Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said that cyber crime will be included under the Goonda Act.The nature of cyber crime which warrants detention under the act has not yet been defined, The Hindu reported citing a senior police official.
However, any offence targeting a larger segment of innocent people with the intent to commit fraud or endanger their safety would be considered serious enough for detention under the Goondas Act, the report said.
Detention under the Goonda Act is for one year.
As of now, the 1982 act allows preventive detention of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Forest Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Sand Offenders, Slum Grabbers and Video Pirates.
This move by the Tamil Nadu government is likely to trigger more outrage among Internet users in India, who are currently battling to protect Internet freedom, threatened by new amendments to the Information Technology act.
Under sections of the amended IT act, the police made multiple arrests for comments on social networking sites and on the Internet. Recent arrest of girls from Mumbai and two Air India employees led to widespread protests amidst fears that the act gives excessive powers to the police and can curb freedom of expression on the Internet.
So far, Cyber Crime in India has been covered under the Information Technology Act 2000 which was amended in 2008. The section 66 (A) of the act introduced during the 2008 amendment which was used to make arrests in many instances, is being hotly debated.