Cyber Forensics Best Practices Must Be Developed In India

Cyber Forensics Best Practices Must Be Developed In IndiaCyber forensics is a crucial techno legal field that is fast gaining importance world over. In the modern days criminal investigations, e-discovery and cyber forensics are essential part and parcel of the criminal investigation mechanism. In fact, the modernisation of police force in India is not at all possible till the law enforcement agencies of India are well versed in cyber crimes investigations and cyber forensics methodologies.

However, the cyber forensics trends and developments in India 2013 have outlined many cyber forensics related issues (PDF) that have to be managed by Indian government on a priority basis. In the absence of well defined cyber forensics best practices and procedures, the law enforcement agencies of India are committing many investigative blunders. Many crucial mistakes have already been committed while investigating the Aarushi murder case, Nokia’s case, IPL match fixing case, etc.

Some recent cases in this regard have also shown involvement of cyber forensics methodologies. The decision on the bail application of Tarun Tejpal is also pending while the digital evidence gathering is pending. Similarly, the security agencies of India would also be required to prove their allegations against the accused managing the dedicated Maoist rebel network through cyber forensics methodologies.

The Supreme Court of India is already hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that has requested it to ask the Indian government to formulate regulations and guidelines for effective investigation of cyber crimes in India. There is no doubt that India needs to strengthen cyber forensics and cyber crimes investigation capabilities as soon as possible to meet the investigative requirements of the contemporary technology driven crimes.

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Procedure for Search and Seizure) Regulations, 2014 (PDF). These regulations would require serious involvement of cyber forensics practices and methodologies for the investigations made under the same. Similarly, the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police is investigating the Rs 425 Crore QNet Scam. This investigation would also require sound techno legal expertise and possible use of e-discovery and cyber forensics methods.

The Bitcoins exchanges in India are also flourishing unregulated. Meanwhile it has been reported that Indian corporates are lobbying for regulated digital currency in India.  Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cautioned users of virtual currencies against various risks, including legal risks. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) also searched few Bitcoin websites in India as it believes that Bitcoins money can be used for hawala transactions and funding terror operations.

All these cases have proved that cyber forensics best practices in India must be developed as soon as possible as presently they are not at all followed in India. The sooner it is done the better it would be for the larger interest of legal and judicial system of India.