Naavi has been nominated to the panel of Experts for evaluating Content for Manthan Award from the States of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Andamans and Nicobar. Suggestions for the award may kindly be sent to Naavi for evaluation as per the terms of the award.
Unauthorized Online Ad embarrasses Volks Wagen
In an unusual type of accusation, Volks Wagen AG complained that an unknown person has released an online ad which inter-alia promotes its car but is not in good taste. The ad reportedly shows a suicide bomber detonating his explosives in a Polo parked outside a busy cafe, only to have the car absorb the blast. The alleged 20-second spot is said to end with the Volkswagen logo and the Polo's actual advertising motto: Small but Tough. In an interview with the newspaper, a man identified as the ad's director said he was horrified by the reaction and had only meant it to be used on a reel for luring new business, not to be seen by the public.
The incident challenges one's credibility whether a commercial could be made and released without the patronage of the beneficiary Company and if so who absorbed the costs and for what benefit?..This could well be the shape of things to come in corporate wars .
There is need to investigate and bring out the real truth behind this incident as otherwise every objectionable ad may claim having been spoofed...Report in Reuters
CAN-SPAM Act to be Refined but may become Tighter
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is on an exercise of refining the admittedly vague CAN-SPAM Act, introduced from Jan. 1, 2004. FTC has however clarified that the provisions of the Act will cover all commercial messages and it appears that there may be a need for e-mailers to ensure that "Transactional Messages" are not used as a camouflage for "Commercial Messages". The essence of the provisions would however continue to be -no misleading header information or subject lines; the mailing must provide a clear, operable way to opt out from further messages; and the advertiser provides a physical address in the body of the e-mail.
The need for providing physical address is notable since it is an attempt to establish legal liability of the e-mailer. It would have been better if the e-mails were left to indicate virtual addresses of websites where in the physical address could be incorporated since this would be an unnecessary load on the e-mails....More in Internet news
Tough Anti Spam Law in Germany
Germany is reportedly introducing an anti spam law which imposes a fine of upto 50000 Euros.The law will prevent spammers from disguising their name or the nature of the email. Report in Reuters
MS Blaster Worm..Teenager Sentenced
One of the writers of a variant of MS Blaster worm , a 19 year old was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in Seattle USA. He was also ordered to perform community service, pay restitution and be placed under supervision for three years following the sentence. Details in Wired.com
Watch Out for virus in .rar attachment
It is reported that new virus distribution strategy using e-mail attachment in the .rar file type is getting past many commercial e-mail anti virus programmes. ..details in eweek.com
CJ Calls for More Teeth for ITA-2000
The Information Technology Act 2000 is ‘highly inadequate’ in dealing with cyber crimes, and it is but imperative that cyber crimes are declared as federal crimes, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court Justice Nauvdip Kumar Sodhi said in Bangalore on Sunday while delivering his valedictory address in a Seminar on IT Laws.....Report in DH
Multilevel marketing Declared illegal by Madras HC
In a notable decision which would perhaps be applicable for web based activities also, Muli level marketing or Network marketing system has been held as illegal by Madras HC...Report in Hindu of 26.01.05
E-Governance..The Best Whistleblower
"The concept of electronic governance can do many wonders and one of them is to play the role of whistleblowing. The concept of whistleblowing is claimed to be the gift of foreign countries, particularly the USA. That is, however, not correct. It was always present in India in the form of investigative journalism and PIL"..states Praveen Dalal as he analyses how Information Technology Act has paved the way for the use of IT for whistleblowing. ..Detailed Artcle
Naavika.org- the New door to Cyber Law Literacy in Kannada
The unique website on Cyber Laws to be maintained by Naavi in Kannada is now available under the URL www.naavika.org. While Naavika stands for Naavi-Kannada, it also means a "Sailor" in Kannada and perhaps is an appropriate description of the visitors who want to sail on the Ocean of Cyber Law Knowledge. This is the beginning of the Karnataka Cyber Law Awareness Movement set in motion by Naavi and Cyber Law College for which I request the support and encouragement of all like minded persons.
Unemployment of Engineering Graduates
The National Technical Manpower Information Systems (NTMIS) estimates that only 80,000 out of 1,30,000-odd students who completed their undergraduate studies in engineering in 2003 found jobs. Projections show that in 2007 the number of fresh engineering graduates absorbed by the market will be marginally higher (1,70,000) than the number of unemployed in the batch (1,40,000). Another report found that over five per cent of the 1998 engineering batch (students who joined in 1994) were unemployed even two years after completing their degree. The study reveals that unemployment is likely to be highest in electronics, followed by mechanical, civil and electrical engineering, which constitute almost two-third of the total unemployed. The states that are likely to be worst-hit are Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The study makes an alarming reading. It however underscores the need for specialization for those who want to stand out. It is with this conviction that Cyber Law College is going ahead with courses on Cyber Laws and techno Legal Cyber Security for technology Students. hopefully this would change the job opportunities facourably.
Samsung to Launch Mobile Phones with Processor and Hard Disk
In another development of convergence of hardware, Samsung has announced that it would incorporate a processing chip and a hard disk storage into its Mobile Phones to be released later this year in USA..taking the Mobile phone closer to a conventional computer. With TV channels already broadcasting on Mobile phones it appears that the transformation of Mobile into the universal convergent device is close to commercial reality...Details in HT
Access to Computer through Mobile
Japanese Company Toshiba has announced a software that can be used with CDMA mobile phones through which one can remotely operate a desk top computer and access files such as word and excel to read,write and modify. It also enables use of e-mail facility through the computer. A GSM version of the software is also reported to be under development..Details in Hindu
Kannada Site in Cyber Law
Continuing his efforts to bring Cyber Law Awareness to the Common man and following the release of the book on Cyber Crimes in Kannada titled "Antarjaala AparaadhagaLu", naavi has now opened a website in Kannada dedicated to Cyber Law and Cyber Crime information. This is a project keeping the spirit of WSIS in mind to bring Cyber Law Awareness to the masses.
I invite support from all Kannada enthusiasts as well as the schools in Karnataka and the Government of Karnataka in making this project a success.
In due course it is intended to start a certification examination in Kannada for High School Students and Government officials in Karnataka to build Cyber Law Awareness on the lines of how awareness of UNO and Red Cross were built up in Karnataka in the sixties.
I would welcome articles in Kannada on the subject for publication on this public information site.
January 20, 2005
Californian Bill on File Sharing Software
A bill introduced in California's Legislature last week has reportedly raised the possibility of jail term for developers of file-swapping software who don't stop trades of copyrighted movies and songs online. This could probably be termed as a mandated liability for not incorporating "Cyber Law Compliance" features in the software development process...More in news.com
The Era of E-Notice
The advent of ITA-2000 and the NIAA-2002 has made it mandatory for Banks to comply with the relevant provisions of ITA-2000. However, continued overlooking of the ITA-2000 by Banks in India is evident in practice...probably due to ignorance and not deliberate negligence.
Praveen Dalal, the Delhi based Advocate makes a timely reminder to the Indian Banking Community on the emerging era of E-Notices in this article.....Full Article
Phishing Frauds affect Lakhs of Netizens in USA
A Gartner Study has indicated that 57 million Americans received phishing e-mail in the last 12 months, 11 million actually clicked on the links provided in the mail, and a whopping 1.78 million swallowed the bait and gave away their personal or financial data to the phishers. The resultant identity theft fraud against these phishing victims forced US banks and credit-card companies to cough up around $1.2 billion last year...More in Express Computer.
The only solution for reducing the impact of Phishing Frauds is through mass education on Cyber Crimes. In pursuance of this objective Cyber Law College is planning a mass education campaign in the State of Karnataka to build the awareness of Cyber Crimes in common men and there by reduce the incidence.
Content Regulator for TV proposed
The I&B Ministry has initiated discussions with the Communications Ministry on the issue of setting up a separate regulator to monitor content on television channels. Currently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been working on guidelines related to carriage in the broadcasting sector. It may be recalled that earlier Government had considered comprehensive legislation for the purpose under The Communication Convergence Bill which was later discarded....Report in BL
Is it possible to Bail Out Bazee.com CEO?
The constitution of the expert committee to review ITA-2000 in the aftermath of the Bazee.com CEO's arrest has raised a doubt as to whether this is an attempt to bring in retrospective changes in law so that the Bazee.com CEO can be bailed out. Mr Praveen Dalal, the Delhi based Advocate analyses the possibility of any such attempt being held "Unconstitutional". He argues " ...The Information technology Act, 2000(Act) is a “substantive law” and not a “procedural law’, hence its amendment must satisfy the mandates of the Constitution. A failure on the part of the legislature to consider these issues may make the amended law vulnerable to the attack of “unconstitutionality”. "..Read this interesting analysis here
Influencing a Running Trial ?
Irrespective of the intentions of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), the proposed in-depth review of ITA-2000 in the aftermath of the Bazee.com episode and while the trial is still in process, is likely to be perceived as an attempt to change the law and influence the running trial.
Assuming that the expert team comes up with a clarification to Section 79 or Section 85 of the ITA-2000 inter-alia provides immunity to a portal owner who has obtained an appropriate copy of terms and conditions accepted by an user through a mouse-click on an "I Agree Button", it would be difficult for the Court not to accept it as satisfactory "Due Diligence" and rule accordingly.
While such a move before the controversy would have been desirable and welcome, it could be treated as an interference in the judicial process at present. It may be preferable if Government guards against such possibility by deferring the revision of ITA-2000 until the trial of the high profile Bazee.com case is completed.
Law As an Instrument of Social Change
The proposed in-depth review of the ITA-2000 even before even a fraction of the market became aware of the existing law and started taking steps has evoked some strong apprehensions from long time observers of Cyber Law Developments in India.
Mr Praveen Dalal, the Delhi based Advocate makes an interesting point that "...The most embarrassing moment of the Indian Legal System was not the “ arrest” of the CEO of the Bazee.com but the “interference of the USA in the sovereign governance of India”.. He goes on to add.. "...The concept of “indepth review” suggests that the present Act is “improper”..The need of amendment is not based on “germane reasons” but is primarily guided by the recent “MMS controversy”. ..since the matter is before the court the same can also be taken care by the courts in India." ...Detailed Article
A Portal Friendly Legislation in the Offing?
The current exercise of an in-depth review of ITA-2000 is being undertaken under the shadow of the arrest of Bazee.com which was severely opposed by the industry. Nasscom and FICCI along with Industry leaders such as Narayana Murthy of Sify went on record to say that the "Law Has to be Changed". The Government has now obliged by forming an expert committee which includes Nasscom Chief and two of the major portals in India namely rediff.com and Sify.com.
....Considering the complexities involved therefore, there are several concerns about the effectiveness of the proposed committee to find proper solutions that need to be addressed. In all probability this will be a knee jerk reaction to the Bazee.com problem and to satisfy the pressures that came from the industry in its aftermath...More
What Happenned to CRAC?
The constitution of the New Expert Committee to make an "In-depth review" of ITA-2000 raises an important issue of what happened to the Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee (CRAC).
In case an "In depth Review" is really intended, then there is a possibility of major changes in the Act. In this context, the constitution of the Committee with the kind of representation that it envisages is likely to be considered Ultra-Vires the Act....More
Government Forms Committee for Reviewing ITA-2000
In the aftermath of the Delhi MMS episode, the Government of India is reported to have constituted a committee for an in-depth review of the Information Technology Act 2000. It is to be noted that the committee is industry led with the Nasscom Chief, Rediff Chief and Sify Chief along with the Chairman of HCL Infosystems forming the essence of the committee. There are a couple of lawyers and the officials from the department forming the committee. During the last year or so, the Ministry had initiated several exercises on the revision of ITA-2000 and it would be interesting to see how this industry led committee would respond to the task....Report in Hindu
Tsunami and After
It is the normal practice to start a New Year with good wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year. However, 2005 eve is different as the shadow of the Tsunami that hit Asia on 26th December 2004 and consumed over a lakh of lives looms large over us. In one sweeping stroke, the Almighty has reminded us of the temporal nature of the world. With this realization behind us, let us leave behind the tragedy of 2004 and look to 2005 with greater determination to achieve all the good things that what we set out to finish in the earlier years and left unfinished. In the context of what Naavi and Naavi.org has stood for over the last five years, there will be a renewed vigour in reaching for the motto "Let's Build a Responsible Cyber Society".
A Virus Hoax Headlined
Pioneer has today carried a report on the mobile virus "Ace". This has been reported as a "Hoax" by major virus specialists...See Mcafee for details
Dot In Domain Name Registration Gets Underway
The much awaited dot-in domain name registration got underway with the sunrise period being in operation between January 1st to 21st. During this period , Indian Registered Trade Mark Holders will be able to register domain names in the names matching the trade mark text for a minimum period of 5 years at Rs 695/799/800 per year. A list of reserved names for which no registration would be available for the public has also been made. Four registrars namely DirectI, Good Luck Domains, Net4India Limited,( dba Net4Domains), Online NIC have been accredited as registrars for the purpose.
Though the minimum registration fee was fixed at RS 250/- per year, the registrars have chosen to operate at three times this level with a 5 year minimum period for the sunrise registrants. Hope the general registrations would be more user friendly.
It is to be noted that the system has a built in process where there will be conflict of Trade Mark interests both within India and outside. Unless therefore a system of the type www.verify4lookalikes.com is used, there will be litigations that will complicate the Cyber Existence of many small E-Entrepreneurs.
Insurance of Data Property
The hacking of the hosting server of Net4india and its delayed response to rectification of the problem has opened possibilities of loss or damage to many of the clients of Net4india. While the liability of Ne4india as a service provider is one aspect that we can discuss, the need for "Insurance of Data Assets" is another aspect that needs to be debated. Mr Praveen Dalal, the Delhi based Advocate highlights the need for Insurance Industries to start looking at this new area of business...Detailed Article
Nigerian Scammers Exploit Tsunami
As could be easily predicted, Nigerian Scammers are reported to be trying to exploit Tsunami. The e-mail which is said to originate from Lagos in Nigeria, asks people to donate money by Western Union transfer to help victims of the disaster.
We may soon also see the e-mails stating "..:I have ..millions of dollars of a family which was wiped out in Tsunami which needs to be transferred..Please help..etc". Beware of such scams and refuse to repsond.
More at SNPX.com
More Bluetooth Enabled Viruses Expected
It is expected that more Mobile Viruses capable of spreading to Bluetooth enabled computers will be in circulation in 2005...More in Security News Portal
AP High Court Castigates Misuse of PIL and Freedom of the Press
In a significant judgement delivered by the AP High Court expressed deep concerns at the misuse of Public Interest Litigations and the Freedom of Press. Citing several instances from the press reporting in the case of the Kanchi Seer, the Court felt that the press coverage indicated the " miserable levels to which the glorious profession of journalism was brought to. ".. It further held that "A section of the electronic medium has reduced the entertainment and journalism to nauseating levels". Refering to the misuse of Freedom of speech by certain agencies and individuals, it stated that ".. One has only to realize that the courts which have “deduced” freedom of speech and expression and nurtured it for the past few decades, may not find it difficult to redefine it, if it is found to have been misused by certain persons or institutions, to the point absurdity. "
The court significantly commented on the much repeated phrase "Law Takes Its Own Course" and observed,
"An expression which has gained considerable currency in the recent past is “Law will take its own course”. With due deference to those who coined it or those who firmly believe in it, it can be said that it is not true, at least in part. For this adage to become true, there has to be sincerity and honesty at all levels in all those who are associated with administration of justice. "
The judgement vindicates some of the expressions of Naavi.org made recently.
Copy of Order
Naavi.org Site Hacked by Pakistani Group
Naavi.org was one of the several sites hacked by Pakistani group on January 2nd 2005. The incident has created a serious doubt about Net4India, one of the country's leading hosting service providers on their ability to manage a crisis. Firstly the Company took 3 full days to rectify the problem which is "ages" in the Internet world. Secondly the Company was confused on how to handle it. Initially the hacker page was removed, then "Help Age India" page was substituted and lastly a simple note that the site is under maintenance. It was imperative that the Company had displayed the correct message that their server is under attck and hence the service is down. It was clear that Net4India was ill prepared for the attack. During the time Naavi.org remained hacked, the pages looked as given here.
Dot In Domain Registration Stalled..CBI Enquiry Needed?
Net4india was supposed to have begun the dot.in domain name registration from January 1st 2005. Unfortunately the servers of Net4india are under attack from hackers and forced a server shut down which affected this site as well.
It was unfortunate that though the second server of Net4india was in operation, they were not able to post a notice to the visitors that the server is down for maintenance putting visitors into doubt if the Tsunami has hit Net4india.
Considering the timing of the attack the probability of the attack having been engineered by those who wanted to scuttle Net4india's foray into the dot.in domain registration cannot be ruled out. If so, the accusing finger may point to the business rivals of net4india. Since the attack has even downed the nixi.org site, the issue has to be taken up seriously and investigated at the CBI level to unearth the truth.
A Sound BPO Platform
At a time when discussions have started on the need for "Data Protection Act", Mr Praveen Dalal, familiar the learned Advocate from Delhi makes a categorical assertion that ....The “Indian Government” has taken the “BPO” episode very lightly. Its ramifications are not confined to “Data Protection” alone but it essentially and inevitably involves, among other things, a “sound E-governance and E-commerce base” as well...Details
Looking Back at the Indian Cyber Regulatory Space..2004
The end of 2004 in the Indian Cyber regulatory Space was marked by the infamous Bazee.com issue where the CEO of a US Owned Indian Internet Auction Portal was arrested for having facilitated auction of an objectionable video clipping.
..Year 2004 has been another significant year in the development of Cyber Regulations in India. Yet, it is only the the Section 67 of ITA-2000, that has made some news. .....There are miles to go before we can try to catch a nap...
.....Naavi recounts the developments of 2004 in India relevant to Cyber Space regulation....More
Data Protection Act..Time to Debate
From the indications that emanate from the Ministry of Information and Technology, as well as the industry circles, it appears that a strong move to introduce a legislation for "Electronic Data Protection" is on the cards. Perhaps this could be one of the significant legislative measures that would affect the Indian Cyber Space in 2005. It is time for us to debate What should be the objectives of such a legislation?, What kind of "Data" needs to be protected?, How should the data be protected?, What kind of punishments should be envisaged? etc. Praveen Dalal, the Delhi based Advocate explores the necessity and mode of protection of the information, details and data of individuals and organisations under the laws of India. This will be followed by other articles in the series....More
Due to Hacker Activity, the server at net4domians.com where this site is hosted was down from 2nd to 4th of January 2005. Inconvenience is regretted.
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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