Introduction: The word cyber and its relative dot. com are probably the most commonly used terminologies of the modern era. In the information age the rapid development of computers, telecommunications and other technologies has led to the evolution of new forms of trans-national crimes known as "cyber crimes". Cyber Crime may be defined as "any crime with the help of computer and telecommunication technology", with the purpose of influencing the functioning of computer or the computer systems. The extent of loss involved worldwide of cyber crimes is tremendous as it is estimated that about 500 million people who use the Internet can be affected by the emergence of cyber crimes.

Cyber crimes are considered as white-collar crimes because it is difficult to identify the culprit, given the almost impossibility of pin-pointing the culprit. Broadly the cyber crimes are classified in four categories: 1. Data-related crimes: including interception, modification, and theft; 2. Network-related crimes: including interference and sabotage; 3. Crimes of access: including hacking and virus distribution; 4. Associated computer-related crimes: including aiding and abetting cyber criminals, computer fraud, and computer forgery.

5. Cyber sex, online pornography and online prostitution. Constitutional Aspects of the Problem and Legal measures: Effective law enforcement is complicated by the transnational nature of cyberspace. Mechanisms of cooperation across national borders to solve and prosecute crimes are complex and slow. Cyber criminals can defy the conventional jurisdictional realms of sovereign nations, originating an attack from almost any computer in the world, passing it across multiple national boundaries, or designing attacks that appear to be originating from foreign sources. Such techniques dramatically increase both the technical and legal complexities of investigating and prosecuting cyber crimes.

The laws of most countries do not clearly prohibit cyber crimes. Existing terrestrial laws against physical acts of trespass or breaking and entering often do not cover their "virtual" counterparts. Web pages such as the e-commerce sites recently hit by widespread, distributed denial of service attacks may not be covered by outdated laws as protected forms of property. Cyber law in India In May 2000, both the houses of the Indian Parliament passed the Information Technology Bill, which contained Cyber laws. The aim of this Act is to provide for the legal framework so that legal sanctity is accorded to all electronic records and other activities carried out by electronic means. Some highlights: o Chapter-II specifically stipulates that any subscriber may authenticate an electronic record by affixing his digital signature. o Chapter-VII details about the scheme of things relating to Digital Signature Certificates. o Chapter-IX talks about penalties and adjudication for various offences.

The Act talks of appointment of any officers not below the rank of a Director to the Government of India or an equivalent officer of state government as an Adjudicating Officer (with powers up to the powers of a Civil Court), who shall adjudicate whether any person has made a contravention of any of the provisions of the said Act or rules framed there under. (Fine up to Rs 1 crore). o Chapter-X of the Act talks of the establishment of the Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal. o Chapter-XI of the Act talks about various offences and the said offences shall be investigated only by a Police Officer not below the rank of the Deputy Superintendent of Police (D.S.P. ). Compliance, Enforcement and Adjudicatory Authority / Forum: There are currently no international agreements on the scale of United Nations conventions or treaties in relation to computer crimes. However, the United Nations has been monitoring developments for over a decade, starting with the 8th Crime Congress in Havana in 1990, followed by publication in 1994 of a Manual on the Prevention and Control of Computer-Related Crime. Indian scenario: The IT Act 2000 talks of appointment of any officers not below the rank of a Director to the Government of India or an equivalent officer of state government as an Adjudicating Officer (with powers up to the powers of a Civil Court), who shall adjudicate whether any person has made a contravention of any of the provisions of the said Act or rules framed there under.

(Fine up to Rs 1 crore). There are some provisions under Indian Penal Code (IPC u /'s 292 and 293) which deal with pornography and sharing of obscene materials. How does the CBI detect Cyber crimes? In CBI, Cyber crimes are handled by the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (C CIC).

The jurisdiction of this Cell is all India, and besides the offences punishable under, IT Act-2000, it also has power to look into other high-tech crimes. International Scenario: UNITED KINGDOM: Computer Misuse Act 1990 UNITED STATES: Federal legislation: (updated April 15, 2002) Cases: o "I LOVE YOU" computer virus o Government / bank sites attacked o Internet Murder o Credit card fraud Protection measures: Tips for Children o Do not share any personal information with someone unknown over the Internet. o Take parents and guardians in confidence before contacting someone over Internet. Tips for parents o Use content filtering software to block the objectionable sites and material from coming to the desktops. o Establish time controls for individual users. Common tips o Remember that people online may not be who they seem to be. o Confirm the site you are doing business with.

Secure yourself against "web-spoofing". Protect Yourself and Your PC o Use the latest version of a good anti-virus software package o Don't open e-mail attachments unless you know the source. o Use a security program that gives you control the "cookies" that send information back to websites. Letting all cookies in without monitoring them could be risky. Protect Your Website o Watch traffic to your site and put firewalls. o Make sure that the web servers running your public web site are physically separate and individually protected from your internal corporate network. o Back up your web site after every update, so that you can re-launch it, immediately, in case of a malicious defacement.