Tuesday, January 3, 2012

E-Banking In India Is Not Safe

Electronic banking (e-banking) in India is seen as a viable and alternative mechanism to do traditional banking business. Even banking customers are happy to use the same for reasons of efficiency and time saving. However, there are many e-banking security related issues that are not paid attention to by Indian banks.

Cyber security of banking transactions in India is an important aspect that must be of paramount importance to all banks and financial institutions operating in India and elsewhere. Even Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recommended ensuring strong cyber security for banking and financial institutions in India. RBI has even made the appointment of chief information officers (CIOs) mandatory for all banks operating in India. However, till now there is no sign of compliance with this requirement of RBI and online banking system of India is not cyber secure.

E-banking risks in India are increasing and cyber security of e-banking in India must be strengthened by various banks. In fact, e-banking cyber security in India needs to be strengthened so that customers’ confidence can improve. ATM frauds in India are increasing and so are e-banking related and credit cards frauds. RBI’s ombudsmen office is already flooded with ATM related complaints. Other banking financial frauds in India are also widespread.

Recently, Indian electronic delivery of services bill 2011 has been proposed by Indian government. The moment it becomes an applicable law, government departments and public authorities would be required to deliver public services in an electronic form. This makes using a strong cyber security essential for banks and financial institutions operating in India.

Similarly, the cyber law of India mandates cyber due diligence for Indian companies and other stakeholders. Banks of India are also required to ensure cyber law due diligence in India to escape financial, civil and criminal liabilities. Cyber security due diligence for banks in India must be taken very seriously by banks and financial institutions in India. Banks must ensure good chief information officers (CIOs) training for their staffs so that they can meet the cyber security requirements effectively.

For long banks have ignored cyber law due diligence and cyber security requirements and this has made e-banking transactions unsafe in India. E-banking in India is not safe and both Indian government and RBI must immediately step in to remedy this situation.

India Is Anxious To Control Information Technology

This is the updated version of my previous article titled India is desperate to control technology. It has been censored by Google through manual action penalty so it requires reposting for the larger interests of viewers and netizens.

This post has also been censored by Digital Journal where it was originally posted through the infamous trump card of spam communication used by Internet intermediaries and online community.

Of late, spam communications has been used as a fa├žade to violate speech and expression right. It is high time to ensure civil liberties protection in cyberspace as merely saying that Internet access is a human right by United Nations is not going to serve any purpose. If posts are censored by Google after posting, freedom of speech and expression is definitely violated and so are human rights in cyberspace.

Adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) by Indian government seems to be a herculean task. Naturally, if India cannot understand the technology, it would prefer to block the same as whatever we do not understand we fear of the same.

This holds true for India. Instead of befriending technology, Indian government is considering the same its enemy. From Internet censorship to e-surveillance, Indian government has not left any stone unturned.

India has been struggling to deal with technological issues for long. Unable to deal with the same in a constitutional manner, India adopted measures that are detrimental for the growth of the same. These measures can only increase e-corruption and they are detrimental to the interest of India in the long run.

The worst affected area seems to be the cyber law of India incorporated in the information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000). Cyber law for social media in India is draconian in nature that forces social media websites and Internet intermediaries in India to follow Indian government’s directions.

Recently, Internet intermediaries in India were asked to pre screen contents of users. Companies like Google opposed such move of Indian government. However, this does not stopped Internet censorship in India, e-surveillance in India, etc. Further, even incidences of manual action and censorship and blocking of accounts were witnessed regarding companies like Google and Facebook. In an interesting development Yahoo took Indian government to court over e-surveillance.

It seems human rights in cyberspace need to be strengthened and protected. United Nations needs to step in to prevent encroachment upon civil liberties in cyberspace. Protection of human rights in Indian cyberspace also needs to be taken seriously by Indian government. European Council has already expressed its concerns for cyber attacks and political pressures upon cyber dissidents. It is working in the direction of protecting privacy rights and free speech in cyberspace.

The recent cyber law trends in India and cyber security trends in India are pointing towards reformation of Indian cyber law. Further, even a constitutional phone tapping law in India is urgently required. The year 2011 was a bad year for legislative reforms in India and I hope the year 2012 would not be same.