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.