BENGALURU: Wars will be fought in the cyber space rather than on land and non-state actors may target India’s growth and development in the absence of adequate laws, expertise and security. Cyber terrorism is a big challenge for the government as India’s large portion of information structure is yet to be secured, experts feel.
At present, there is neither any national policy to tackle cyber terrorism or any mechanism to hold the stakeholders responsible for the crimes being committed as it cuts across geographical boundaries.
Legal experts say there is no reported case of present legal provisions being invoked in cyber terrorism cases (from 2008 till date). The existing cyber security laws and policy are not good enough to address problems of cyber terrorism in India, they feel. Further, there is a huge need for capacity building in police, legal and technical fields, they added.
Apart from this, there is no national policy on cyber terrorism, which is the need of the hour. The National Cyber Security Policy, 2013, is just a paper tiger and has not been implemented.
Cyber terrorism has taken huge leaps in the last decade and law alone cannot deal with this issue, experts say.
Cyber law expert and Supreme Court advocate Pavan Duggal says India definitely needs a monitoring mechanism for social media to check terrorism in the cyber space.
“Terrorists strike at the roots of our sovereignty but, unfortunately, whatever we have today is not enough and it is only on paper. We are pretty lost in the woods as far as cyber terrorism is concerned which is presently, an offence under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.
A leading Supreme Court advocate added that it is still a developing law and therefore, there are no precedents or case laws which can be helpful to tackle cyber terrorism.
“It will gradually come as it has happened in other fields like environmental, consumer protection etc.,” he added.
“There are many legal challenges as we need both legal and cyber-savvy experts to deal with this issue. We cannot fight cyber terrorism with a single legal provision as we need lot of procedures in place,” Duggal said.
Is it possible to regulate social media to counter terrorist attacks? Experts say regulation is very tough as most social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin etc., are based outside India.
“We need to flex our political muscle, then tackle the cyber crimes that are impacting the sovereignty of our country. Not just this, to tackle cyber crime, the need for security programmers in India has been badly felt. What would be the role and responsibility of the stakeholders in the event of social media being utilized for criminal and terrorist activities has to be taken into account,” concludes Duggal.