A Webinar on ‘Cyber Crimes, Investigating Agencies and Your Safety’

A webinar on cyber crimes and cybersecurity was conducted on 24 March 2021 by the School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems (EGCS). The programme started at 3:30 pm with an invocation by Ms. Sivapriya Ambalavanan (First Year M.A. PPG), followed by the welcome address by Mr. Sai Avaneesh (First Year B.Sc.B.Ed. Mathematics).

Adv. Nithin V. Kumar (Assistant Professor of Law, School of EGCS) introduced the speaker Advocate Swapnil Bangali, who is an expert in Cyber and IT Laws and the Director of The Centre for Information Communication Technology and Law (CICTL) and Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai. Thereafter, Vice Chancellor Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal introduced the topic. He narrated the story of Mahiravana from the Ramayana, relating the character of Lord Hanuman to the security systems that are used to protect devices. Though Lord Hanuman was a strong and loyal guard, the importance of using the ability to make conscious decisions was highlighted. He ended his introductory address with the lines ‘Use your Brain’ as the catchphrase to set the topic for the day.

Adv. Swapnil Bangali began his talk by stating the importance of the topic, and how there are two types of people – those who face cybercrime, and those who don’t know they face cybercrime. The aspect of safety and how it cannot be guaranteed but only prolonged was an important point that He also stated that ‘Any system is as strong as its weakest link’ and how this is the case with most firewalls and other security systems used today – it can only be considered perfect until the other side learns how to rig it. He further highlighted the transformation in digital technology and the spread of technology amongst the masses, which has led to technology being an important part of social identity rather than social indicators like literacy, usage and others. Recently the U.S.A faced a new and peculiar issue that arose because of the advancement of digital technology. Information stored by fitness watches like the Fitbit was hacked and all the information was sold to insurance companies. Advocate Swapnil highlighted how data is open and easy to hack creating problems that did not exist earlier. He further went on to add how electronic privacy does not exist, and though important it is often neglected as users don’t read the privacy documents, giving way to hackers even in the most protected software.

After stating various forms of cyber crimes, Advocate Swapnil spoke about the Puttuswamy vs. Union of India case which led to the revolutionary change of cyber privacy as a fundamental right. He also highlighted Section 43a which is about access to information without permission. Starting from legal access, downloading, copying and extracting without permission, disruption of the usual functioning of devices and many others. On the concept of hacking, a wrong understanding has been portrayed. Accessing someone’s information without their knowledge is called ‘cracking’. The subsequent damage caused by this access to information is ‘hacking’. He ended by repeating his opening remarks that “some of us are victims of cybercrime, the others are ignorant of it”.

The session ended with a question and answer session with questions ranging from investments in cybersecurity research by The Central and State Governments to authorities responsible for cyber crime and the situation in India in terms of cybercrimes.

Adv. Nithin V. Kumar presented the concluding remarks and Sivapriya gave the vote of thanks and concluding prayers.