The overall legal system that deals with the cyberspace, the Internet, and their respective legal issues are defined as Cyber law. Cyber law encompasses several subtopics and covers a fairly broad area which includes access to and usage of the Internet, freedom of expression, and online privacy. So broadly speaking, Law of the Internet can be referred to as cyber law in lay man’s term. Cyber laws are there to either reduce or prevent large scale harm and potential threats to all kinds of security of personal or even national importance that can result from cybercriminal activities. Cyber law thwarts these threats by protecting communications, information access, intellectual property (IP), privacy, and freedom of speech related to the use of the websites, Internet, email, cell phones, computers, software and hardware (such as data storage devices).
A higher proportion of legal issues worldwide has resulted from the increase in Internet traffic which has led to an increase in communication levels globally and have made the world into a global village where distance does not matter anymore. Because cyber laws vary by country and jurisdiction, enforcement of the law is tough and challenging, and punishment for the infringement of the set laws range from imprisonment to fines. Some of the common cyber crimes that are prevalent are identity theft, online bank information theft, unauthorized computer access, and online predatory crimes. Cyber terrorism have also become a matter of significant concern across the world as there have been multiple instances where the world have been shattered with crimes organized through the internet mostly using W3C.
Though there is a wide range of activities that can be categorized as Cyber crime, there are mainly two categories that concern the cyber crime laws:
Crimes that use computer networks to progress or support other criminal activities: These types of crimes include phishing, cyber stalking, identity theft and fraud.
Crimes that target computer devices or networks: These types of crimes include denial-of-service (DoS) and virus attacks.