Monday, May 11, 2009

China Is Strengthening Its Cyber Law

Cyber law is gaining importance all over the World. China has become the latest country to adopt regulations pertaining to cyber law. A recent news report says that although the Western media has been awash with stories of Chinese hacking for years, cybercrime was until recently governed by three articles added to China's criminal code in 1997. The laws were out-of-date and "failed to correlate proportionately with the tremendous social harm" caused by cybercrime, according to a recent paper on Chinese cyber-law published in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics. However, the paper concludes that the country's laws are still in the early stages of development. "Gaps and inadequacies exist in traditional offense provisions". Until the new law was passed in February, computer crimes carried a maximum of three years' jail time. That has now been extended to seven years, and the definition of computer crime has also been broadened.

In the Indian context the Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act, 2000) is the sole cyber law of India. Although India took an “early advantage” of enacting a cyber law yet it “failed to keep pace” with the contemporary requirements. The industry lobbying has kept it soft, weak and criminal friendly. The proposed Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (Act 2008) has further complicated the scenario as it has suggested a cyber law framework that is not conducive for India.

Fortunately, the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 has “not been notified” yet. This gives the new Government and next Parliament in session a chance to “rectify the mistake” they have commited in the recent past. Even Dr. Gulshan Rai of Department of Information Technology (DIT) has “not confirmed” that the amendments have been notified.

The speed of cyber law reforms in India is really worrisome. With the present speed and expertise, even countries that have just enacted cyber laws would overtake India in this field. There is an emergent need for the new Government and nest Parliament to give these issues a serious thought.

The ICT Development Index 2009 Of ITU: Measuring The Information Society Of India

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recently released its ICT Development Index of 2009. India has more or less maintained its position in the index, ranking 118th in 2007 (in 2002, it was 117th). While it has somewhat improved on the access sub-index (for example, mobile cellular penetration has increased sharply, from 1 to 20 per cent), it still has very limited bandwidth per Internet user, and low home computer and Internet penetration rates. Mobile broadband was virtually non-existent in 2007, and fixed broadband use was very limited. On the skills sub-index, however, India has increased all indicator values.



The Ignorance About Cyber Law Of India

The self contradictory shades of Indian ICT skills and expertise is really amusing. While Indian citizens are famous for their expertise and professional skills yet Indian Government and bureaucrats are infamous for their ignorance. The latest example being the proposed Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (Act 2008). Initially the lack of knowledge and insight was attributable to a self-claimed cyber law observer named Na Vijayshanker (Naavi) who claimed that the proposed Act has been notified. While Naavi being a non-lawyer with no knowledge about law at all and limited knowledge about cyber law and techno-legal issues yet Indian bureaucrats like Dr. Gulshan Rai must not show ignorance about the law making process and its coming into force. Even a query to clarify the issue remained unanswered. For the sake of public interest, this article is clarifying the legal position in this regard. In nutshell, the proposed Act 2008 cannot come into force till the Central Government “Notify” the same as per the requirements of Section 1(2) of the same. The same has not been done yet there cannot be any question of the Act 2008 coming into force. All rumours about the coming into force of the Act 2008 must be ignored.