Cyber Forensics is an area that has not aroused much interest among the Governmental corridors of India. Even the Parliament of India and Indian Judiciary are not very enthusiastic about this much needed Science and Art.
Before I proceed further, it is pertinent to explain the concepts like “Cyber” or “Cyberspace” and “Cyber Forensics” as per my own understanding and with my own personal definitions.
In my opinion the word “Cyber” or “Cyberspace” signifies a “Combination of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that includes both Hardware and Software.
Similarly, according to me the word “Cyber Forensics” means “A Scientific and Forensics analysis of “Cyberspace” that includes ICT Components, Hardware and Software in such a manner that the end result is “Presentable and Admissible” in a Court of Law”.
Another concept that I would like to discuss pertains to Electronic Discovery (E-Discovery). According to me there is a difference between Cyber Forensics and E-Discovery. I believe that Cyber Forensics is a “Wider Concept” than E-Discovery. To put it on other words, Cyber Forensics includes E-Discovery but not Vice Versa.
For instance, a properly conducted Cyber Forensics Exercise is “Relevant and “Admissible” for all purposes including Litigation purposes. But E-Discovery may not be “Relevant” and “Admissible” while deciding a Criminal Litigation.
Now coming back to the Indian position, Cyber Forensics has not found favour with the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature and the Administrative Branches of India. We have no dedicated Cyber Forensics Laws in India. Even the Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000), which is the Cyber Law of India, is not covering Cyber Forensics. A going reference of Cyber Forensics may be found in the IT Act 2000 but that is nothing more than a reference with no actual “Utility” as on date.
This “Poor Condition” of Cyber Forensics in India is attributable to many factors. Firstly, we have no Legal Enablement of ICT Systems in India. Concepts like E-Courts, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), etc are still missing in India. Secondly, the ICT Policies and Strategies of India are “Defective” and they do not cater the requirements of Cyber Law, Cyber Security, Cyber Forensics, etc. Thirdly, the Parliament of India is not “Comfortable” with ICT related issues. If Parliament is itself not aware of the Techno Legal Concepts like Cyber Law, Cyber Security, Cyber Forensics, etc not much development can take place.
I personally believe that Cyber Law of India should be repealed and a more comprehensive Cyber Law must be enacted. Similarly we need “Dedicated Laws” for Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics in India.