Saturday, January 8, 2011

IT Act 2000 Rules In Pipeline

Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has recently announced action plan for his Ministry for the next 100 days. This was a much needed reform for the otherwise plagued Ministry that has been in controversies in the past.

Some of the initiatives proposed by Mr. Kapil Sibal have far reaching reformative implications. For instance, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) would hold consultations for a transparent regime of licensing, spectrum allocation etc. Similarly, legal framework for mandatory electronic delivery of services in India would also be considered.

However, the most important initiative that is in pipeline is the proposal to frame and notify the rules in respect of key sections viz. 43A (Data Protection), 70A (Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure), 70B (Agency to handle Cyber Security), 79 (Liabilities of Service Providers) relating to Cyber Security in the Information Technology Act.

Till now it is not clear what the hurry was that forced the government of India to bring half backed and knee jerk based amendments in the cyber law of India. The information technology amendment act 2008 made cyber law of India weak and criminal friendly. Naturally, cyber crimes increased drastically in India. The proposed amendments brought more harm than benefits.

To make the matter worst, important provisions like data protection, critical infrastructure, encryption standards, etc have not yet been enacted sufficiently. Even the rules pertaining to these crucial provisions have not been formulated.

At last, Mr. Kapil Sibal took charge of the department of technology (DIT) that would bring some accountability in the department. Further, his intentions to formulate proper rules for various crucial fields are also praiseworthy. Let us hope for the best but nothing short of suitable amendments in the cyber law of India can make it effective.