Plans to reform IT Act to curb dark web attacks in India
The level of cybercrimes castigated by dark web and cryptocurrencies in India has experienced a sharp rise in recent years. There is no doubt that the government is doing all in its capacity to fight the cybercrimes at all cost.
The Indian government is working with the Intelligence Bureau to amend the Information Technology Act, in order to deal more ruthlessly with dark web cybercriminals. The IT Act of 2000 was enacted by parliament and signed into law by President K.R Narayanan back in 2000.
The act has been in place since then, and it has been addressing all issues regarding electronic documents, e-signatures, and other related records. The law also touches on the penalties to be given in cases regarding security data breaches such as damaging computer systems and taking part in cyber terrorism.
The act has had a number of changes since it was enacted, including the recent changes in the last decade in response to cybercrimes taking a different angle. The Indian population is particularly well known for utilizing the internet in large numbers, as demonstrated by the amount of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter customers.
Although the country does not share pride in technological inventions as seen in Silicon Valley, California, it is ranked among the top countries in cybersecurity. In the 2017 Global Cyber Security Index ranking created by the United Nations, India was ranked 23rd out of the 165 countries included.
The Expected Changes
The act is expected to be amended to suit the current stand-off with cybercriminals, whereby the popular internet companies whose servers are not located in India are to share their keys with security agencies for monitoring.
The act is proposing that any entity compromised by cyber-attacks is liable to disclose to law enforcement regarding the matter. According to a senior Union Home Ministry Official, the servers of popular internet companies, like the social media platforms WhatsApp and Gmail, are based outside India’s jurisdiction. Therefore, the encrypted data and unshared keys are kept at bay for the law enforcement in India to monitor.
A similar action was taken by the Chinese and German governments regarding the company, Microsoft, which had to comply with set regulations. Therefore, a better environment was created for the participating law enforcement agencies to monitor their servers for any cybercrime occurring in their systems.
It has been observed that terrorists are using dark web encrypted platforms to spread war and fear to the general public. Over 98,000 websites and 46,000 Twitter accounts suspected to contain terror content have been closed by the Indian security agencies.
The act, if amended, will put stringent rules in place for mobile wallets which will be mandated to trace any funds suspected to be involved in fraud. Cyber communication poses a significant threat to national security and all the way down to a personal level.
As affirmed during the Interpol meeting, which took place in Dubai, the delegates identified the dark web to be a growing menace that requires mitigation by strict and innovative measures.
The increase of security personnel in cybersecurity has helped India aggressively fight the dark web criminals, and a number of them have been arrested and put behind bars. The Indian government recently increased their funding for cyber intelligence to enhance their capability to maneuver through the dark web and apprehend the cybercriminals involved.
Some of the vices combated by the Indian Cyber Defense Unit include human trafficking, drug trades, and illegal firearms trafficking. Drugs acquired through the dark web have resulted in a number of deaths as they are not fit for human consumption.
Cybersecurity will remain the main issue for most organizations as the criminals involved are constantly devising new methods to compromise systems. With cryptocurrencies enhancing illegal trade, India has seen a significant rise in their use, especially Bitcoin, although its market price has been declining daily.
The Union Home Ministry also said that they are working out an international cooperation mechanism to monitor and regulate cyberspace with international industries and other global academia companies.
The amendment of the act is expected to bring a sense of sanity to cybersecurity which has drastically evolved since the act was enacted almost two decades ago.