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Cyber Media Sends IPO Offers through e-mail..Violating SEBI Norms?

Cyber Media one of the leading IT media company has announced its IPO. The Company has recently sent e-mails containing a letter from the CMD as follows. Though a reference is made to the offer document, neither the "Risk Factors" are mentioned in the covering letter not the hyperlink is directly leading to the offer document.

A clarification has been sought from the Lead Managers to the issue as well as the Compliance officer on the issue and if received, would be made available here...Details

Response Received From Lead Managers

Privacy Rights Against a Private Person

Privacy rights have become a subject of intense debate in India following the concerns often expressed on the lack of "Data Protection Act" in India. Praveen Dalal discusses the legal position in India in this carefully crafted article...Detailed Article

Vincent Cerf Admits Unresolved Problems in Domain Name System

At last, it appears that Internet Veterans are coming round to accept the views which has been strongly advocating for a few years regarding the clash of the domain name system with the Intellectual Property Rights... Mr Vincent Cerf, widely acknowledged as the "Father of Internet", has acknowledged that while New TLDs create more cool-sounding available namespace, some companies feel obliged to spend even more cash to protect their trademarks.

The situation in India is that the "Domain Name Dispute Tsunami" is fast approaching our shores and Netpreneurs need to take the minimal cover in the form of Verify4lookalikes service to protect their turf. ..Details

Meeting the Citbank Fraud Challenge

Now that the Citi Bank fraud has happened and has damaged the reputation of the Indian BPO industry, it is time to consider how the industry has to respond. ..It is widely discussed that the loss in the case of Citibank is RS 1.5 core or so which may actually represent the amount transferred fraudulently from the accounts of several customers of the Bank. The quantum of this loss should not mislead us to think that this is the loss which we should ascribe to the fraud...Details

Collective Negligence

Are You Cyber Law Compliant?  This interesting question was first raised by Naavi in November 2000, and highlighted in a lecture organized by CII, Chennai to a group of CII members way back in July 2001. Nearly Five years hence the question still lingers. If today we are concerned on the liabilities of organizations and executives for Cyber Crimes as it has happened in the case of and Mphasis, a thought should be spared on whether the industry should be held collectively responsible for not taking sufficient steps to educate the industry players and initiate necessary action.

..At least after the recent incident which should  directly stir the imagination of Mr Jerry Rao who with his vast experience in the financial services industry and the stint in Nasscom we should hope some thing positive occurs.

If so, we can  thank the CitiBank Fraudsters for the positive impact that they might leave on the industry in the long run. ..Detailed Article

“TRIP” ped Compliance - Patently Absurd or Patents Revisited ?!.

Since the tabling of the Patents (Amendment) Bill, 2004 in Parliament, we hear amidst the din of criticism , a confused cry as to whether we have complied with TRIPS Agreement or not . Mr Ashish Gosain, advocate, Supreme Court  revisits certain “home truths” about TRIPS compliance in this scenario. ..Detailed Article

Mobile Commerce: Emerging Trends and issues of Intellectual Property Rights

The advent of e-commerce has opened the much-awaited human technologies. M –commerce is foremost among them. The Issues in mobile commerce are numerous.  Jasper Vikas, an advocate in Delhi High Court analyses the legal complications that arise due to mobile commerce . ..Detailed Article

Screening of Staff ?.. A Wrong Prescription for a Right Cause

Responding to the fraud in Pune a system of "Screening of Employees" is reported to be under consideration. While the intention behind this suggestion is appreciated, there is an apprehension that the move is unlikely to yield the desired results...Details

Ensuring Risk Management

The hue and cry raised over recent bank fraud is not only unreasonable but equally a distorted picture.The ..TRIPS Agreement and the Copyright Act, 1957 provides sufficient safeguards for preventing violations of databases of MNCs. It must be appreciated that it is not possible to completely eliminate all sorts of deviations and blaming India for the recent bank fraud is a statement given under misconceived notions.

In India we have a sound 'Data Protection Regime" under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 and the TRIPS Agreement to which India is a party. The same is, however, neither appreciated nor applied by the Indian BPO segments in their true perspective...Praveen Dalal...Detailed Article

Cyber Law Related Risk Management

Just as episode struck a warning note to Web publishers on the risks of Non observance of "Due Diligence" as per ITA-2000, the Citibank-Mphasis fraud in Pune has struck a note of warning amongst IT and BPO Companies.

In this context it is necessary for our industry to recognize that if an organization has 10,000 employees, they represent 10,000 "Potential Risk Points". The HR managers therefore have a challenge on their hands to fight the possible involvement in cyber crimes of a few of the tens of thousands of employees they recruit  with a need to keep all of them motivated for better performance.

Hopefully the IT and BPO industry will understand the urgent need for reviewing their systems, practices and manpower resources to take such CyLawCom measures as may be necessary for their organizations...Detailed article

Citi Bank Fraud raises some more issues

The Pune fraud involving Citibank and Mphasis has raised several issues including  the role of Nasscom in protecting the interests of the industry.  A report  which has appeared in makes adverse comments on the Indian Judicial System and the efficiency of the Police also.

However the fact that Pune Police was able to bust the crime and also recover some portion of the lost amount is an indication of the efficiency of the Indian Police.

It must be recognized that the lack of adequate security on the part of Citibank cannot be ruled out as a contributory factor to the Crime. At the same time, any financial institution does carry risks of fraud and it is part of the financial services business. Further the strength of the fraud protection system should also be judged by the fact that the fraud was detected, culprits identified and some part of the booty recovered.

This is not the first time that Bank account records have been stolen and frauds have been committed on Banks in US including Citibank. Bigger frauds have occurred in US itself and the efficiency of the Indian BPO system is not the sole reason for the fraud.  It is therefore unfair to criticize the Indian BPO industry for the fraud though a call for better security management is very much in order. ... Report in

Software Patentability in Europe

This informative article on patentability of Software in Europe is of interest to Indians in the light of the recent changes in the patent laws.

The Strength of Indian Cyber Laws

The recently reported case of a Bank Fraud in Pune in which some ex employees of  BPO arm of MPhasis Ltd MsourcE, defrauded US Customers of Citi Bank to the tune of RS 1.5 crores has raised concerns of many kinds including the role of "Data Protection".

Naavi analyses the nature of the incident and how Indian Cyber Laws address the issue, what are the liabilities of the BPO/Bank and whether there is any need for a separate law on data protection for handling such situations...Details

Changing Profile of Cyber Crimes

Two of the recent Cyber Crimes reported in India require a deeper analysis to find out the root cause of the crime and what steps can be taken to reduce the probability of such crimes being committed in future. The first is a crime reported from Pune where the employees of a BPO defrauded a bank to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore. The other was a case reported from Chennai where a lady sent a terrorist message to a VIP using the name of her lover who refused to marry her...Details

Domain Name Thefts..facilitated by ICANN?

Of late it has been found that domain names are often transferred from one registrar to another without the permission of the original owner (admin contact) due to a change in the customer notification system. Earlier if the confirmation of such a change was not obtained from the original owner, the transfer would not be effected. Now the lack of response is considered as a confirmation and transfer is effected.

This practice has led to fraudulent transfers some times since the original owner is unable to respond because his old e-mail address is no longer operative or is bouncing.

Recently one such case was reported from Kerala. Domain name registrants should therefore ensure that they "Lock" their domains and prevent automatic transfer if their ISPs permit such locking. Related article in

Service Fails..Charges Remain??

The online railway registration system in India operated by is considered to be one of the most successful e-commerce sites in India. Generally the service is well structured and is operating well.

However, recently it appears that a problem has arisen in the payment system which is not properly sorted out. It appears that on the day of commencement of reservation (generally 60 days before travel), since the reservation system accepts reservations only after 8.00 am, reservations attempted earlier in the day get rejected. However it appears that the payment gateway for credit card acceptance will go through the payment.

IRCTC has confirmed through a note that it would refund the service charges levied by it along with the cost of the failed booking but cannot guarantee the refund of service charges by the payment gateway.

This is an un acceptable situation where the service for which the conditional payment is made has not gone through but the payment charges remain. Consumer Courts will perhaps take a rough view of such practice and probably Banks may not be averse to reversing the charge on request.

However, it is necessary for IRCTC to modify the payment system to prevent debits to Credit card account unless the ticket booking is completed. Otherwise the loss to the customer if any would be attributed to the service provider namely IRCTC/Railways.

  New Cyber Crimes to be defined under ITA-2000

The committee constituted by the Ministry of Information Technology, GOI to review the ITA-2000  is reported to be considering expansion of Cyber Crime definitions to include offences such as "Phishing". ..(Report in BL)

While all IPC Crimes committed with the use of Electronic documents is any way punishable even under the present regime, inclusion of some of the crimes specifically under ITA-2000 may assist in the simplification of procedures, expansion of punishments and availability of adjudication option to the victims.

According to the report, the committee is reported to be also in favour of extending recognition of forms of e-signatures other than digital signatures. However, it must be noted that "Digital Signatures" are used in ITA-2000 as a means of authentication of  an electronic documents and includes "hashing" as a means of ensuring data integrity. Even now bio metrics can be combined with digital signatures to ensure better authentication of electronic documents. It is to be seen what innovation is likely to be suggested by the new committee where by bio metrics without digital signatures can be used as a "Non Repudiable Means of Authentication of Electronic Documents". If Bio-Metrics is favoured because of vendor pressure, there is a danger of recommending a system that is good for authentication into an electronic system but not for authenticating an electronic document.

Since the main reason for the formation of the committee appeared to be  the issue and its impact on Portal owners, there is an expectation that some elements of "Due Diligence" and "Protection of Portal Owners" will be recommended which will help Portal Owners including to be absolved of the vicarious liability on account of Cyber Crimes happenning within the network.

Since any dilution of the principle of "Vicarious Responsibility" of a Portal owner is also likely to extend to "Any Network Owner" or "Intermediary", it may be expected that Cyber Cafe owners may also find some relief (unless they are specifically excluded). If Cyber Cafe owners are specifically excluded from protection otherwise available to "Portal Owners" it may amount to discrimination against the community of Cyber Cafe owners which needs to be avoided.

Since the Committee is well represented by "Portal Owners",  one of whom is also in the business of running Cyber Cafes, an "Industry Friendly version of ITA-2000" may emerge out of the current exercise.

It is a moot point however if such a move will create hurdles for the Cyber Crime investigations by the law enforcement agencies leading to seasoned criminals  having the last laugh.

Web Contracts and their Validity

The contract formation is an essential dealing of not only the commercial community but equally of citizens dealing normally without any element of commerce involved in it. The emergence of information technology has necessitated the use of electronic contracts in lieu of the paper-based contracts. This has given rise to new challenges and technological requirements. Mr Praveen Dalal analyses the challenges in Contract formation on the web in this brief article..   

Privacy issues in Instant Messaging services

It has been reported today that Microsoft has filed 117 cases against phishing sites that tried to clone Microsoft. In this context, Mr Jasper's article on privacy violations in Instant Message Services appears to be timely. ..Detailed Article

A Complete Forensic Lab in Your Briefcase
ICS Presents Road Masster II


720 pages of Comprehensive Coverage on Cyber Laws

Naavi's "Cyber Laws in India..ITA-2000 and Beyond", first E-Book on Cyber Laws to be published in India consisting of 720 pages of comprehensive coverage on Cyber Laws and relevant issues, available for online purchase at RS 300/- in download form and at RS 400/- on CD.

 For more information click here.

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