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A brief study on Cyberspace and Cyber jurisdiction By- V Shivashankar

A brief study on Cyberspace

and Cyber jurisdiction

Authored By- V Shivashankar




As we all know, we live in an era where almost everything is done online, from online payments to online communications to online gaming. The greatest power of the internet nowadays is that everyone with a phone and a computer can easily access it. Without regard to actual geography, the internet connects people worldwide through computers and telecommunications, creating a virtual place known as "cyberspace.". Cyberspace is spreading at an unprecedented speed. In the last decade, cyberattacks have crippled businesses and jeopardized individual and national security. The definition, salient features, and rule of law in the cyber world, and cyber law and jurisdiction are all covered in this study.


Keywords:   Cyberspace, Cyberworld, Internet, Cybercrime, Cyber jurisdiction,

                     Network, Netizens



The word “Cyberspace was first used by the cyberpunk science fiction author William Gibson, in his book, Neuromancer”,[1] Cyberspace is an imaginary, fictitious world where computer-mediated communication and internet activities are carried out.


According to Wikipedia, “Cyberspace is a concept describing a widespread interconnected digital technology, the expression dates back from the first decade of the diffusion of the internet. It refers to the online world as a world 'apart', as distinct from everyday reality”.[2]


Cyberspace is an electronic realm created by computer networks, where two or more people can communicate online and share, engage, exchange, discuss, conduct business, play games, offer social support, etc.


No one imagined when the internet was created that it would blossom into a revolution that is now misused for criminal activities. Numerous unsettling events are currently taking place in cyberspace. The need for cyber regulations is even more critical given the state of the internet today.



Cyberspace includes the entire virtual world or the environment in which people are connected via mobile devices, computers, and the internet, where computer programs run, and where data is processed, just as the actual world includes the entire globe. In the real world, committing a crime requires a physical thing, but in cyberspace, it only takes a single mouse click.


“National Security Presidential Directive 54/ Homeland, Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD-54/ HSPD23) defines cyberspace as the independent network of Information technology infrastructures and includes the Internet, Telecommunications networks, Computer systems, and controllers in critical industries”.[3]


Therefore, Cyberspace is a virtual world in which the internet operates, and humans are linked through computers and telecommunications regardless of physical geography, Cyberspace is nothing more than an imaginary space that exists on worldwide computer networks. The invention of the internet, the cyber world, and cyberspace is one of the most significant developments which have taken place in human history.



Television took 13 years to be used by 50 million people. radio took 38years to reach 50 million people, whereas personal computers took 16 years to reach 50 million people. However, the internet took only 4 years to have 50 million people online thus increasing the horizon of cyberspace.


  1.  According to an estimated report, cyberspace is doubling everyone hundred days.
  2.  Cyberspace is a boundaryless space.
  3.  Cyberspace is a virtual space where two or more people can communicate online and share, engage, exchange, discuss, conduct business, play games, offer social support, etc
  4.  Very few resources are needed to enter cyberspace i.e., low cost of access.
  5.  It is also simple to enter and exit, has an enormous speed, and has an infinite reach.
  6.  It is simple to hide one's identity in cyberspace. 
  7.  Cyberspace lacks boundaries, mass, and gravity since it is a virtual space. It represents the networked area where computers, servers, and other networks are interconnected.



If you are a citizen of a particular country, then you must follow the norms and ethics of that country. Similarly, if you are in cyberspace. You are a netizen and you have to follow the norms and ethics of cyberspace. Persons in cyberspace are called a netizen. That is anyone who is involved with computer information technology and the Internet.


According to the Collins English Dictionary, “A person who regularly uses the internet is a netizen.”[4]


According to the 2019 Report, India is among the top twenty nations with the greatest number of internet users, with China, India, and the United States occupying the top three positions.

Cyberspace residents known as netizens are more intelligent than national residents i.e., citizens,  Internet users are very free to communicate with any other user at any time and over any barrier. A netizen is subject to the nation's internet / Cyber laws. In addition, everyone who uses the internet must follow the telecommunications regulations for internet connections.



One of the most significant problems of the Information Technology Act of 2000 is that it is silent on the jurisdiction of courts in cyberspace.


The important question that arises in the current scenario is "whether the current world law of the jurisdiction of the physical world applies to the cyber world, or whether a separate law is required?”. There are numerous points of view on the above subject. One point of view is that the physical limits of the cyber world and the physical world do not link, hence there must be separate laws of the jurisdiction. When we look at it from another angle, netizens of one nation are citizens of one or more countries where they are governed by the norms and regulations of these countries.



Just as every coin has 2 aspects, so do cyberspace technologies. There is no question that it has eased our lives to a larger extent, but the negative side of the narrative indicates that in recent years, technology and cyberspace have become an invitation to cyber-attacks.


A person sitting in America, for example, could gain access to a bank's host computer in Russia and send millions of dollars to another bank in India in the shortest amount of time. He would only need a desktop and a phone to do this. Once the crime is committed, there is a misunderstanding over where the case should be filed for the trial of such situations. This is due to variations in how different nations' laws deal with cybercrime situations.


“Problems regarding cyber jurisdiction are faced in the following cases:

  1. Cyber jurisdiction in national cases:

It can be further classified into two types:

  1. Cyber jurisdiction in criminal cases,
  2. Cyber jurisdiction in civil cases,
  1. Cyber jurisdiction in international cases”.[5]



When it comes to defining the jurisdiction in the context of cyberspace, it becomes a challenging area of the law. Jurisdiction is the authority  of the court to hear and to resolve the cause, and provide judgment on the issue that is contested before it.



In India, cyber jurisdiction is governed by the Information Technology Act, of 2000 (IT Act) and the Indian Penal Code, of 1860 (IPC). The IT Act defines the legal framework for e-commerce, electronic records, digital signatures, and cybercrime, while the IPC provides the legal basis for prosecuting criminal offenses that take place in cyberspace.


Under the IT Act, the Indian government has the power to monitor and intercept electronic communications for national security reasons. The Act also provides for the investigation and prosecution of cybercrime, including hacking, identity theft, online defamation, and the distribution of offensive materials.


In terms of cyber jurisdiction, the IT Act provides for the territorial jurisdiction of Indian courts over cyber offenses that originate within India or are committed against Indian citizens. Indian courts can also assert personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants who engage in electronic transactions with Indian residents or businesses.


The Indian government has also established a specialized agency, the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC), to investigate and prosecute cyber offenses. The CCIC has the authority to work with international law enforcement agencies to investigate cross-border cybercrime.


Despite these efforts, cyber jurisdiction in India remains a complex issue. The borderless nature of cyberspace and the rapid growth of technology have created new challenges for Indian law enforcement agencies and policymakers. There is a need for greater international cooperation and the development of international norms and standards to address the challenges of cyber jurisdiction in India and around the world.




  1. “Yahoo Inc. v. Akash Arora and Ors”.[6]

In this case, Yahoo had filed a complaint against the defendants for infringing its trademark by creating domain names that were deceptively similar to Yahoo’s trademark. The Delhi High Court held that the domain names created by the defendants were identical or deceptively similar to Yahoo’s trademark and constituted an act of passing off. The court also ordered the defendants to transfer the domain names to Yahoo and awarded damages to Yahoo.


  1. “Myspace Inc. v. Super Cassettes Industries Ltd”. [7]

In this case, Myspace had filed a suit against the defendants for infringing its copyright by uploading copyrighted songs on its website. The Delhi High Court held that the defendant’s actions constituted an infringement of copyright and directed the defendant to remove the infringing content and pay damages to Myspace.


  1. “Satyam Info way Ltd. v. Siffynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd.”, [8]

The Supreme Court of India held that the mere registration of a domain name does not confer any right to use it, and a domain name can be considered a trademark if it is used to identify the source of goods or services.

  1. “State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti”. [9]

In this case, the accused had hacked into the email account of the complainant and had sent emails to the complainant’s clients, causing a loss to the complainant’s business. The Madras High Court held that the accused’s actions constituted an offense under the IT Act, 2000, and directed the accused to pay compensation to the complainant.

  1. “State of Maharashtra v. Madanlal Jaiswal”. [10]

In this case, the accused had sent threatening emails to a person, and the Bombay High Court held that the accused’s actions constituted an offense under the IT Act, 2000, and directed the accused to pay compensation to the victim.



In conclusion, the rise of the internet and cyberspace has brought about a host of legal and regulatory challenges. Cyberlaw has emerged as an essential field of law that is continually evolving to keep pace with the technological advancements of cyberspace. The growth of the internet has led to new forms of crime and misconduct, such as cyberbullying, identity theft, and copyright infringement, among others. Cyberlaw provides a framework for addressing these challenges and balancing the interests of various stakeholders in cyberspace, including individuals, businesses, and governments.


The development of cyber law has also resulted in new legal concepts, such as cyber jurisdiction, which determine the legal authority of states to regulate online activities that occur within their borders.


The challenges of cyberspace require a collaborative approach from governments, businesses, and individuals to create effective and efficient legal frameworks. There is a need for continued research and innovation to develop effective legal and technological solutions to the challenges of cyberspace and cyber law.


In short, cyberspace and cyber law are complex and ever-evolving areas that require continued attention and research to ensure that the internet remains a safe and secure space for individuals and businesses. The development of effective legal frameworks and innovative technological solutions will be critical in addressing the challenges of cyberspace in the years ahead.






[1] William Gibson, Neuromancer (Ace Books 1984)


[2] Johnson, David R., The Cybersecurity Dilemma: Hacking, Trust, and Fear Between Nations (Oxford University Press, 2017) p. 3.


[3] NSPD 54: (Cybersecurity Policy,2008), PP.3

[4] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Netizens accessed on 22.01.2023


[5] Dr. Jyoti Rattan, Cyber laws and information Technology (Eighth Edition2020)

[6] Yahoo Inc. v. Akash Arora and Ors [2000] Delhi High Court 99

[7] Myspace Inc. v. Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. [2008] Delhi High Court 115

[8] Satyam Infoway Ltd. v. Siffynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. [2004] INSC 35

[9] Satyam Infoway Ltd. v. Siffynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. [2004] INSC 35

[10] State of Maharashtra v Madanlal Jaiswal [2013] Bombay High Court CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.225/2013.


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