Relation between Cyber Crime and Conventional Crime

Conventional Crime

Crime or an offence is “a legal wrong that can be followed by criminal proceedings which may result into punishment.” The essential characteristic of criminality is that, it is breach of the criminal law. According to LORD ATKIN, “The criminal quality of an act cannot be discovered by reference to any standard but one: is the act prohibited with penal consequences”. A crime may be said to be any conduct accompanied by act or omission prohibited by law and consequential breach of which is visited by penal consequences.

Cyber Crime

Cyber  crime is the latest and perhaps the most complicated problem in the cyber world. “Cyber crime may be said to be those species, of which, genus is the conventional crime, and where either the computer is an object or subject of the conduct constituting crime. Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cyber crime”.

A generalized definition of cyber crime may be “unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both”.

(1) The computer may be used as a tool in the activities like financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, pornography, online gambling, intellectual property crime, email spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, cyber stalking.

(2) The computer may also be the target for unlawful acts like unauthorized access to computer, computer system, computer networks, theft of information contained in the electronic form, email bombing, data diddling, salami attacks, logic bombs, Trojan attacks, internet time theft, web jacking, theft of computer system and physically damaging computer system.

Distinction between Conventional Crime and Cyber Crime

There is apparently no distinction between cyber and conventional crime. However, there exists a fine line of demarcation between the conventional and cyber crime, which is appreciable. The demarcation lies in the involvement of the medium in cases of cyber crime. The sine qua non for cyber crime is that there should be an involvement, at any stage, of the virtual cyber medium.


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