Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cyber Law Of India Needs Urgent Amendments Says Praveen Dalal

India’s sole cyber law was enacted in the year 2000 in the form of information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000). The same was a good beginning and it was expected that the law would be upgraded and refined from time to time. However, till 2008 nothing positive happened. In fact, in year 2008 the information technology amendment act 2008 (IT Act 2008) was introduced and in 2009 it became an enforceable law.

This was the most retrograde and repressive step taken by India towards making it a safe heaven for cyber criminals, says Praveen Dalal. By making a dominant majority of cyber crimes “bailable”, India has made its cyberspace a safe heaven for cyber criminals, warns Dalal.

As a natural consequence, e-commerce and e-governance in India have been badly affected. E-infrastructure and e-governance are in doldrums, Internet banking risks are increasing unchecked in India, cyber crimes are increasing and so on.

So what is the solution for this mess created by Indian government? In the opinion of Praveen Dalal, the electronic economy of India is suffering badly due to weak and ineffective laws on the one hand and ill informed and defective ICT policies on the other hand. He maintains that India must concentrate upon enacting sufficient and effective cyber laws on the one hand and formulating and implementing an effective ICT Policy on the other hand. Further, there is an absolute requirement of formulating lawful electronic communications interception law in India as present framework is not constitutionally sound, suggests Dalal.

But these objectives seem to be too good to achieve considering the past experience of India. For instance, the IT Act 2008 made the cyber law of India impotent and weak under the pressure from industrial lobbying. Similarly, the way home ministry and department of information technology (DIT) or/and department of telecommunications (DOT) are becoming paranoid regarding e-surveillance, these objective seem to be a distant reality in India.