpractices. The cases of cyber crime are increasing day by day in the form of hacking, cyber stalking, cyber pornography, etc.

There is always an issue of jurisdiction with the crimes created using internet, as people are connected through internet regardless of any national or international boundaries, so a person sitting in country ‘x’ could commit a crime in country ‘y’ using the internet connection. This article delves into the subject how the problem of jurisdiction in cyber crime needs to be addressed and discussed.


Introduction

Today internet connection has become a basic necessity for human being. Education, businesses, management, events, and much more are hugely dependent on internet connection for their growth. Internet has become the major source of information in most of the parts of the world.

But as it is said that every coin has two sides, similarly technology also has both pros and cons. Technology has helped a lot in smoothing and simplifying the lives of people, but there are always some people in the society who misuses such inventions for illegal activities and to trouble other people for their own benefit or to fulfill their purpose. In recent years there has been a huge increase in cyber crimes.

Now, there is an issue of jurisdiction in cyber crime which needs to be addressed. For example, a person sitting in Jamaica could hack the bank accounts in China, and could transfer a handful amount of money to his name illegally within seconds. Now, where the complaint of such crime should be filed, countries have different laws to deal with such cases, these things give rise to the problem of jurisdiction.


Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction generally describes any authority over a certain area or certain persons. In law, jurisdiction refers to a particular geographic area containing a defined legal authority.[1] Jurisdiction is mainly of two types:

1. Subject Matter Jurisdiction: The power of the court to hear and determine cases of the general class to which the proceedings in question belong.[2]

2. Personal Jurisdiction: The power of the court to hear and determine the lawsuit involving a defendant having some contact with the place where the court is located.[3]


Cyber Space Jurisdiction

The whole issue with the jurisdiction over internet is that multiple parties are present in various parts of the world that are only virtually connected to each other. Thus, it becomes difficult to decide, where can one party sue the other party, as in such crimes we cannot have a comprehensible idea about the parties and their region.

Internet has no geographical or physical borders; it sets up instant communications with any person who has an access to any website. Usually internet users can not know exact source of information uploaded on a site. As internet does not have any clarity over geographical and jurisdictional borders, its users are subject to laws independent of their presence on internet. Therefore in activities like these an internet user can be sued in any state or country where another internet user files the complaint. But if we see the situation practically an internet user is subject to the laws of the state where he/she accessed the internet. This is the reason why jurisdiction in cyber activities has always been a matter of conflict.


The Way Forward

In order to solve this conflict the loopholes of the legal system should be identified and a strong legal framework which could deal with the new type of crimes which are rising with the rapid growth of technology must be aimed.

This is also an international issue as cyberspace has no geographical or physical borders, so India should become signatory to treaties and conventions which are there to fight against the cyber crimes.

The extradition policies must be clear and more effective, as this is necessary not only for cyber crimes but in dealing with other physical crimes also, in which authorities faces problem of jurisdiction.

There is a need of uniform and unique law which must be developed at international level, this law can be applied in all the countries uniformly to decide the jurisdiction in cyber crimes.


Conclusion

The cases of cyber crime are increasing largely; this is a threat to the national security as well. We have seen the cases when internet has helped a lot in planning terrorist activities, and in brainwashing the people who are vulnerable to such activities. This is one of the biggest reasons why internet services are suspended in the state of Jammu and Kashmir[4]. But, restriction on internet is not the solution for this, as this would have a huge impact on the development and growth of the state, as today internet is one of the basic necessities. This would ruin the economy of the state, and IT sector and educational institutions will be the worst victims of the same.[5]

India is a developing country and is highly vulnerable to cyber crimes. Hence, it becomes important for the law makers to come up with rigid laws to resolve the issue of jurisdiction in cyber crimes, to keep India in the race of becoming a developed nation.

[1] https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/jurisdiction [2] https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Subject+Matter+Jurisdiction [3] https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Personal+Jurisdiction [4] https://kashmirobserver.net/2020/07/24/no-4g-internet-in-kashmir-for-now-centre-tells-sc/

[5] https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/08/05/article-370-how-ban-on-4g-has-ruined-many-dreams-in-kashmirs-economy.html

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