What Is Section 66
The section 66 is, “When a person destroys or deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means with intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person.”
Section 66 A, Sending Offensive Messages Through Communication Service, etc
The Act was amended in 2009 to insert a new section, Section 66A, which was said to address cases of cyber crime with the advent of technology and the internet. Section 66A provides punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services. These messages may be any information created, transmitted or received on a computer system, resource or device including attachments in the form of Text, Images, Audio, Video.
Section 66 B, Dishonestly Receiving Stolen Computer Resource Or Communication Device
Section 66B is “Whoever dishonestly receive or retains any stolen computer resource or communication device, knowing or having reason to believe the same to be a stolen computer resource or communication device.”
Section 66 C, Identity Theft
The section 66C is “Whoever, fraudulently or dishonestly, make use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person.”
Section 66 D, Cheating By Personation By Using Computer Resource
The section 66D is “Whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource, cheats by personating.”
Section 66 E, Violation Of Privacy
The section 66E is “Whoever, intentionally publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person.”
Section 66 F, Cyberterrorism
(A) with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people by–
(i) denying or cause the denial of access to any person authorised to access the computer resource;
(ii) attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorization or exceeding authorised access; or
(iii) introducing or causing to introduce any computer contaminant,and by means of such conduct causes or is likely to cause death or injuries to persons or damage to or destruction of property or disrupts or knowing that it is likely to cause damage or disruption of supplies or services essential to the life of the community or adversely affect the critical information infrastructure specified under section 70;
(B) knowingly or intentionally penetrates or accesses a computer resource without authorization or exceeding authorised access, and by means of such conduct obtains access to information, data or computer database that is restricted for reasons of the security of the State or foreign relations; or any restricted information, data or computer database, with reasons to believe that such information,
data or computer database so obtained may be used to cause or likely to cause injury to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offense, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, group of individuals or otherwise,
commits the offense of cyberterrorism.
Source: Section 66F Cyberterrorism
Punishment Of Section 66
Section 66, 66A, 66B, 66C, 66D, 66E
Meant to deceive or mislead the recipient about the origin of such messages shall be punishable with “imprisonment up to three years and with fine of 1-2 lakh rupees.”
The punishment of section 66 is “imprisonment, which may extend to imprisonment for life.”
Cases Of Section 66
A total of 1307 cases have been registered under the section since 2015. The most number of cases under it were registered in Maharashtra (381), followed by Jharkhand (291), Uttar Pradesh (245) and Rajasthan (192).
Case 1: In 2013, Mohd Sakir was booked under section 66(A) of the Information Technology Act, which states that electronically sent offensive messages may be punished with upto three years in jail. Two years later, the Supreme Court struck down the section for being “draconian” but Sakir’s case continued to be heard in the Tis Hazari court in Delhi. He would go on to deposit ₹2,000 against the cancellation of a non-bailable warrant, even as the law he was booked under was deemed unconstitutional.
Case 2: For Shekhar Rahul Nikam in Nashik, Maharashtra, section 66(A) was invoked for “offensive messages” sent in 2010. The charges were framed in 2020. The case is at the evidence stage.
Source: Case 1 or Case 2
Also read :- Section 65, Tampering with computer source Documents
Also read :- Types of Cyber Law : Major types and Examples of Cyber law you should know.