Cyber Law also called IT Law is the law regarding Information-technology including computers and internet. It is related to legal informatics and supervises the digital circulation of information, software, information security and e-commerce.
IT law does not consist a separate area of law rather it encloses aspects of contract, intellectual property, privacy and data protection laws. Intellectual property is a key element of IT law. The area of software licence is controversial and still evolving in Europe and elsewhere.
According to Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, Government of India :
Cyber Laws yields legal recognition to electronic documents and a structure to support e-filing and e-commerce transactions and also provides a legal structure to reduce, check cyber crimes.
Importance of Cyber Law:
- It covers all transaction over internet.
- It keeps eyes on all activities over internet.
- It touches every action and every reaction in cyberspace.
Area of Cyber Law:
Cyber laws contain different types of purposes. Some laws create rules for how individuals and companies may use computers and the internet while some laws protect people from becoming the victims of crime through unscrupulous activities on the internet. The major areas of cyber law include:
Consumers depend on cyber laws to protect them from online fraud. Laws are made to prevent identity theft, credit card theft and other financial crimes that happen online. A person who commits identity theft may face confederate or state criminal charges. They might also encounter a civil action brought by a victim. Cyber lawyers work to both defend and prosecute against allegations of fraud using the internet.
The internet has made copyright violations easier. In early days of online communication, copyright violations was too easy. Both companies and individuals need lawyers to bring actions to impose copyright protections. Copyright violation is an area of cyber law that protects the rights of individuals and companies to profit from their own creative works.
Several personnel use the internet to speak their mind. When people use the internet to say things that are not true, it can cross the line into defamation. Defamation laws are civil laws that save individuals from fake public statements that can harm a business or someone’s personal reputation. When people use the internet to make statements that violate civil laws, that is called Defamation law.
- Harassment and Stalking:
Sometimes online statements can violate criminal laws that forbid harassment and stalking. When a person makes threatening statements again and again about someone else online, there is violation of both civil and criminal laws. Cyber lawyers both prosecute and defend people when stalking occurs using the internet and other forms of electronic communication.
- Freedom of Speech:
Freedom of speech is an important area of cyber law. Even though cyber laws forbid certain behaviors online, freedom of speech laws also allow people to speak their minds. Cyber lawyers must advise their clients on the limits of free speech including laws that prohibit obscenity. Cyber lawyers may also defend their clients when there is a debate about whether their actions consist of permissible free speech.
- Trade Secrets:
Companies doing businesses online often depend on cyber laws to protect their trade secrets. For example, Google and other online search engines spend lots of time developing the algorithms that produce search results. They also spend a great deal of time developing other features like maps, intelligent assistance and flight search services to name a few. Cyber laws help these companies to take legal action as necessary in order to protect their trade secrets.
- Contracts and Employment Law:
Every time you click a button that says you agree to the terms and conditions of using a website, you have used cyber law. There are terms and conditions for every website that are somehow related to privacy concerns.
Advantages of Cyber Law:
- Organizations are now able to carry out e-commerce using the legal infrastructure provided by the Act.
- Digital signatures have been given legal validity and sanction in the Act.
- It has opened the doors for the entry of corporate companies for issuing Digital Signatures Certificates in the business of being Certifying Authorities.
- It allows Government to issue notification on the web thus heralding e-governance.
- It gives authority to the companies or organizations to file any form, application or any other document with any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the suitable Government in e-form by means of such e-form as may be prescribed by the suitable Government.
- The IT Act also addresses the important issues of security, which are so critical to the success of electronic transactions.