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HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE CYBER CELL?

The Internet has become an integral part of our lives. In the past decade, the use of the internet has increased tremendously which has brought about a significant increase in the number of cyber crimes and online cheating.

What is cybercrime?

Any criminal activity which is carried out using a computer system or a computer network is termed as cybercrime.  The Information Technology Act of 2000 does not explicitly define cybercrime. However, from the contents of the act, it can be derived that the following acts are considered as cybercrimes.

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1. Hacking

2. Cyberstalking and cyberbullying

3. Denial of service attack (DoS)

4. Virus dissemination

5. Software piracy

6. Credit card fraud

7. Phishing

8. Creating or distributing pornographic content

9. Identity theft

10. Plagiarism etc.

It can be pretty confusing for a cybercrime victim to conjecture the process to register a cybercrime FIR. In light of adversity, it is imperative to know how to file a cyber crime complaint in India.

Where to file a cyber crime complaint?

According to the Information Technology Act, 2000, the cyber cells in India have global jurisdiction. This determines that a complaint can be filed in any cyber cell in India irrespective of the place where the crime was originally committed.

 

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How to file a cyber crime complaint?

STEP 1: Register a written complaint in the cyber crime cell in your city or of your convenience. Mention your name, contact details and mailing address. Address the complaint to The Head of the cyber crime cell.

STEP 2: In the case of online harassment, a legal counsel can be approached to guide you in reporting of the crime to the police. The requirement of the documents differs from case to case.

 

How to file an FIR concerning a cybercrime?

If one doesn't have access to any cyber cell, an FIR regarding the cybercrime can be filed with the local police station.

It should be noted that certain cybercrimes are penalized by the Indian Penal Code. An FIR can be filed at the nearest police station regarding the same.

It is important to know that under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, it is mandatory for every police officer to record the information/complaint of an offense, irrespective of the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed.

           

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Cyber Crimes related to Social Media.

1 If you're a victim of cybercrime in connection with any social media, you should make sure that you file a complaint to the corresponding platform in addition to the above steps.

2. These days, social media platforms take significant efforts to avoid the commission of cybercrimes by their users. However, in case of such occurrences, they have a procedure in place for reporting any kind of abuse or other offenses. It is very important to report the same to the platform at the initial stage of occurrence. 

3. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube have a strict and clear redressal mechanism to protect its users from online abuse and cyber crimes. Make sure that you do your groundwork on their guidelines for reporting abuse without waiting for abuse to actually happen.

 

How to register a cybercrime online?

The Ministry of Home Affairs is in the process of launching a nation-wide online redressal system for cyber crimes in India. This would make registering of complaints faster and more efficient. However, as of today, the following portals are available for registering a cybercrime online.

 

https://digitalpolice.gov.in/ncr/State_Selection.aspx

 

http://www.thanepolice.gov.in/cybercell.php

 

http://www.cybercelldelhi.in/Report.html

 

http://www.indorepolice.org/cyber-crime.php

 

What documents are required for filing a complaint?

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The requirement of documents differ from the nature of the complaint and also the platform on which the act in question has been performed. Below is the list of documents required in certain circumstances.

1. In the case of E-mail related complaints,

Along with a written brief about the offence,

a copy of the suspected email received and the complete header of the email.

Both hard and soft copies of the above documents should be included with the brief.

Soft copies to be provided in CD-R format.

2. In the case of social media related complaints,

A screenshot clearly showing the alleged profile along with the URL of the alleged content in both hard and soft copy formats.

3. In the case of data theft complaints,

  • Along with a copy of the stolen data and the copyright certificate of the data,
  • A list of suspected employees,
  • their letter of appointment,
  • NDA,
  • list of duties assigned to them,
  • list of suspected clients,
  • A copy of the stolen data,
  • The copyright certificate of the allegedly stolen data,
  • Proof of breach of copyright,
  • List of suspected devices (if available)

In conclusion, globalisation is at its peak and using of computers, the internet, cell phones, and other wireless devices is inevitable. For the safety of our data, it is important to learn the basics of data protection. The Information Technology Act of 2000 is the first step to secure and protect our data from invaders.Cybercrime is increasing every day and it is recommended to not wait for a cyber strike or a theft of your own data to be aware of the response mechanism to a cyber offence.

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This post is written by Ahana Kurande of Mumbai University (Law). For more info on subject, please dial 99888-17966.

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