Cyber Law deals with the legal issues of the internet usage and all devices connected over the network, their proper use in order to prevent and control cyber crimes. Since the internet is all over the world the rules and regulations are a bit cloudy but we need to keep in mind a few things to ensure that we are using the internet in a proper and safe manner without causing any trouble.
1. The internet's jurisdictional boundaries may not be clear but the users are bound by the jurisdictional laws of the area in which they reside.
2. Do not access web sites that may not be approved by the jurisdiction in your area.
3. Do not post any offensive material that may cause an outrage among other internet users. Articles with an offensive tone on sensitive subjects like religion, politics etc., Uploading child pornography and other offensive materials is considered a crime in many countries and is punishable depending upon the country's laws.
4. Illegally downloading and distributing protected items like intellectual property and copyrighted articles is a cyber crime and those who are caught engaging in such acts can be prosecuted.
5. Duplication of content or software from CDs and DVDs that are copyrighted and distribution of these on the internet is punishable.
6. Stealing user information (phishing) and impersonating a user (ID theft) are serious cyber crimes.
7. Sending bulk messages that can affect networks and jam mailboxes is called spamming. The US introduced CAN-SPAM Act t in 2003 that allows prosecution of spammers.
8. Sending malicious codes such as viruses and worms through websites and e-mails is a cyber crime that can cause serious damages and anyone caught engaging in the act can be seriously punished.
9. Any site that allows users to download materials without acquiring proper permissions can be prosecuted or even be made to close down. Napster.com was shut down for similar reasons.
10. Illegal bank transactions through internet, to any dangerous individuals who might threaten national security is a cyber crime that will be considered as a breach of national security and those caught engaging in such acts can be punished by the government.
Even though the Cyber Laws are not very clear to every one the increase in cyber crime rate has pushed many governments to introduce Acts that would govern the cyber space at least within their jurisdictions. The governments of USA, UK, Canada and China have enforced Cyber Laws to control Cyber crimes. The other nations that have followed in introducing Cyber laws are India, Australia, Malaysia, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Thailand etc. Among all these nations China emerges to be the strictest in its laws regarding the use of the internet.
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Himlal Pun - PHP programmer, India and founder of sisnolabs - website development services
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