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Cybercrime and Its practice in Nepal

Cybercrime is a special type of crime that involves the misuse of the Internet and computer equipment or systems. With advancements in information and technology, the web of cybercrime is fast extending throughout the world. Interpol deems it a crime with no physical, cultural, or natural limits, in which criminals use the speed of the Internet from unknown locations to quickly carry out numerous criminal operations.

Cybercrime is regarded as a major national security risk in the United States, surpassing terrorism, espionage, and weapons of mass destruction. Cybercrime is extremely complex, including hacking, spam email and phishing, online scams and fraud, online transaction fraud, identity theft, cyberbullying, computer system attacks, and unlawful or restricted online content.

In 1820, French textile producer Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed loom technology based on the abacus system to automate the weaving process. The case of hacking the billing system of AT&T, a US phone provider, is considered the first cybercrime.

Electronic Transactions Act

The Electronic Transactions Act of 2063, which was enacted to govern and manage transactions involving electronic data interchange or electronic communication, does not define cybercrime. It has made provisions on the authenticity of electronic records, legal recognition of electronic records and digital signatures, secure electronic records, and secure digital signatures.

Similarly, provisions relating to electronic record transmission, receipt, and acceptance, control and verification, digital signatures and proofs, customer duties and rights, government use of electronic records and digital signatures, network services, and the provisions mentioned in paragraphs 2–8 are violated. The penalty for committing or violating computer-related offences is set in paragraph 9.

including theft, destruction, or alteration of computer source signals, unauthorised access to computer content, damage to computer information systems, publication of illegal material in electronic form, violation of privacy, false information, submission or display of false licence or certificate, failure to file specified details or documents, Computer fraud, inducement to commit computer-related offences, intoxication, and so on are all punished.

Apart from the offences listed in paragraphs 2–8, no punishment can be imposed under this paragraph. Because the offences relating to electronic transactions are of a particular nature, the Information Technology Judiciary may begin and settle the offences stated in paragraph 9 without hearing the matter before the General Court

And, despite the Information Technology Appellate Tribunal Act envisions the Tribunal hearing appeals on its decisions, the Kathmandu District Court has been looking at such cases because the Tribunal has yet to be formed.

Given the nature of the offence and the requirement for judges with experience in cyber law to handle such cases, it appears that a judiciary should be constituted quickly.

In 1996, the Kansas Supreme Court convicted Anthony Allen, then 18, of illegally accessing the Southeastern Bell Telephone Company’s computer system. In October 2002, the Delhi High Court of India prohibited a merchant from selling stolen Microsoft software on an Internet auction site.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan filed a case against five people in a special court after the American Consulate in Karachi informed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that some Pakistani nationals were involved in fraud by using credit cards and importing goods worth $3 million over the Internet. The conviction in May 2003 is considered Pakistan’s first cybercrime case

Cyber Crime in Nepal

Based on statistics on cybercrime and electronic crime from 2068–2069 that is accessible on the Nepal Police website, the court has received 157 cases thus far. The National News Committee said on January 24, 2073, that 830 complaints about cybercrime were received in 2072–2073; in the first half of 2073–2074, that number rose to 560.

Only the Metropolitan Crime Branch Teku’s data is included here. The state of cybercrime in the nation appears dire in this regard.

The Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000 in India addresses cybercrime and internet commerce separately. Nepal currently lacks a specific cybercrime law. The matter was being handled under the Public Certainties (Crime and Punishment) Act of 2027.

The breadth, action, and scope of cybercrime-related matters have been brought under the jurisdiction of the Electronic Transactions Act, 2063, since its passage.

However, the preamble indicates that the goal of this Act is to check and regulate transactions done via electronic communication. Its requirements are compatible with the electronic commerce laws of India’s IT Act, however the Electronic Transactions Act does not cover cybercrime. Cybercrime falls into four categories: targeting individuals, personal property, the government, and society.

Cybercrimes against individuals include email harassment, cyber stalking, disseminating obscene content, abuse, hacking, cracking, email fraud, SMS fraud, carding, fraud and cheating, child pornography, and threats of violence.

Cyber crimes against personal property include intellectual property infringement, cyber squatting, cyber vandalism, computer system hacking, virus distribution, cyber trespass, and Internet theft.

Email harassment, cyber stalking, the dissemination of obscene content, abuse, hacking, cracking, email fraud, SMS fraud, carding, fraud and cheating, child pornography, and threats of violence are examples of cybercrimes committed against persons.

Intellectual property infringement, cyber squatting, cyber vandalism, computer system hacking, virus dissemination, cyber trespass, and Internet theft are examples of cybercrime against personal property.

Cybercrimes against the government include cyber terrorism, warfare, distribution of pirated software, and unauthorised data storage. Similarly, cyber crimes against society include child pornography, cyber trafficking, financial fraud, and piracy.
Currently, cybercrime via social media is increasing rapidly over the world. At first look, it appears to be tied to abuse.

Although the provisions for libel (insult by writing or publication) and slander (slander by speech) under the current Libel and Defamation Act, 2016 appear appealing, the act does not encompass cybercrime done using computers and the Internet.

Cybercrime in the Criminal Code

After much effort, the Parliament passed the Criminal Code in 2074, making it effective on August 1, 2075. This Act altered the terms of 36 Acts, including the Evidence Act, and repealed 15 Acts, including the Civil Act altogether.

The Abuse and Insult Act of 2016 was repealed on August 1, 2017, alongside other statutes. Although the proposed criminal law is divided into three parts and thirty-five chapters, it does not contain cybercrime.

The offence against personal privacy and reputation, as well as the offence related to abusive language, are mentioned in the third part of the code, and section 307 states that punishment will be imposed if the abuse is committed using electronic means.

Although it appears that it is attempting to encompass crimes done via social media, cybercrime is fully exempt. The Criminal Code, which emerged after 54 years to replace the civil code, now has rules and regulations

And it is not appropriate to be unable to manage not only laws but also cybercrime, which has become a significant threat to national security.

Punishing acts that are not classified as crimes under the country’s substantive laws appears to be incompatible with valid ideas of law and justice. Neither the Electronic Transactions Act nor the Criminal Code have been able to handle offences classified as cybercrimes in many countries’ legislation.countries.

Therefore, it appears that the Legislature should pay attention to create a distinct Cyber Law as soon as possible.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Written by

Alpana Bhandari

Alpana Bhandari is a founding partner and CEO of Prime Legal Consultants and Research Center. She graduated from American University Washington College of Law. She specializes in corporate/arbitration and family law.

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