Cyber law and security expert, Adv Prashant Mali, points out 9 things about the Indian cyber law which can get you punished with imprisonment of up to three years

India does not have any law by the name of Cyber Law nor any law called as “The Data Protection Act”. India has one law encompassing IT related crimes, Data Protection related law and Internet related law and that is called The IT Act, 2000. The exact name of the law is “The Information Technology Act, 2000 as amended by the Information Technology (amendment) Act of 2008”. This law has to be read and applied along with The IT Rules.

I have detailed below some of the crimes for which a common man can be punished with imprisonment upto three years or fine up to five lakhs or both. Also, he can be arrested without warrant.

  1. If anybody copies data (i.e .pdf files, .jpg files etc) in his pen drive or microSDcard without the permission of the owner
  2. If you download .mp3 or .mpeg4 songs from the website distributing free songs or videos
  3. If you cut or copy and then paste any data or information from any website without prior permission of the website owner for any material or financial gains
  4. If an employee keeps forwarding all his official emails from his official email id i.e from to his personal email id i.e to;
  5. You have made your friends or unknown persons Facebook profile or his email or website by someone’s name to defraud or cheat the friend or other persons at large
  6. If you insert a pen drive in someone’s computer and that has virus or worms in it, and this is then passed in the computer or server you just accessed or the e-mails you forward has virus attached to it which gets transmitted everywhere because of your forwarded email
  7. If you by your activities crash anybody’s hard disk or break his monitor or destroy his computer
  8. If you delete files or folders or modify the content of files or folders from someone’s computer
  9. If you steal someone’s software programs source code or change it or delete it thereby causing financial loss to someone or financial gain to yourself.


Normally, the police can call you for investigation and arrest you immediately only because all the above sections are covered under Section 66 of The IT Act, 2000 and are cognizable. The silver lining is that section 66 is a bailable section so you can secure a bail or for that matter an anticipatory bail.