Introduction To Cyberspace

Cyberspace and its Meaning

The term Cyberspace seemed to have originated from a Science fiction movie. However, in the 21st century, it has become an integral part of our lives. Let us learn what Cyberspace is, the importance of laws to determine Cybersecurity in the introduction of Cyberspace.

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What is Cyberspace Definition?

The best way to define Cyberspace is the virtual and dynamic space created by the machine clones.


According to the Cyberspace definition, it is a web consisting of consumer computers, electronics and communication networks by which the consumer is connected to the world. 

Cyberspace History

The word Cyberspace first made its appearance in Wiliam Gibson’s Science fiction book Necromancer. The book described an online world filled with computers and associated societal elements. In that book, the author described Cyberspace as a 3D virtual landscape created by a network of computers. Although it looks like a physical space, it is generated by a computer, representing abstract data.  


After the publication of the book, the word Cyberspace became a mainstay in many English dictionaries. The New Oxford Dictionary of English provides Cyberspace definition as the notional environment used by the people to communicate over networks of the computer. 


As per the Cyberspace meaning, Cyberspace is a virtual space with no mass, gravity or boundaries. It is the interconnected space between networks of computer systems.


Bits and Bytes- Zeroes and ones are used to define Cyberspace.  It is a dynamic environment where these values change continuously. It can also be defined as the imaginary location where two parties can converse.


If we look into the Cyberspace meaning, it is not a physical space but a digital medium. The differences between a physical world and Cyberspace are as follows:

Cyberspace vs. the Physical World


Cyberspace

Physical World

Dynamic, exponential and undefined

Well-defined, static and incremental

No fixed shape, rather as vast as human imagination

Fixed Contours


Cyberspace can be compared to a human brain where the network of computers represent the innumerable neurons and the connections between them. Therefore, it can be considered as a link between the physical and the infinite world.

Cyber Laws and Cyber Security

In order to ensure that humans do not misuse Cyber technologies, Cyber laws are generated. The overall idea of Cyberlaw is to stop any person from violating the rights of other persons in Cyberspace. Any kind of violation of Cyber rights is considered to be a Cyberspace violation and is deemed punishable under Cyber Laws.  


It is important to note that since Cyberspace does not belong to the physical world, the physical laws do not apply to Cyberspace crime. A separate set of Cyber laws are formulated by the government to provide Cybersecurity to Cyber users. Such Cyber laws are needed to monitor and prevent any immoral or illegal activities of humans. Some


of the common Cyberspace violation activities include hacking, theft, money laundering, terrorism, piracy, etc. Hackers can get hold of any internet account through the Domain Name Server (DNS), phishing, IP address, etc. to get entry into the computer system of any person and steal the data, or introduce computer bugs and render the system ineffective. 

Cyber Laws

Cyber laws encompass all the legal issues related to the communicative, distributive and transactional aspects of network-related information devices and technologies. It is different from the Property Law or any other law. Unlike property law, it is not so distinct; it is broader since it covers several areas of laws and regulations. It encapsulates the statutory, legal and constitutional provisions related to computers and the internet. Cyber laws are related to individuals and institutions that 

  • Play a crucial role in providing Cyberspace access to people

  • Generates software and/or hardware to allow people with entry into Cyberspace, and

  • Make use of their computer system to gain entry into Cyberspace.

If we go by the Cyberspace definition, Cyberlaw can be considered as a generic term related to all regulatory and legal properties of the internet. Any activities of the citizen related to or concerned with the legal aspect of Cyberspace come under the purview of Cyber laws.


To define the different arms of Cybersecurity, two main acts are considered in India. They are:

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000

Cyberspace

Cyberspace mainly refers to the computer which is a virtual network and is a medium electronically designed to help online communications to occur. This facilitates easy and accessible communications to occur across the world. The whole Cyberspace is composed of large computer networks which have many sub-networks. These follow the TCP or IP protocol. 


The TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a standard for communications that allows the application programs and other computing devices to exchange data and messages over a Cyber network. These are designed to send data across the internet which then makes sure that the sent data are successfully delivered over the networks. It is the standards that are mostly used to define the rules of the internet and are defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF. It is a very commonly used protocol and it ensures that there is an end-to-end delivery of data. 


On the other hand, Internet Protocol or IP is the protocol or method that involves sending data from one device to another using the internet. Each and every device has an IP address that is unique to it and this gives it its identity. The IP address enables communication and exchange of data to other devices across the internet. It defines how devices and their applications will exchange packages of data with each other and connected networks.  All the transfer occurs through either of the Internet Protocol Suite or protocols i.e. either TCP or IP. 


Cyberspace is that space in which users share information, interact with each other; engage in discussions or social media platforms, and many other activities. This concept was introduced by William Gibson in his book ‘Neuromancer’ which was done in 1894. Thus, this term is still widely used among everyone as it is rapidly growing and used for various purposes by an individual. 

FAQs on Introduction To Cyberspace

1. What is Cyberspace Definition?

To understand what cyberspace definition is, it is best to go for the generic cyberspace meaning. Cyberspace is defined as the dynamic and virtual space that connects the different computer systems. An analogy can be drawn between cyberspace and the human brain. Like there are innumerable neurons present in the brain, cyberspace has countless connections and networks that exist between the computer systems. The term was first introduced in the Wiliam Gibson’s science fiction book Necromancer. After that, the term found a place in many English dictionaries as the virtual space with no mass, gravity or boundaries.

2. How is Cyberspace Different from the Physical World?

Cyberspace is completely different from the physical world. In the physical world, everything has a definite shape and behaviour. However, if you find the answer to what is cyberspace, you will find that it is absolutely undefined. The changes that take place in a physical world are gradual, defined manners. However, in cyberspace, the changes take place in an exponential manner. The physical world is static, while cyberspace is dynamic. The physical world has a definite reach and form, while cyberspace can be as broad as the human imagination. Therefore physical laws are not applicable to cybersecurity.

3. What is the Need for Cybersecurity?

Since cyberspace is totally different from the physical world, the laws of the physical world do not apply here. Separate laws are needed to be formulated to prevent any kind of antisocial activity in cyberspace. These cyber laws are generated to prevent violations of the rights of any individual. Such violations take place in the form of hacking, money laundering, theft, sabotaging of computer systems, terrorism, breach of online piracy, etc. To prevent such activities, the Indian judiciary system has defined several cyber laws under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Information Technology Act, 2000. 

4. What is the history of Cyberspace and its growth?

Cyberspace was first used by author William Gibson in 1982 when he published his book ‘Neuromancer’ in Omni magazine. This was a Science fiction novel in which William Gibson described the term Cyberspace as the formation of a computer network in the world that has artificial intelligence. In popular culture during the 1990s, the term Cyberspace was used to describe the location where people interacted on the internet. This is the place where people play online games, chat rooms, and a place for instant-messaging conversations. In the 21st century, Cyberspace has become a place for discussions for social or political causes where people can share their opinions. 

5. What are some laws related to Cyberspace?

Cyberspace can be a place for many illegal activities which need proper supervision so that the security of the users is tightened and they feel safe. For this reason, governments of all countries have introduced many Cyber laws including India. Practices like money laundering, identity theft, illegal trade occur through Cyberspace and the Cyber laws take the legal actions that need to be taken to curb such practices. The IT or Information Technology Act was enacted by the Indian Government in 2000 which the main purpose was for the protection of online banking and commerce as well as punishments for Cyber Crimes. 

6. What is the importance of Cyberspace?

Cyberspace has many merits for the human race. It can be said to be a virtual library where one can easily access the required information on any subject they are looking for. With a proper internet connection, this can be done at any time of the day. In addition, communication has become a lot easier and cheap due to Cyberspace. One can simply call the other person or use other services like messages and e-mail. Cyberspace has become a huge place for endless entertainment where a user can find songs to listen to or movies to watch or play games. Most importantly, Cyberspace allows the users to get opportunities like a job which can help the user tremendously.

7. Are Cyberspace and the internet the same thing?

The Internet and Cyberspace are not the same thing and are usually confused by people. The Internet can be defined as a computer network globally that allows effective communication and exchange of information through other interconnected networks. On the other hand, Cyberspace is a ‘virtual’ world where there is a huge network of computers. It is more of a figurative and symbolic space that exists in the spectrum of the internet.

8. Is Cyberspace safe for us to use?

The online world has become a part of all of our lives and its usage has increased enormously. This is mostly used by teenagers where they use social media platforms to talk to friends, chat, play games and post pictures they like. Cyberspace has become a place where one can easily communicate with others without having to go out of their homes. However, Cyberspace has some dangers where one can be harassed, threatened, bullied, and duped. For this, parents should always guide their kids when they are first introduced to Cyberspace and people should be made aware of all the Cyber laws for such ill-practices.

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