Registration Open for Cyber Law Course in Bangalore
Registration is now open for the Accelerated Certificate Course in Cyber Laws at Bangalore commencing on May 12th. The course will be conducted by Cyber Law College in association with Digital Society Foundation in "Seminar Mode" on four consecutive Saturdays on May 12th, 19th, 26th and June 2nd. Prospectus for the course is available here:
Orkut Enters into a Hot Line Communication pact with Mumbai Police
It is reported that Mumbai Police and Orkut.com have entered into a pact whereby the objectionable content would be removed by Orkut on a reference by the Mumbai Police without the formality of a notice from the MCIT.
I hope the arrangement is extended to other Police Stations such as the Cyber Crime Police Station in Bangalore and Chennai.
..Report in ET
SRO for BPOs
Naavi.org had suggested several measures for data security some time back including employee awareness training. The suggestion was to set up an exclusive BPO for BPOs to take care of the needs of the emerging sector. It is creditable that Nasscom has now taken steps to set up an SRO (Self Regulatory Body) to partly fulfill the points raised in the document outlining the vision for BPO for BPOs. This measure has attracted the attention of the International media also. Since the proposed amendments to ITA-2000 also suggest "Reasonable Security Practices" to be developed for BPOs, the SRO may be able to address such issues. Report in Malaysianun.com
Related Articles: A Positive List of BPO Employees No Negative List Please...Let's Be Positive !!, Data Protection? or BPO Regulation? This Sting is Not Journalism...It is a Crime,
Telespam to attract Penalty for Tele Marketers
In another Consumer friendly act, TRAI has brought in regulations that mandate introduction of "Do Not Call" lists by telecom operators. According to the regulations released on 23rd April 2007, a "National Do Not Call Registry" will be maintained and every telemarketing agency will be required to avoid making calls to these numbers. Any violation can attract penal charges for the call. Telemarketers will be regulated through the DOT as OSP s( Other Service Providers) and their registration is subject to cancellation if the Telespam regulation is repeatedly violated. Press Release Notification : Report in Hindu Delhi, Hindu Chennai
Beware of This Fraudulent Mail
Attention of the Netizens in India is drawn to this new fraudulent e-mail in the name of a company called S.L.International. This mail is not from the genuine company by a similar name which exists in Houston. There are several companies with a similar name. Ideally each of these companies should post a disclaimer on their website so that general public who visit the site on receipt of the mail may become aware of the fraud....Copy of the e-mail
Status on PIL Against YouTube
The PIL in the You Tube Mahatma Gandhi denigration case at Bangalore High Court is awaiting the next sitting of the bench. Due to vacation of the Court it may take some time for the case to be taken up for admission. The date will be indicated here when notified. A report in IE Kochi (200407)
Where is Number Portability?
Last March, TRAI announced that mobile operators should provide number portability by 1st April 2007. This was meant to provide the consumers the freedom to chose the service operator without disturbing the number. For obvious reasons, it appears that the less efficient operators who are afraid of losing clients have managed to stall TRAI so far.
TRAI has in recent days taken many decisions which are in favour of the consumers and obviously, there is a likely hood of political and financial influence against such progressive steps.
In December last, it was reported that the Government of India had rejected TRAI's proposal for number portability and questioned the authority of TRAI in mandating the industry to introduce number portability.
It is time for public spirited NGOs to seek information from DOT under the RTI act the reasons for rejection of the consumer friendly provision and perhaps bring pressure on the Government to implement the TRAI recommendation forthwith without yielding to financial pressures from the Mobile operators.
Related Article: moblepundit.com : Economic times, Indian Express Business Line Tribune
R.K Raghavan Criticises ITA Amendment
Former CBI director and security consultant to TCS, Sri R K Raghavan has reportedly expressed surprise at the wordings used in the amendments proposed to ITA 2000 in respect of transmission of "Sexually Explicit Material" which is an offence under the newly suggested Section 67A. Referring to the change of words from "Child Pornography" to "Sexually Explicit Conduct" in the final draft, he is reported to have remarked ....“The culprit who did it does not understand the worldwide dimension of child pornography which has become epidemic with the help of the net. In fact, a separate legislation is immediately needed to deal with the malaise,” . ..See report in DNAindia.com
As has been reported extensively on this site, the amendments which were proposed by an "Expert Committee" suggested several changes to ITA-2000. One of the suggested changes was to split Section 67 regarding obscene electronic content with a separate proviso for "Child Pornography". In the Bill now put up before the parliament, the offence under Section 67A which earlier related to child pornography has now been made applicable to "material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct ". Under the recommended and the revised provisions, the period of imprisonment as per ITA-2000 under Section 67 has been reduced from 5 years to 2 years (specifically made non cognizable). Additionally Section 67A has been introduced and it proposes imprisonment of 5 years in case of "material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct ". (This offence is compoundable. However no cognizance can be taken on Sec 67A except with a complaint from the victim).. See the details of the new provisions here
In the opinion of Naavi.org, the proposed new legislation in its entirety requires a review by experts who do not have vested interests in protecting portals from the liabilities. It is strongly opined that the proposed legislation is an "Intermediary Protection Act" and will make it difficult to protect individual netizens from being cheated and defamed by portals such as orkut.com, youtube.com etc.
The PIL filed by Digital Society Foundation, Bangalore at Karnataka High Court in connection with the hosting of certain video clippings on Mahatma Gandhi in youtube.com which is considered defamatory was scheduled to be heard on 16th April. It has now been adjourned to a future date since the divisional bench of the High Court with the Chief Justice and a brother judge did not sit on 16th as scheduled. The new date will be announced on this site as soon as the next date of hearing is announced.
New Certificate Course in Cyber Laws in Bangalore
The First batch of the Certificate course of Cyber Law College in association with G K Law College Hubli was completed and Certification Distribution was held on 9th April. Sri Sanjay Vir Singh, Registrar of Bangalore University distributed the certificates.
Cyber Law College also completed the certificate distribution in respect of the II batch of students of the Certificate Course in Cyber Laws conducted in Bangalore in association with KLE Law College, on 8th April.. Mr J S Patil, Special Officer, Deemed Law University presided over the function and distributed the certificates.
Cyber Law College is now also conducting courses at Mysore in association with JSS Law College and in Mangalore in association with SDM Law College and has become the premier offline Cyber Law Education center in India.
Cyber Law College will now launch an "Accelerated Offline Course" in Bangalore for professionals in the month of May 2007. The course will be conducted on Saturdays to enable working professionals to take advantage. Enquiries can be sent to email@example.com
Code of Conduct for Bloggers Suggested
On the lines of the Cyber Law Compliance model mooted by cylawcom.org, a group of bloggers have drafted a code of conduct for discussion. Copy of the draft is available here. Interested persons may participate in the discussion and assist in the refinement of the draft.
Who Should Complain in a Section 67 offence?
In a case reported from Kasna (UP), it is stated that the husband of a lady whose nude photographs (allegedly morphed) have been circulated on the Internet has made a complaint to the Police. The Police appear to have taken a view that the complaint has to be made by the girl herself and not the husband.
It is unfortunate that the Police are hesitant to recognize that harm can come to the husband on account of his wife being harassed and also that section 67 of ITA-2000 as it exists (Before the intended amendments) is a grave offence on which Police can act as if it is a cognizable offence. Hope better counsel prevails. Details of the case in IE
Invite Articles on "Freedom of Speech Vs Defamation of Personalities on the Internet"
In the wake of the war between Freedom of Speech protagonists and "Responsible Netizenship" supporters, as played out in the controversies surrounding youtube.com, Naavi.org invites articles from legal professionals on the above topic for publication in the site. In view of the development of "Blogs", "Podcasting" and "Videocasting", individuals have become world broadcasters and the websites such as orkut.com, youtube.com etc acting as "Integrators" have become facilitators for irresponsible Net Journalism.
If this trend goes unchecked by voluntary compliance by contributors and publishers, law enforcers will have more ammunition to bring in censorship which the genuine freedom of speech lovers will find it hard to digest.
Youtube.com turns into a "Rogue Site"
The misplaced enthusiasm of "Freedom of Speech" supporters have made youtube.com a rogue site. After the banning of youtube.com by Thialand, it appears that a new video has been posted on the site further denigrating the monarch of Thailand. While one appreciates the concern on "Censorship", it is necessary for free speech supporters that "Taking pleasure by insulting the sentiments of others" is not a healthy societal behaviour. It is therefore necessary for persons concerned about the long term development of the Internet to ensure that we need to promote "Responsible Behaviour amongst Netizens". If youtube.com does not take effective action to curb such practice, it has to be prepared for being classified as a "Rogue Site". Article in dailyreel.com :Article in itnews.com :article in techdigest.com
Court Intervention sought for stopping denigration of Gandhi on You Tube
A PIL has been filed in the High Court of Karnataka by Digital Society Foundation, a Trust interested in the welfare of Netizens in Bangalore, seeking court direction to the Union of India for necessary action to get the offending video clipping depicting Mahatma Gandhi in bad taste on www.youtube.com. The application will be taken up for consideration on 16th April.
The video under question, shows a person clad in Gandhi's trademark attire, pole dancing and stripping for an audience. The video, called 'Time to get sexy' was uploaded in December 2006. The 3 minute 24 second act, on Google's video sharing site, YouTube, is reportedly resulted in angry protests across Ahmedabad , Bhubhaneshwar, Varanasi, with the vulgar portrayal of Gandhi. Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, also saw members of Gandhi Sena holding a silent protest. Varanasi had a more violent protest when students of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, stopped a train from leaving the Varanasi station and threatened to call for a state-wide shutdown, while the silent protesters demanded action against the creator of the video. The video is also being promoted by the creator in his website www.skinnyindian.com. So far the video at youtube.com has attracted more than 150,000 viewers.
According to a report in Times of India, there appears to be a difference of opinion amongst two ministries of the Government of India with I&B ministry wanting to get the clipping removed while the IT ministry not taking any action. It appears that the I & B ministry has taken objection to the video being shown on TV and channels such as CNN-IBN and Sahara.. However the Internet media is not under the control of the I & B ministry and hence they have sought the assistance of the IT ministry.
According to ITA-2000, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology alone can take a decision to block rogue sites like youtube.com through CERT-IN. There is also a considered view from Cyber Law specialists such as Pavan Duggal, that the view can be considered to breach Section 67 of ITA-2000 under which the person who has produced the video as well as the website can be punished. Not taking action on the video therefore represents inaction on the part of law enforcement to prevent a cognizable offence even after the same has been brought to their attention.
What is surprising is that while Governments of Thailand and Turkey with similar problems took immediate action to block You Tube after which the offending clippings denigrating their respective national leaders were removed, the Indian Government appears to be reluctant to act even after four months since the controversy broke out.
Related Press Reports: tech2.com : khaleejtimes.com :ohmynews.com, Times of India, rediff.com: Press Report
Narayana Murthy As President of India?
Just at a time when Citizens in India were regretting that the term of Dr Abdul Kalam as President was coming to an end and the political parties did not appear to be in favour of his continuance, a wonderful idea has been floated from Mysore that Mr N R Narayana Murthy, the chief mentor of Infosys should be considered for this post. Mr Kalam has also instantly approved the same. Mr Murthy has given the right response that he would like Dr Kalam to get a second term. In case however Dr Kalam does not continue, it would really be wonderful for India to have Mr Murthy as the President. At a time when India is looking forward to being a global leader in IT, it would be appropriate for Mr Murthy to be the representative of India as the President.
Though the political parties will have their own reasons to push a political candidate, the suggestion from the blue will set the political parties thinking.
PR Syndicate honours 'Cyber Law Guru of India', Na.Vijayashankar
PR Syndicate, (an organization of Corporate PR Professionals in Chennai,) celebrated its First Anniversary on 20th January 2007 at Russian Cultural Centre. On the occassion, "Award of Excellence in Public Life" was presented to 'Cyber Law Guru of India' Na.Vijayashankar...More
Naavi's latest book "Cyber Laws Demystified" was soft launched at the Nimhans Convention Center during the Indian Police Congress. The book is a comprehensive coverage on Cyber Laws both ITA-2000 as well as IPR and other issues.
Structured into 24 chapters it also covers the proposed amendments to ITA-2000 in detail as an appendix. A copy of the Information Technology Act 2000 is also appended to the book.
The book also has several individual chapters on the legal issues of Cyber Banking, Cyber Advertising, Cyber Taxation and Cyber Terrorism.
The book is priced at Rs 750/-.
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