Cybercrime in Nepal currently is regarded as one of the biggest rising crimes. ‘Cyber’ basically refers to the technology or any modern equipment, which is connected to the internet and computer; ‘crime’ refers to the offence for either entertainment or in the mode of revenge.
So in a general sense, it can be said that cybercrime is a crime performed through the computer, which is connected to the internet and the devices, which run and operate through the internet. As the use of technology is increasing, there is also an unprecedented rise in cybercrime in Nepal.
Every country formulates laws to control criminal activities occurring in any country. Nepal has also prepared several laws to control crimes here. With the increasing cybercrime in Nepal, the country has also prepared some laws to control cybercrime. Yet, if they are sufficient to control the ever-increasing growth in the number of cases is an unanswered question. On the other hand, laws themselves are not enough.
So, what does it take to control increasing cybercrime in Nepal?
An interesting case
Recently, some Nepal Police data have been leaked on the dark web, and it can be studied to know how cybercrime in Nepal is taking place.
Basically, there are four webs on the internet: surface web, dark web, dark net and deep web. The surface web is the web that is available to all. Anyone can access the surface web-like for using social media or searching for any information on the internet. But the dark web and deep web are the webs that we cannot access easily. A special kind of browser is required for accessing the dark web. Similarly, the deep web is the web where the government’s internal databases or any company’s database is stored, which they do not want to share in the surface web so that no one can easily access the data, as they are called confidential data.
Recently, the Nepal Police server has been hacked, but apparently concerned authorities themselves are not even aware. If Nepal Police data can be leaked and they are not even aware of that, how can we imagine we are safe on the internet?
A recent case of all the government websites being attacked simultaneously also shows the pervasive rise of cybercrime in Nepal.
Controlling cybercrime in Nepal
The right to privacy granted by the constitution can be seen only in the constitution, but in practical life, there is not any privacy on the internet. India has strong laws to control and punish criminals involved in cybercrime. But, in Nepal, cybercriminals are not punished or punished nominally.
Moreover, the government has been unable to track incidents of cybercrime in Nepal. Apparently, whenever the hackers cannot be traced, it is impossible to punish them too.
In 2020, there was a big data breach incident involving Vianet Communications. Vital information about the users such as their phone numbers, usernames, passwords, and emails was leaked in one of the biggest data breaches in the history of Nepal.
But, the government apparently neglected such cases of cybercrime in Nepal.
Seeing the current situation of cyber attacks in Nepal, the government should formulate new laws for controlling them and set policies for punishing the culprits.
Meanwhile, the old law (Electronic Transactions Act, 2006) does not seem to be able to control cybercrime. A new amendment has been necessary.
With the rise in the use of technology and hence cybercrime in Nepal, the government should establish a special agency to control cybercrime (for example cyber police), which is active for 24 hours for action. This is necessary because the Nepal Police is unable to control the crime.
In the next step, the government should make aware the citizens of ways to protect them from being the prey of hackers. For this, special hacker hunt operations need to be done regularly.
The government of Nepal should hire skilled IT people for controlling cybercrime and making a strong cyberspace for Nepal. Overall, only the amendment of the law is not sufficient for controlling cybercrime in Nepal; other aggressive steps are necessary.