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Ancillary cyber activities to further terrorism is not Cyber Terrorism
The newly inserted Section 66F in the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 deals with Cyber Terrorism i.e. one who causes denial of access to computer resources, or has unauthorized access to a computer resource, or introduces a virus, with the intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in any section of the people is deemed to be committing cyber terrorism. The wordings of Section 66 F suggests that the use of the internet in an ancillary role in furtherance of terrorism (“ancillary cyber activities”) for example;  terrorist use of information technology to formulate plans, spread propaganda, support terrorist recruiting, raise funds, and communicate is not regarded as cyber terrorism. It is only when the destructive nature of the “act” itself is carried out via computers or other cyber/electronic means through techniques such as infected e-mail attachments.
 
However, if we take the strict interpretation of the word cyber terrorism as per Section 66F, then the terrorist use of computers as a facilitator of their activities, whether for propaganda, recruitment or even for mounting physical terrorist strike would not simply be “Cyber terrorism”. In other words, would the law deal with only core mischief for instance physical terrorist strike but what about the use of computer or information technology by terrorist which facilitated that strike? Lets take for instance, the master mind of terrorists to carry out covert terrorist operations sends information about possible targets, plans or other operational information via e-mail in encrypted format to the terrorists and the terrorists intercept the encrypted message and on its basis carry out operation of the magnitude we recently witnessed at Mumbai. Would the said use of Information technology to facilitate the horrendous terrorist strike with precision and impunity be an act of “Cyber Terrorism” or not?
 
By grace of god, we have not yet witnessed anywhere in the world (except in Hollywood movie), two large aircraft collide due to breach or hacking of air traffic control system by terrorists. But in realty we do have witnessed terrorist strikes resulting in loss of huge precious human lives & destruction of property where during investigation; it has been found that information technology one way or the other has played an ancillary but pivotal role to the terrorist attack. Therefore, such ancillary use of computer which facilitate (though indirectly) the terrorist acts of the gravity and magnitude similar to recent Mumbai strike should come under the purview of Cyber terrorism and the wordings of Section 66F should be amended by the legislature to widen its ambit to bring in its fold such ancillary cyber activities.
 
The Pakistan has recently passed an ordinance (ORDINANCE NO. IV OF 2008) that sets death penalty for “Cyber Terrorism” and extended the concept of “Cyber Terrorism” to the “Ancillary Cyber Activities” furthering the core terrorist activities.

 

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