Thursday, January 7, 2010

What Made India A Safe Heaven And Cyber Crime Harbour For Cyber Criminals?

Cyber Law in India is an essential part of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) regulations in India. ICT has brought before the government of India (GOI) certain challenges that it was not willing to accept and rectify. The worst among them are coming in the form of technology-assisted terrorism and cyber terrorism.

Cyber crimes in India are also increasing in the absence of a strong and stringent cyber law i.e. Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000). The ICT Trends of India 2009 have proved that India has failed to enact a strong and stringent Cyber Law in India. On the contrary, the Information Technology Act 2008 (IT Act 2008) has made India a “safe heaven” for cyber criminals, say cyber law experts of India.

Even cyber law enforcement is a big challenge in India. The law enforcement and intelligence agencies in India seem to be helpless in front of modern technological crimes like cyber crimes in India, terrorism and cyber-terrorism. India needs to tackle this problem as soon as possible. However, nothing concrete is happening in this direction. So where does the problem lie?

According to Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India “The problem seems to be multi-faceted in nature. Firstly, the cyber law of India contained in the IT Act, 2000 is highly deficient in many aspects. Thus, there is an absence of proper legal enablement of ICT systems in India. Secondly, there is a lack of cyber law training to the police, lawyers, judges, etc in India. Thirdly, the cyber security and cyber forensics capabilities are missing in India. Fourthly, the ICT strategies and policies of India are deficient and needs an urgent overhaul. Fifthly, the Government of India is indifferent towards the “ICT reforms” in India. This results in a declining ranking of India in the spheres of e-readiness, e-governance, etc. While International communities like European Union, ITU, NATO, Department of Homeland Security, etc are stressing for an enhanced cyber security and tougher cyber laws, India seems to be treading on the wrong side of weaker regulatory and legal regime.”

Although, the IT Act 2000 was not deterrent enough to prevent cyber crimes in India, yet with the IT Act 2008 the things have become worst. The IT Act 2008 made almost all the offences and cyber crimes “bailable” It means that even after committing hacking or practically any other and all cyber crimes in India, there is no deterrent effect to prevent them. There is nothing that would prevent India from becoming the cyber crime heaven of the World in these circumstances unless a suitable amendment in the IT Act 2000 is made as soon as possible, says Praveen Dalal.

We need to stress upon sound cyber laws with effective law enforcement. We need to train police, lawyers, judges, etc for ICT-related laws and procedures. However, nothing is going to happen till the matters are taken care of at the national policy level.