Career in Cyber Law
If you’re thinking about a career in cyber law, then this article is for you. What a cyber-law of mean so simply put, cyber law is a law relating to cyber space but that doesn’t make too much sense.
What do we include in cyber space and what is actually covered by cyber law?
The first thing artificial intelligence, ever since a computer defeated a reigning chess champion in the nineteen ninety’s artificial intelligence has been growing by leaps and bounds. In fact today, if we have alexa or a similar device in our house, and we simply look at it and say, alexa play the song for me, or alexa set this as my alarm timing.
That’s artificial intelligence at work. In fact artificial intelligence is also entering the legal space so there was a competition recently where an artificial intelligence technology was competing with a group of human lawyers to see who could analyse a contract better. Not only did it take a few seconds as compared to hours taken by the humans, but its accuracy level was almost twice that of the human. If we use a smartphone, we use the email, we use social media, we are already using cloud computing. What does it really mean? It means that instead of the processing, instead of the data being stored locally, all that information could be stored or process using a remote computer somewhere else in the world.
That means that all the emails, which we see in our Gmail account, are actually not being stored locally on our computer or phone, but they could be stored on multiple computers in multiple countries of the world.
Then we have a concept called gdp, which talks about data privacy. India is also now very soon going to get its own special law for data privacy. We all give a lot of information to social media platforms, to Google for example, if we have Google maps turned on, Google knows exactly where we travel. For us putting a lot of photographs, texts and videos on YouTube, Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, etc, all that data, how is it that they can use it? What are the rules and regulations relating to that? All of these things are covered by cyber law. I’m sure all of us have used e-commerce site when we create accounts, not just on eBay sites for others, we have a terms and conditions which we say, and I accept, all that again is covered by cyber law.
Then if we try to file our income tax returns online, or we work for a company, the company files its income tax returns, at each of those places we are using digital signatures, e-commerce, e-contracts, digital signatures. Again, all of these are part of cyber space. Internet service providers, social media platforms and so many other intermediaries are critical to the internet and all of them are controlled and governed by the psychology. I’m sure we heard of the term IOT, which also means the Internet of Things. Today, there are billions of smart devices which are connected to the internet, things like CCTV cameras, the smart home devices that we may have at home, GPS trackers, all of them are also governed by cyber law. Many intellectual property issues are also covered by cyber law, including software licenses, websites, apps, online games and Cyprus.
Because of the recent pandemic related lock-downs, most of us are using video conferencing, whether it is for talking to our friends, or for discussing with business associates, or even to study online but whatever happens video conferencing is also controlled by cyber law. What if somebody uses video conferencing for pornography for threatening somebody for, intellectual property, or disclosing certain trade secrets, all that would be also covered by cyber law so if we love using technology, cyber law is an excellent feel for us.
Cyber crime Investigation and Forensics
Another exciting area in cyber law is cyber crime investigation and forensics. We are noticing a massive growth in the number of cyber-crimes taking place in India. Whether it is a hate speech, trolling, pornography, cyber frauds, all are growing by leaps and bounds. All these are covered by the cyber laws. The investigation of this is covered by cyber law and digital evidence is not just required in cyber-crime cases, but even also required in conventional crimes or a murder could have digital evidence involved in it. We talk about things like kidnapping, rapes, all of these may involve elements of digital evidence. In-fact, this is the one area where I see the maximum usage of digital evidence.
Cyber crime Prosecution and Defence.
Since everything is moving online, naturally, there will be more and more crimes that will happen in a digital world. So prosecuting and defending those also emerging opportunity. In almost every case there is some element of digital evidence whether it’s a digital photograph, something from social media or call recording needed to be presented in court.
In India, eighty per cent of Indian internet users have been hit by a cyber crime at least once in comparison to the global average of fifty six per cent. Yes! This eighty per cent is the massive level of cyber crime hitting our country. Did you know that in 2019 India reported more than forty five thousand cases, that’s almost sixty three per cent more than the previous year. Now this creates a huge opportunity for lawyers specializing in cyber-crime, prosecution and defence because for every cyber crime case, that is going to be somebody who’s accused, who needs to be defended as somebody who was prosecuting and it will create opportunities on both ends. Now there are a lot of laws that come in where we talk about cyber crime, prosecution and defence.
We have the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Evidence Act, we have the extradition at the Indian Penal Code, the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Telegraphic and of course, Information Technology Act and all other Indian rules and regulations. So this creates massive opportunity in cyber crime, prosecution and defence.
E-commerce Law Consulting Opportunities.
The Government of India has come up with the Consumer Protection e-Commerce Rules 2020. Now these are going to affect not just the Indian economy companies, but even foreign players. Now where are the career opportunities for you? First is complying with these rules, but they lay down the duties of e-commerce entities, their life, the liabilities of marketplace, duties of sellers on these marketplaces and duties and liabilities of inventory covers activities. Now, all of them need to comply with a lot of legislation which is required to be honoured on regular basis, not a one-time thing we have to constantly complied that creates massive opportunity in e-commerce.
How do you present Digital Evidence in court?
Presenting emails in court is not too easy both how about evidence from IOT devices, laptops, mobile phones, and networks in companies servers, websites, all these evidences need to be presented in court under the Indian Evidence Act and other laws that creates massive opportunity for the law professionals.
Every industry is going digital right from agriculture, education and entertainment, banking, financial services, etc which, naturally, means that there is what we have massive increase in demand for people building websites, apps, taking businesses online. Going digital at this also creates a lot of opportunities in the field of cyber law.
Since everything is moving online, naturally, there will be more and more crimes that will happen in a digital world. So prosecuting and defending those will also create huge opportunities.