Introduction To Cyberspace

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 looked 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


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 the cyberlaw is to stop any person from violating the right of other persons in cyberspace. Any kind of violation of cyber rights is considered to be a cyberspace violation and are 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 

  • Plays 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, cyber law 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

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is Cyberspace Definition?

Ans. 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.

Q2. How is Cyberspace Different from the Physical World?

Ans. 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.

Q3. What is the Need for Cybersecurity?

Ans. 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.