The number of cyber crimes increased dramatically in 2017 as compared to 2016, and nearly every fifth cyber crime in 2017 was committed against a woman, official data for that year released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show.

A total 21,796 instances of cyber crime were recorded in 2017, an increase of 77% over the previous year’s number of 12,317, says the NCRB report, Crime in India 2017. By contrast, the 2016 number was only 6% more than the 2015 number of 11,592.

More than half the incidents of cyber crime in 2017 were motivated by fraud, the report. “During 2017, 56 per cent of cyber crime cases registered were for the motive of fraud (12,213 out of 21,796 cases) followed by sexual exploitation with 6.7 per cent (1,460 cases) and causing disrepute with 4.6 per cent (1,002 cases).”

Two hundred and six cases of cyber crime were registered for inciting hate against the country, and 139 were committed with political motives. One hundred and ten cyber crimes were related to terrorist activities.

Countrywide, the rate of cyber crime — that is, the number of cyber crimes committed per 1,00,000 population — in 2017 was 1.7, the report shows. The most cyber crimes per 1,00,000 population were committed in Karnataka (5) in 2017; Telangana was next, with a rate of 3.3 cyber crimes per 1,00,000 population, followed by Maharashtra (3) and Uttar Pradesh (2.2).

In absolute numbers, UP, the most populous state, registered the largest number of cyber crimes (4,971), followed by Maharashtra (3,604), and Karnataka (3,174). Among the Union Territories, the most cyber crimes in 2017 were registered in Delhi (162).

Of the 21,796 cyber crimes registered in the country in 2017, 4,242 — about 19.5% — were committed against women, and 88 against children. The cyber crimes against women were related to cyber blackmail or threats, cyber pornography or hosting or publishing obscene sexual materials, cyber stalking or cyber bullying of women, defamation, or morphing and indecent representation of women, etc.

Crimes against children included Internet crimes committed through online games, etc. This is the first time that NCRB has compiled data on the nature of cyber crimes against women and children.

In 2017, a total 11,601 persons were arrested for cyber crime cases, 8,306 were chargesheeted, and only 162 were convicted.

Source: The Indian Express

Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Internal Security