Monday, August 29, 2011

Proposed Jan Lokpal Law Must Be Techno Legal

The drafting of final Jan Lokpal Bill of India is pending before the Parliament Standing Committee (PSC). The task before the PSC is enormous as it has to analyse the inputs of various stakeholders and experts while suggesting the final Jan Lokpal Bill.

There are many drafts of Jan Lokpal bills that have been in circulation. Besides, there are many good suggestions from techno legal experts of India that have shown the necessity to make the proposed Jan Lokpal law techno legal in nature.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India, the proposed Jan Lokpal Law of India must be Techno Legal and Technology Driven in nature.

The issues like E-Procurement, E-Banking, E-Delivery of Services, etc would bring their own share of Scams and Corrupt Practices and the same cannot be dealt with by the Jan Lokpal Law unless it is Techno Legal in nature, suggests Dalal.

So far the proposed drafts of Jan Lokpal have failed to address these crucial issues. Fortunately, the PSC on Jan Lokpal can consider the suggestions of techno legal experts of India while suggesting final bill in this regard.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Should Media Be Brought Under Lokpal Scanner?

Jan Lokpal has raised many debates. Some are constitutional while others are ethical and those pertaining to the efficacy of Jan Lokpal itself. One issue that has been sternly opposed by the Indian media is whether media should be brought under the purview of proposed Jan Lokpal law of India?

Some experts have opined that the idea of bringing the media within the ambit of the Lokpal is "bad and mischievous". They have argued that media falls under the category of “private individuals” and the basic objective of the proposed Jan Lokpal law is to target governmental irregularities and corruptions.

Though experts agreed there were problems in the media like paid news, they felt the media would have to deal with the issue itself. They argue that while involvement of a politician in paid news would come under the Election Commission of India norms, in case a newspaper took cash for publishing such news, it would violate the tax laws. The experts mentioned there are quasi-judicial watchdogs like the Press Council of India to look into the complaints against media.

However, demanding that media cannot and should not be brought under the ambit of Jan Lokpal in all circumstances is ignoring the ground realities and the influence making powers of media. If media is involved in corrupt practices, it can validly be brought under the ambit of Jan Lokpal.

There is no reason why media should be excluded from the ambit of Jan Lokpal and there are many factors and reasons that may justify this inclusion. The parliamentary standing committee must consider this aspect as well while formulating the ultimate Jan Lokpal Bill for India.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Trained Cyber Police Force Of India Is Needed

Modernisation of police force of India is an issue that has not received much attention of Indian government in general and ministry of home affairs of India in particular. Even the so called cyber crime cells of India lack expertise in fields like cyber law and cyber crimes. The truth is that police in India needs urgent cyber law training.

Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) of Perry4Law has been providing techno legal cyber law and cyber forensics trainings for law enforcement, lawyers, judges, corporate CEOs, etc. PTLB is the exclusive techno legal training institution of India that provides a combination of technical and legal trainings to various stakeholders.

Cyber crimes in India are increasing and victims of such cyber crimes have virtually no redress. Neither the police officials nor the courts are well trained to deal with high tech crimes in India.

Merely opening few cyber crime cells in some states would not serve the purpose. Even opening of such cyber crime cells in all parts of the country would not serve any purpose. What is the purpose of opening such cells if they cannot investigate cyber crimes and book the cyber criminals for various cyber crimes?

Till now the sole techno legal cyber forensics research, training and educational centre of India is managed by PTLB and Perry4Law. This cyber forensics centre of India has been providing cyber forensics best practices in India and is also disseminating techno legal information regarding cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, cyber espionage, cyber terrorism, human rights in cyberspace, etc at national and international level.

We need more training institutions on the lines of PTLB/Perry4Law. Further, it is high time for Indian government to work on a public private partnership model that can include techno legal institutions/firms like PTLB/Perry4Law.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Privacy And Data Protection Law Firms In India

Of late, privacy and data protection issues have assumed importance from the commercial and legal point of views. Commercially privacy and data protection are required to be protected to retain strategic advantage. Legally privacy and data protection are required to be protected under the laws of various jurisdictions.

Privacy is a concept that is unknown to Indian culture. However, slowly and steadily it has started gaining importance. When i talk about privacy, it not only includes the traditional privacy requirements but the more demanding requirements of our present times as well.

In the age of Internet and social networking, privacy has assumed a totally different meaning. There are many privacy violations in cyberspace and the role of good techno legal lawyers and law firms is very apparent in punishing the offenders.

According to B.S.Dalal, partner at New Delhi based ICT and IP law firm Perry4Law and a techno legal expert, “Techno legal privacy protection, data protection and data security lawyers and law firms are limited in nature. As far as India is concerned, we have no dedicated privacy, data protection and data security law. This is a serious limitation that is resulting in poor privacy, data protection and data security legal practice in India”.

However, sooner or later regulatory framework for privacy and data protection in India would be required. Further, disputes regarding privacy and data protection would also increase in future. This would require techno legal expertise on the part of lawyers and law firms.

The outsourcing industry must pay a special attention to the techno legal requirements of privacy, data protection and data security issues. Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have strongly recommended formulating and adopting best practices by stakeholders in this regard.

The Search Engine Quality Of Google Is Deteriorating

Up to some time before, Google was considered synonymous with search engine results. However, the picture is fast changing now when competitors are fast catching up with the quality of Google and are challenging its market share.

Have you noticed that the search results in Google search engine do not reflect the correct and true picture? If you are a blogger and using the blogspot platform, you must have also realised that your posts are appearing only after a period of 2/3 days.

Further, in the past there are clear cut examples of Google censoring and filtering news and search results, at least in India. Further, Google has also been messing up with search placements whether by default or otherwise.

Now consider the search engines like Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo. They have acquired a good reputation and goodwill among the users due to their consistency and lack of censorship activities.

I analysed the four search engines with a common search query and was surprised to find how Google simply does not index the blog posts that were immediately picked up by other search engines.

I also checked the webmaster tool of Google but there were no indexing errors or errors of other type that could have resulted in non indexing or poor indexing of blog posts. Naturally, either Google’s algorithm has been deteriorated to a level that would ultimately affect it reputation and usage or it is deliberately censoring and manipulating the results.

Either way this is too much for users like me who prefer to shift to other search engines for getting legitimate, genuine and good results. My personal ranking for search engines, for the time being, is Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Bing and Google.

Cyber Security Law Firms In India

Technology has brought its own share of legal challenges for both law makers and lawyers. For law makers, technology has posed a challenge of enacting suitable laws that can meet the challenges of misuse of technology. For lawyers, technology has come as an unexplored area that they have to understand, apply and argue in courts and corporate environment.

Take the example of India. There are very few cyber law firms in India or cyber law lawyers in India who can understand and apply the same. Even the cyber law consultants in India are handfuls that are serving the corporate entities.

One area that has recently interested the legal community pertains to cyber security. Although cyber security as a legal field has started gaining attention of foreign lawyers and law firms yet cyber security law firms in India or cyber security lawyers in India are still missing.

Of course, exception in the form of Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) can be found in India. Perry4Law is the exclusive techno legal ICT and IP law firm of India that has acquired international reputation in the fields like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc.

B.S.Dalal, partner at Perry4Law opines, “One positive development that I have recently noted about these techno legal fields is that lawyers and law firms have started exploring the areas like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc. Although the number of such lawyers/law firms is negligible yet the growing interest in the techno legal fields would increase such numbers in future”.

Further, techno legal issues would also change the way traditional businesses and transactions would be carried out in future. For instance concepts like cyber insurance, online dispute resolution, e-courts, digital evidencing and e-discovery, media forensics, cyber forensics, etc would be very much used in future, says B.S.Dalal.

Indian legal fraternity must start exploring techno legal fields that would take tremendous time, energy and efforts to understand and apply. The sooner it is done the better it is for the legal fraternity of India.

Want Better Search Results Try DuckDuckGo and Yahoo

Of late the search results of Google India have messed up badly. If you are a blogger who is blogging for years, you must have already noticed poor placement of your blog posts at Google’s search engine.

As a matter of fact other search engines like DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and Bing are producing much better results. There can be many reasons for this poor listing of blog posts at Google.

These include censorship on behalf of Google under government pressure, manipulation by rouge employees at Google, spam blog posts by a particular blogger, discrimination in favour of commercial entities by Google, poor search engine optimisation (SEO) by concerned blogger, non qualitative and repetitive contents, etc.

Initially it was content farming and splogs that caused trouble for Google, now its poor search algorithm is bringing bad name for it. Google must pay special attention to its Indian operations as they are not up to the mark and are not meeting the Google’s philosophy and corporate policy.

In these circumstances it would be a better option for SEO companies and bloggers to target other search engines like DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Bing, etc as presently they are providing more relevant, unbiased and specific search results than Google.