Thursday, February 25, 2010

How To Become A Successful Cyber Law Professional And Consultant

Every cyber law career aspirant’s first question is how to become a successful cyber law professional? If you are one of those cyber law diplomas, certificate or degree holder who cannot get a decent job out of the same, perhaps you may also ask the same question.

Although there is no sure shot formula and definite answer for the same but the maxim “well begun is half done” perfectly applies to this question. In my personal opinion the cyber law aspirant must keep in mind his or her ultimate goal of education while pursuing any cyber law course.

Cyber law is a complex area of study hence the students or professionals must rightly choose the most appropriate institution. Merely obtaining any diploma, certificate or even degree is of no use till the same can fetch a good job. Here comes the importance of “skill development and appropriate training”.

A welcome development in this crucial direction has already taken place. The world renowned techno-legal firm Perry4Law has officially launched the cyber law coaching, education, training and internship segment of its PTLB division. The course or program aims at “skill development” of not only those who are pursing cyber law course for the first time but also for those who wish to refine their existing concepts and knowledge of cyber law.

A “contact point” has also been established for effective information sharing and declaring important notices. Those interested in getting world class coaching, education, training and internship must keep a good track of the same.

So my answer to the question posed above is that all cyber law course aspirants must concentrate more upon the “professional aspect” rather than the “academic aspect” of their cyber law education to be a successful professional.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Online Techno-Legal Learning And Training Institution Launched In India

Legal education in India is in the process of transformation. However, there are urgent educational and legal reforms that must be undertaken by India as soon as possible. One such area that requires urgent attention is the amalgamation of legal education with information and communication technology (ICT). For instance, cyber law is an important facet of such an interaction of technology and law.

Indian educational system is more academic than professional. As a result although India has good population that is academically sound yet when it comes to practical and real life experience and work, they do not perform reasonably well. Various studies and research in India have suggested that out of the educated masses only 15 to 25% are fit for being absorbed at job places.

In short, India is running short of institutions that can impart good techno-legal skill development education, training and coaching. Perry4Law and PTLB have launched the first ever “Techno-Legal Online Coaching, Training and Education Centre” in India that aims at developing the skill and talent of the students and professionals seeking a good career in cyber law and allied fields.

Interested students, teachers and partners wishing to be part of the project as well as future projects and initiatives of Perry4Law must contact it as soon as possible. The contemporary skill requirements are multi disciplinary in nature where a computer science student or professional must also have basic level of legal knowledge. The proposed initiative keeps this in mind and students and professionals from all the educational streams are encourage getting themselves enrolled.

The government of India must also come up with a good educational policy as well as sound legal reforms so that legal sector may meet the contemporary international standards and requirements.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Domain Name Protection In India

The original role of a domain name was to provide an address for computers on the Internet. The Internet has, however, developed from a mere means of communication to a mode of carrying on commercial activity.

With the increase of commercial activity on the Internet, a domain name is also used as a business identifier. Therefore, the domain name not only serves as an address for Internet communication but also identifies the specific Internet site. In the commercial field, each domain name owner provides information/services, which are associated with such domain names. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes.

A domain name is an identification label to define a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet, based on the Domain Name System (DNS). The Domain Name Systems (DNS) is a hierarchical naming system for computers, services or any resource participating in the internet. It associates different information with domain names assigned to each of the participants. Domain names are also used as simple identification labels to indicate ownership or control of a resource. Such examples are the realm identifiers used in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the Domain keys used to verify DNS domains in e-mail systems, and in many other Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs).

An important purpose of domain names is to provide easily recognizable names to numerically addressed Internet resources. This abstraction allows any resource (e.g., website) to be moved to a different physical location in the address topology of the network, globally on the internet or locally in an intranet.

In simple terms, Domain name is the address of a web site that is intended to be easily identifiable and easy to remember, such as These user-friendly addresses for websites help connect computers and people on the Internet. Because they are easy to remember and use, domain names have become business identifiers and, increasingly, even trademarks themselves, such as By using existing trademarks for domain names –, for example – businesses attract potential customers to their websites.

Domain Name & Intellectual Property Rights

Now, the question that arises is that, “how are Domain Names and Intellectual Property rights (IPR) inter-related?” The answer lies in the understanding of Intellectual property rights. So what are these rights? Intellectual property (IP) is legal property right over creations of the mind, both artistic and commercial, and the corresponding fields of law. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; ideas, discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. The intellectual property rights provide creators of original works economic incentive to develop and share ideas through a form of temporary monopoly.

Originally, Domain Names were conceived and intended to function as an address, but with an increasing number of cases of registered domain names being illegally occupied (cyber squatting), it has posed additional problems in how to handle trademark disputes in cyberspace. Cyber squatting as an offence relates to the registration of a domain name by an entity that does not have an inherent right or a similar or identical trademark registration in its favour, with the sole view and intention to sell them to the legitimate user in order to earn illegal profits. An address in the cyber-space is imperative in the new e-economy for companies and individuals to be easily traceable by their consumers with the emergence of the Internet as an advertising forum, recruiting mechanism, and marketplace for products and services whereby companies doing business have a strong desire to register domain names akin to their products, trade names or trademarks. For example, owners of famous trademarks, such as Haier, typically register their trademarks as domain names, such as Domain names may be valuable corporate assets, as they facilitate communication with a customer base. With the advancement of Internet communication, the domain name has attained as much legal sanctity as a trademark or trade name and, therefore, it is entitled to protection.

Another issue is the registration of names of popular brands with a slight spelling variation like and for the sole purpose of diverting traffic to their website through typing errors. ‘A significant purpose of a domain name is to identify the entity that owns the website.’ A domain name should not confuse the consumers as to the origins of the services or products defeating the principal of trademark law. In Rediff Communications Ltd. v. Cybertooth & Another the Bombay High Court while granting an injunction restraining the defendants from using the domain name ‘RADIFF’ or any other similar name, held that when both domain names are considered there is every possibility of internet users being confused and deceived into believing that both domain names belong to one common source and connection although the two belong to two different persons. Again the website using the domain name, ‘’ was held to be confusingly similar to that of the plaintiff, ‘’, with a different spelling variant establishing prima facie inference of bad faith.

Domain name protection: Legal aspect

As stated earlier, the constant increase in the use of internet for commercial purposes has greatly increased the level of cyber crimes and other internet related offences. Thus, the legal protection of such domain names is a serious issue which must be dealt with. In order to do so, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (‘ICANN’), a domain name regulatory authority, adopted a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (‘UDRP’), which is incorporated into the Registration Agreement, and sets forth the terms and conditions in connection with a dispute between the registrant and any party other than the registrar over the registration and use of an Internet domain name registered. Upon entering into the Core Registration Agreement with ICANN while registering a domain name, one agrees to submit to proceedings commenced under ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. According to the ICANN policy, the registration of a domain name shall be considered to be abusive when all the following conditions are met:

(a) The domain name is identical or misleadingly similar to a trade or service mark in which the complainant has rights.

(b) The holder of the domain name has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(c) The domain name has been registered in bad faith.

The term ‘bad faith’ does not simply mean bad judgment but it implies the conscious doing of a wrong with a dishonest purpose. In order to prove bad faith, the following circumstances, if found, are sufficient evidence of bad faith registration:

(a) When there is an offer to sell, rent or otherwise transfer the domain name to the owner of the trademark or service mark, or to a competitor of the complainant for valuable consideration.

(b) When the respondent registers the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct.

(c) When by using the domain name, a party has intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, internet users to its website or other online location by creating a likelihood of confusion with the trade or service mark of the complainant.

INTA has consistently sought to protect domain names in the cyberspace in the same way as in any other media as these domain names can and often do work as trade marks. For the very same reason, INTA seeks to achieve the following six objectives:

(a) establishment of specific minimum standards for domain name registration;

(b) a publicly accessible domain name database, which contains up-to-date and accurate contact information;

(c) a uniform and easy-to-use dispute resolution policy which renders administrative – not legal – decisions;

(d) a reasonable mechanism whereby exclusions can be obtained and enforced for famous marks;

(e) a “go-slow” approach on the addition of new generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”); and

(f) a voice for trademark owners in the formulation of domain name policy.

INTA believes that when the above-mentioned six objectives are achieved, it would safeguard the trademark rights, which in this case would be the domain names.

Dispute Resolution

INTA believes that a reasonable administrative dispute resolution policy is an essential element of any plan for the administration of domain names on the Internet. Discretion for domain name policy should neither reside with the domain name registrars, nor with the registries. Any dispute policy needs to be consistent across the gTLD space. A lack of uniformity and specificity will only lead to confusion on the part of trademark and domain name holders, fundamental unfairness in the unequal treatment of rights in domain names and therefore inconsistent policies and precedent, chaos in the Internet community. If the goal is to create a system which is fair and predictable, and a relief to the current confusion and uncertainty, there can only be a single uniform system. There is no division among trademark holders on this point. A global marketplace and community requires a single set of global rules.

Therefore, any dispute resolution policy should be limited, at least during an appropriate interim period, to alleged instances of bad-faith activity by the domain name registrant.

Situation in India

Domain Name Issues

With the advancement of e-commerce, the domain names have come to acquire the same value as a trademark or the business name of a company. The value attached to domain names makes it lucrative for cyber criminals to indulge in domain name infringements and the global nature and easier and inexpensive procedure for registering domain names further facilitates domain name infringements. When a person gets a domain name registered in bad faith, i.e. in order to make huge profits by registering a domain name corresponding to a trademark of another person, with an intent to sell the domain name to the trademark owner at a higher price, such activities are known as cyber squatting. The IT Act does not deal with the domain name issues. In India the domain name infringement cases are dealt with according to the trademark law. The issue concerning protection of domain names came up before the Supreme Court of India in the case of Satyam Infoway Ltd. vs. Sifynet Solutions P. Ltd (2004(28) PTC 566). The court, in an authoritative decision has held that internet domain names are subject to the same legal norms applicable to other Intellectual Properties such as trademarks. It was further held by the Supreme Court of India that:

“The use of the same or similar domain name may lead to a diversion of users which could result from such user mistakenly accessing one domain name instead of another. This may occur in e-commerce with its rapid progress and instant (and theoretically limitless) accessibility to users and potential customers and particularly so in areas of specific overlap. Ordinary consumers/users seeking to locate the functions available less than one domain name may be confused if they accidentally arrived at a different but similar website which offers no such services. Such users could well conclude that the first domain name owner had misrepresented its goods and services through its promotional activities and the first domain owner would thereby lose their custom. It is apparent therefore that a domain name may have all the characteristics of a trade mark and could found an action for passing off.”

The court further held that there is no legislation in India which explicitly refers to dispute resolution in connection with domain names. The operation of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 is also not extra territorial and may not allow for adequate protection of domain names. This does not mean that domain names are not to be protected legally to the extent possible under laws of passing off.

However, with most of the countries providing for specific legislations for combating and curbing cyber squatting, India also needs to address the issue and formulate legal provisions against cyber squatting. For settlement of Disputes, WIPO has introduced a new mechanism called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for settlement of disputes relating to domain names. As the parties are given the right to file the case against the decision of ICANN in their respective jurisdictions, the decisions of ICANN is having only persuasive value for the domain users.

We know that a domain name is easy to remember and use, and is chosen as an instrument of commercial enterprise not only because it facilitates the ability of consumers to navigate the internet to find websites they are looking for, but also at the same time, serves to identify and distinguish the business itself, or its goods or services, and to specify its corresponding online internet location. Consequently where a domain name is used in connection with a business, the value of maintaining an exclusive identity becomes critical. As more and more commercial enterprises trade or advertise their presence on the web, domain names have become more and more valuable and the potential for dispute is high. Whereas a large number of trademarks containing the same name can comfortably co-exist because they are associated with different products, belong to business in different jurisdictions etc, the distinctive nature of the domain name providing global exclusivity is much sought after. The fact that many consumers searching for a particular site are likely, in the first place, to try and guess its domain name has further enhanced this value.

The law does not permit any one to carry on his business in such a way as would persuade the customers or clients in believing that the goods or services belonging to someone else are his or are associated therewith. It does not matter whether the latter person does so fraudulently or otherwise. The reasons are:

Honesty and fair play are, and ought to be, the basic policies in the world of business.When a person adopts or intends to adopt a name in connection with his business or services, which already belongs to someone else, it results in confusion and has propensity of diverting the customers and clients of someone else to himself and thereby resulting in injury

Thus, a Domain Name requires a strong, constant and instant protection under all the legal systems of the world, including India. This can be achieved either by adopting harmonization of laws all over the world or by jealously protecting the same in the municipal spheres by all the countries of the world.

Trademarks vs. Domain names

There is a distinction between a trademark and a domain name, which is not relevant to the nature of the right of an owner in connection with the domain name, but is material to the ’scope of the protection’ available to the right. The distinction lies in the manner in which the two operate.

A trademark is protected by the laws of a country where such trademark may be registered. Consequently, a trademark may have multiple registrations in many countries throughout the world.

On the other hand, since the internet allows for access without any geographical limitation, a domain name is potentially accessible irrespective of the geographical location of the consumers. The outcome of this potential for universal connectivity is not only that a domain name would require world wide exclusivity but also that national laws might be inadequate to effectively protect a domain name.

The defense available to such a complaint has been particularized “but without limitation”, in Rule 4 (c) as follows:

(i) Before any notice to the domain name owner/registrant, the use of, or demonstrable preparations to use, the domain name or a name corresponding to the domain name in connection with bona fide offering of goods or services; or

(ii) The domain name owner/registrant (as an individual, business, or other organization) has been commonly known by the domain name, even if it has acquired no trademark or service mark rights; or

(iii) The domain name owner/registrant is making a legitimate non-commercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or to tarnish the trademark or service mark at issue.

These rules indicate that the disputes may be broadly categorized as:

Disputes between trademark owners and domain name owners andBetween domain name owners inter se.

A prior registrant can protect its domain name against subsequent registrants. Confusing similarity in domain names may be a ground for complaint and similarity is to be decided on the possibility of deception amongst potential customers. The defenses available to a complaint are also substantially similar to those available to an action for passing off under trademark law.

As far as India is concerned, there is no legislation, which explicitly refers to dispute resolution in connection with domain names. But although the operation of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 itself is not extra territorial and may not allow for adequate protection of domain names, this does not mean that domain names are not to be legally protected to the extent possible under the laws relating to passing off

In India, the Trademarks Act, 1999 (Act) provide protection to trademarks and service marks respectively. A closer perusal of the provisions of the Act and the judgments given by the Courts in India reveals that the protection available under the Act is stronger than internationally required and provided.

Rule 2 of the UDNDR Policy requires the applicant to determine that the domain name for which registration is sought, does not infringes or violates someone else’s rights. Thus, if the domain name, proposed to be registered, is in violation of another person’s “trademark rights”, it will violate Rule 2 of the Policy.

In such an eventuality, the Registrar is within his right to refuse to register the domain name. This shows that a domain name, though properly registered as per the requirements of ICANN, still it is subject to the Trademarks Act, 1999 if a person successfully proves that he has ‘rights’ flowing out of the Act.


The protection of domain name under the Indian legal system is standing on a higher footing as compared to a simple recognition of right under the UDNDR Policy. The ramification of the Trademarks Act, 1999 are much wider and capable of conferring the strongest protection to the domain names in the world.

The need of the present time is to harmoniously apply the principles of the trademark law and the provisions concerning the domain names. It must be noted that the moment a decision is given by the Supreme Court and it attains finality, then it becomes binding on all the person or institutions in India.

It cannot be challenged by showing any ’statutory provision’ to the contrary. This is so because no statutory provision can override a ‘Constitutional provision’ and in case of a conflict, if any, the former must give way to the latter. This settled legal position becomes relevant when we consider the decision of the Supreme Court in Satyam case (supra) in the light of the above discussion. The various landmark judgments of the Supreme Court have conferred the ’strongest protection’ to the domain names in the world.


(1) Praveen Dalal, Domain Name Protection Law In India.

(2) Praveen Dalal, Intellectual Property Rights In The Digital Era

(3) Praveen Dalal, Domain Name Protection: An Indian Perspective

(4) Praveen Dalal, Online Dispute Resolution In India

Best Online Cyber Law Education And Training In India

Cyber law is a subject that is less appreciated and even lesser applied in India. Whether it is the law making in this regard or its execution and enforcement, by and large cyber law scenario in India needs rejuvenation.

The position in this regard cannot be improved till we inculcate appropriate knowledge and skills at the initial stages of education. Cyber law education in India is at its infancy stage and is maturing towards a qualitative one. However, there is a growing need for good “Techno-Legal Institutions” that can manage the growing demand for cyber law coaching, education and training in India.

Fortunately, one such initiative has already been undertaken by Perry4Law and its Techno-Legal Segment known as Perry4Law Techno-Legal Base (PTLB). Perry4Law is the First and Exclusive Techno-Legal ICT Law Firm of India and is World renowned in techno-legal fields like cyber law, cyber forensics, cyber security, etc.

To cater the growing demands for qualitative techno-legal education in India and abroad, the coaching, training and education segment of PTLB has been launched. Presently, it would be providing “Online Cyber Law Coaching and Internship” to law graduates, law students, graduates and professionals of various disciplines and streams, etc. This is a golden opportunity for those who wish to make a mark in the field of cyber law. Since the seats are “limited” an early enrollment would be beneficial for the serious students.

To facilitate an effective two mode communications between students and teachers on the one hand and Perry4Law on the other, an online “Information Centre” has been established. This information platform would announce and publish all the relevant information regarding the proposed initiative from time to time. Students, teachers and other interested persons are advised to regularly visit this platform. This platform also contains many crucial and important information that must be read before finally applying.

For those who are looking forward for “Domain Specific” and “Highly Skilled Training”, a separate initiative has been launched by another segment of Perry4Law. The same would also be functional very soon.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Indian Copyright Act 1957 Is Due For Amendments

The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal to introduce a Bill to amend the Copyright Act, 1957. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has proposed the amendments in order to gain clarity, remove operational difficulties and to address the newer issues that have emerged in the context of digital technology and the internet.

Amendments are being made to bring the Act in conformity with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Internet Treaties, namely WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) which have set the international standards in these spheres. The WCT deals with the protection for the authors of literary and artistic works such as writings, computer programmes, original databases, musical works, audiovisual works, works of fine art and photographs. The WPPT protects certain “related rights” which are the rights of the performers and producers of phonograms. While India has not yet signed the above two treaties it is necessary to amend domestic legislation to extend the copyright protection in the digital environment.

Amendments related to bring the Act in conformity with WCT and WPPT

Through a new section in the Act, it is proposed to ensure protection to the Right holders against circumvention of effective technological measures applied for purpose of protection of his rights like breaking of passwords etc. while maintaining an appropriate balance between the interests of the right holders on the one hand and of Technology innovators, Researchers and Educational Institutions on the other.

The existing Performers’ Rights are proposed to be further enhanced by introducing a new section to provide exclusive rights compatible with WPPT. “The Moral Rights of Performers” are proposed to be introduced in a new section.

Amendments have been proposed to protect the interests of researchers, students and educational institutions so as to ensure that Technological Measures do not act as a barrier for further development of the technology. These amendments also address the issue of access to information in the digital context and the liability of Internet service providers.

The period of copyright for photographers is proposed to be enhanced to “Life plus sixty years” instead of only sixty years as at present.

Amendment to protect the Music and Film Industry and address its concerns

Statutory licence for version recordings and authorship to ensure that while making a sound recording of any literary, dramatic or musical work the interest of the copyright holder is duly protected.

Term of copyright for cinematograph films has been extended by making the Producers and Principal director as joint authors.

A copyright term of 70 years to Principal Director which automatically extends the copyright term for the Producers for another 10 years provided he enters into an agreement with the Director;

Amendments to address the concerns of the physically challenged

The physically challenged need access to copyright material in specialized formats, e.g. Braille text, talking text, electronic text, large print etc. for the visually challenged and sign language for the aurally challenged. Currently the cost of production of material in such formats is very high. With additional requirement of royalty payments the price of such material to the target groups would be even higher.

A clause is proposed to be introduced as a fair deal clause to allow the production of copies of copyright material in formats specially designed for the physically challenged.

A separate compulsory licensing provision has been proposed to allow for publication of copyright works in formats other than specifically suited for the physically challenged.

Amendments for rights to authors

Amendment is proposed to give independent rights to authors of literary and musical works in cinematograph films, which were hitherto denied and wrongfully exploited, by the producers and music companies.

An amendment is proposed to ensure that the authors retain their right to receive royalties and the benefits enjoyed through the copyright societies.

Another amendment ensures that the authors of the works, particularly songs included in the cinematograph film or sound recordings, receive royalty for the commercial exploitation of such work.

It has been proposed to introduce a system of statutory licensing to ensure that the public has access to musical works over the FM Radio and Television networks and at the same time the owners of copyright works are also not subject to any disadvantages.

It is proposed to amend existing provisions to provide compulsory license through Copyright Board to publish or communicate to the public such work or translation where the author is dead or unknown or cannot be traced or the owner of the copyright work in such work cannot be found.

Other amendments

Amendments are being made for incidental changes, which are required in the context of digital technology to cover “storing of copyrights material by electronic means’.

Amendments in relation to operational facilities, such as registration of Copyright Societies by providing that only authors can register and procedure for tariff schemes of copyright societies and commercial distinction between assignment and licence; and Enforcement of rights such as border measures, disposal of infringing copies and presumption of authorship under civil remedies.


In order to formulate the proposed amendments and to carry out wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders, the Ministry of Human Resource Development had constituted a 30-member Core Group in the year 2005 under the Chairmanship of the Education Secretary with representatives of the other Ministries/Departments concerned with the subject and other key stakeholders like copyright-industry organizations, stakeholders, subject experts and Institutions of repute in related fields. The Core Group had deliberations at length in five sessions to cover all the provisions of the existing statute and made recommendations with regard to the proposed amendments. The Core Group then created a Drafting Committee to draw up the text of the proposed amendments and to fine-tune the recommendations of the Core Group.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Best Cyber Forensics Training, Techno-Legal Consultancy And Litigation Support Provider In India

Cyber Forensics is a very recent scientific development and countries all over the World are struggling hard to incorporate the same in their respective legal and judicial systems. Cyber forensics is also a part of legal enablement of ICT system that essentially creates a legal framework incorporating the prerequisites of cyber forensics.

Cyber Forensics is an important field of criminal investigation. However, it requires a sound expertise to be practiced. In India we have very few experts who can provide cyber forensics services in an appropriate manner. Presently, India does not possess the required capabilities and law enforcement machinery finds it really difficult to deal with modern cyber crimes.

As per Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, “Computer Forensics or Cyber Forensics in India has started gaining importance out of the necessity to deal with growing cyber crimes. Though India has taken some steps in the direction of enacting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related law in the form of Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000), yet by and large it failed to provide a sound and secure law in this crucial direction. The result is too obvious. India has to depend upon foreign experts and institutions/universities for cyber forensics tasks”.

In the absence of governmental efforts in this regard, world renowned techno-legal firms like Perry4Law can be really helpful in fighting cyber crimes in India. Issues pertaining to hacking, data thefts, data security, cyber terrorism, financial frauds, privacy violations, etc must not be taken as lightly as has been done by India.

Perry4Law possesses techno-legal expertise for cyber law, cyber forensics, cyber security training, consultancy and solutions providing to various stakeholders. Perry4Law Techno-Legal Base (PTLB) is India’s first and most prominent techno-legal initiative that is providing techno-legal training to various players. It is also acting as India’s first and most effective Resource Centre for Cyber Forensics (RCCF) and cyber forensics software testing platform.

Perry4Law and PTLB provides techno-legal services in the fields like cyber law, cyber forensics, crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS), techno-legal training to police officers, lawyers and judges, national mission for delivery of justice and legal reforms (NMDJLR), etc.

The government of India must also take immediate steps to acquire indigenous capabilities at the national level. With the growing threats of cyber terrorism and cyber warfare, India should not be as complacent as it is.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cyber Genome Project: The New War Between Crackers And Regulators

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of United States has recently announced one of the most crucial projects managed by it. It has revealed the initiation of “Cyber Genome Program”. The aim of the project is to trace the source of any digital information whether it is a document, malware or any other electronic communication.

As a part of this project, digital artifacts are collected from various live systems such as traditional computers, personal digital assistants, and/or distributed information systems such as cloud computers, from wired or wireless networks, or collected storage media. The format may include electronic documents or software.

According to Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, “The project is a very crucial one for the Internet in general and cyber security in particular. It would raise the standards and challenges for cyber security and cyber forensics and would take them to the next revolutionary level. However, the project requires tremendous techno-legal expertise that can be gathered through “collective expertise” only”.

At the same time the Cyber Genome Project would also involve many other legal issues as well. It would not be an easy ride for the project in the absence of an “International Harmonisation” as acts undertaken under the project may be found offending by many jurisdictions. This may also involve “retaliation actions” by those who may feel offended by such tremendous power over the Internet and interconnected networks, warn Praveen Dalal.

The project is at the very initial stage and till its maturity lots of troubles and doubts would be already removed. Let us hope that the project would be successful in preventing and remedying the cyber threats and cyber crimes worldwide, says Praveen Dalal.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

India Needs Good Convergence Laws

Convergence laws in India are in the process of formulation and so are policy related matters. Though the Communication Convergence Bill, 2001 has been formulated, it seems it has not been notified yet. According to experts like Praveen Dalal “India needs strong and effective convergence laws to meet the conflicting mandates of cyber security and free and open access to the telecommunication methods”.

Recently a task force for broadcasting authority of India has been constituted by the government of India. This announcement has been made after the recent constitution of a committee by the Delhi High Court.

There is an emergent need of formulating suitable policies and regulations in this regard. This requirement has been avoided by the government of India for a long period of time. India Government needs to come up with suitable policies and guidelines for effective convergence situation. With the growing demand for spectrum and Internet services, the government has to play a pro-active role so that the supply may match demand, says Praveen Dalal.

The Central Government of India is in the process of creating Broadcasting Authority of India (BAI) that would encompass all the television channels in the nation. The present Press Act of India is around 140-year old and requires changes with the current scenario of broadcasting industry in India. For this the government will be setting up a committee to provide recommendations on the same. Besides, the body is also expected to be considering issues such as that of spectrum and taxation for the media and broadcasting industry.

The government of India has lingered long upon important issues like spectrum allocation, wireless connectivity, rural connectivity, unlicensed spectrum management, etc. It is high time for it to do something in this regard.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Cyber Security Of India

Policy making requires tremendous insight and far sightedness. The same is missing in India, at least regarding the areas of cyber law and cyber security. On the one hand India has a weak and criminal friendly cyber law whereas on the other hand it does not possess tech-savvy law enforcement machinery. Even lawyers and judges are not that much aware about the nitty-gritty of cyber laws.

This fact is evident from various decisions taken from time to time by various departments of Indian government. Whether it is the home ministry banning the use of Internet or chief justice of India recommending banning of pornography and hate sites or removing of bank account details from the sites none is appreciating the true requirement of Indian cyber law.

The fact remains that India is confused and is taking wrong decisions and is investing on the futile projects. For instance, blocking of a website can be simply bypassed by using proxy servers. Similarly, “phishing” is more dangerous and requires more stringent actions then merely removing the bank account details, enhancing cyber security of various government departments is more effective then banning the use of Internet, etc.

If this was not enough, India did what no nations would dare to do so. It made almost all the cyber crimes “bailable”. India has made its cyberspace a “free zone” and “safe heaven” for cyber criminals and cyber offenders. By succumbing to “industrial lobbying” the government of India has done great damage to the national security of India and cyber security of India.

According to the ICT Trends in India 2009 by Perry4Law, Indian efforts for streamlining use of ICT have further degraded from 2008. The year 2009 saw some major ICT pitfalls and bad decisions were made by the Indian government. Overall the year 2009 can be said to be “Blunder ICT Year” of India.

With these negative developments incessantly happening in India, not much can be expected from Indian government. However, a new ray of hope has been shown by law minister of India by stressing upon separate and effective laws to tackle cyber crimes in India. Only time would tell whether it is another “press statement” or India would be able to tackle the nuisance of cyber crimes.

Similarly, efforts must be made to strengthen cyber security of India especially keeping in mind the growing dangers of “cyber terrorism” and “cyber war” that India is facing. Even cyber security for defence forces of India must be streamlined. However, nothing is more pressing than safeguarding the critical ICT infrastructure of India. Since the legislature in India is almost an extension of executive branch, the political will of the executive must be gathered. Some constructive steps must be urgently taken for ensuring strong cyber law and effective cyber security in India as soon as possible.