The Information Technology Act Of 2000

Also known as ITA-2000 or the IT Act, is an Act of Indian Parliament ratified on October 17th, in the year 2000. It is the main gambling law dealing with cybercrime and electronic commerce. Ever since the internet has become vastly accessible a new set of crimes has developed online. Hiding behind a mask of secrecy, today’s cybercriminals use tools that weren’t even in existence until after the internet was placed into homes around the world. With new cybercrimes being committed from across the world many countries like India are now writing laws to combat online criminals.

Details of the Information Technology Act Of 2000

The original Act contained 94 sections through 13 chapters and laid out offences, descriptions and penalties for cybercrimes that applies to all of India. Cybercrimes can cover a wide range, so it is not surprising that the ITA-2000 is so long and contains may sections. The first few chapters contain the usual information, description of the law, definition of terms and then jumps into electronic and digital signatures. The digital signature section is one of high importance because it states what constitutes a legal signature on a digital device. The next few chapters are detailed descriptions of certain online electronic functions, including electronic certificates, duties of subscribers and so on. Chapter 11 is where it starts to get juicy and describes offenses and penalties.

Amendment of 2008

The 2008 amendment was important for various reason but first because it added section 66a, which laid out a punishment for sending offensive messages, which at the time of the internet boom was a real concern for many people. It also added section 69, which gave government officials the right to intercept, monitor, or decrypt any information through any viable computer resource. Another reason this amendment was important is because it introduced new offences and their penalties to the Act. Child porn, cyber terrorism and voyeurism were all added in the 2008 amendment.

Chapter 11 Offences

The chapter where electronic cybercrimes start to come to life. With the rise of the internet and the ease of access everyday citizens started to have to online activities there was a need to lay out the new online crimes and their penalties. Chapter 11 does just that and more. There is a lot of penalties and offences, so we will just pick a few to give prime examples of what you can expect to find.

The first offence listed is tampering with computer source documents and includes anyone who destroys or alters computer source code when the code is required to be kept or maintained by an India gambling laws. The penalty for such an offense can include up to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 2,000 rupees.

Section 66f is the punishment for cyberterrorism and starts out as defining terrorism as the intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security, or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in people. It also lists other sub-offenses including: denying access to anyone who is authorized to a computer resource, attempting to hack a computer resource without authorization, and trying to cause or introduce a computer contaminant.

Section 74 is the description and law for publication for fraudulent purposes. It states that anyone who creates or publishes an electronic signature for a fraudulent purpose shall be punished and can face up to 2 years in jail or a fine of 1,000 rupees or both.

There is a lot more offenses and penalties laid out in chapter 11 but you get the consensus of what is included in the Act. The following chapters go on to describe certain instances that could arise and a miscellaneous section that is highly detailed and covers a wide range of illegal online activities and situations.   

Notable Cases

To date there are two notable cases that has arouse from the Information Technology Act of 2000. The first was in 2001 when a web hosting duo was arrested for allegedly hacking a website that they rented server space too. Upon non-payment the programming duo took down a website and replaced the homepage with a failure of non-payment message. In return the website owner filed charges against the men stating that it was an act of hacking.

Another case took place in 2017 when 4 hackers were arrested for digital shoplifting. An e-commerce site that specializes in the buying and selling of digital gift codes was hacked and over 90,000-rupee worth of gift card codes was stolen from the company’s website. The hackers were eventually caught when one of the team members called and gave up names for additional compensation. They were charged under section 65 and 66 of the ITA-2000 and since has been released on bail and is currently awaiting a trial and a decision.


Does the Information Technology Act of 2000 ban online gambling sites in India?

No, the ITA-2000 doesn’t ban any form of online gambling, it simply lays out punishments and offenses for online crimes. India legal online casinos and India legal mobile casinos are readily available for residents to play along with legal India sports betting sites and India online poker sites.

What is the punishment for publishing private images of other people?

Publishing an image that contains a person’s genitals without proper consent is punishable up to 3 years in prison and includes a fine of 200,000 rupees.

Does the ITA-2000 contain any information about receiving stolen computers or communication devices?

Yes, if anyone possesses a stolen computer or communication device and knows or believes it to be stolen they can face up to 3 years in jail and face a fine of 100,000 rupees.

Why was the 2008 amendment added to the ITA-2000 and are there any other amendments?

The 2008 amendment was added to include penalties for offensive messaging, child porn, cyberterrorism and voyeurism among other things. There will surly be other amendments as time progresses and new cybercrimes come into light.