Comments on the Proposed Amendments to ITA-2000

Naavi: Praveen Dalal: Sarbajit Roy: Kamal Dave

Data Protection the Growing Business Concern

A study by Privacy &American Business has indicated that more than eight out of 10 consumers say they would stop doing business with a company if they heard or read that the company misused customer information. The 2005 computer crime survey of Computer Security Institute has indicated that though the crime incidents continue to raise the average loss per incident seems to be coming down. Also it appears that the security investments being made by companies as well as the compliance measures initiated  by regulators seem to be having its impact in reducing the financial loss arising out of the crimes. Related Article : (Copy of report available at

Stamp duty on Electronic Transactions

In a bid to bring share transactions through the Net under the stamp duty net, it is reported that Bombay Stamp Act has now provided for stamp duty on electronic transactions. The conflict of this provision with other provisions of law is being debated.... Report in ET

Who Will Control the Internet?

As the second WSIS conference in Tunisia approaches, the debate on the possible transfer of control on the Internet domain name system from ICANN to a more representative body of the global community is gaining momentum. The popular view is that the system is today under the control of US and needs to accommodate the interests of other nations. Related Article-1 Article in

ITA-Amendments Getting Ready

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is reported to be getting the final draft of the amended ITA-2000 to be placed before the Cabinet committee by the end of October. The amendments are expected to be industry friendly but may impose a higher responsibility on the industry for self regulation. Report in BS

Blogger forced to resign his job in IBM

In the continuing controversy surrounding reports on IIPM by a Blogger, it is reported that the blogger has been forced to resign his job from IBM due to the threat by some IIPM students to burn their IBM laptops in front of his office. It may be recalled that the students have been given a free laptop (IBM brand ?) by IIPM and the forced resignation could be a reflection of business relationship between IIPM and IBM. It is unfortunate that IBM has allowed its arms to be twisted by IIPM in the matter.

This however reflects the immediate need for Companies to incorporate appropriate HR policies regarding the "Blogging Activity" of their members. It may be recalled that has been advocating a "CyLawCom Certification for Bloggers" and also a "CyLawCom policy" for Companies covering the blogging activity of the staff.

Nigerian Frauds

The increasing number of reported incidents of the  Nigerian Mail frauds type in India has made it necessary to warn the new Internet users of the possible traps that lie in their e-mail box.

The "Nigerian E-Mail Fraud Gallery" is a good reference point for new Internet users to browse through so that they do not fall into the trap.

Victims if any are requested to report their experiences to so that we can share it with a larger audience. We can keep the identity of the reporter confidential if required.

IIPM Issues e-Legal Notice to Bloggers

In what could be a fight for "Freedom of Speech over the Internet" and  "Journalsitic rights"  Vs Commercial interests, IIPM has challenged Bloggers who wrote articles on the alleged false and fraudulent statements made by IIPM for marketing its programmes. This follows certain allegations that IIPM has made false claims in a Mumbai based web journal published a few articles on IIPM which the latter finds defamatory. 

IIPM does not appear to have issued any rejoinders but has issued a legal notice threatening arrest of the blogger within one day and demanding withdrawal of his article and holding him responsible for links in other websites/blogs etc. At this point of time the action contemplated by IIPM on the magazine is not known.

An interesting academic aside to the controversy is the validity of the e-legal notice issued by IIPM to an e-mail address. If accepted, this could begin a new trend in the use of IT in litigation. Additionally if the case is pursued against a Blogger and not the original publisher of the article, the differential status of a "Blog" and "Website" may also come to be discussed.  Copy of iipm notice: Related info. : Bloggers Beware (article from

Two Held for Hacking in Chennai

In yet another case of senior employees of Companies being charged of IT Crimes, two former executives of Sundaram Fastners have been arrested for allegedly extracting sensitive trade information from Company sources and passing it onto the competitors. This is the fourth such incident reported from Chennai alone in the last few months. The others include incidents in TAFE, BASP, NIIT (Franchisee), and Omni Agate...Report in Hindu: Related Article in Hindu : Article in Hindu-2

ITA-Amendments..Time for Public Comments Extended?

It is learnt from reliable sources that the time for receipt of public comments on ITA- Amendments has been extended upto October 13, 2005. Interested persons can send their comments to MCIT. CII Chennai is likely to organize a meeting to discuss and send its views to MCIT on 8th October 2005.

Anti Siphoning Provisions for Broadcast Rights

Acquisition of Broadcast rights of "Events" by TV channels has been a subject matter of debate for some time in India. The main debate has been whether the public broadcasting system has any right over mandatory broadcasting of events. In this context it is interesting to observe the provisions of the Australian Broadcasting Services Act 1992 which provide a list of events as "Anti Siphoning List" which must be available for free-to air television for viewing by general public. Such list includes sports events such as Cricket matches in Australia and Abroad where the national team is involved.

A connected debate is whether there is a violation of any rights of the buyer of the event broadcasting rights when the event is reported in real time or near real time on the Internet media or over mobiles or TV channels. It appears that ICC has been trying to impose unfair restrictions on the broadcasting of scores of Cricket matches in TV Channels and Mobiles. invites a debate on whether ICC has the legal rights to restrict distribution of match information in the form of 1) ticker news in any media 2)  Ball by Ball description of the match through viewing of a TV broadcast or 3) Ball by Ball description of the event by Speaking to a mobile phone from the stadium. (Comments welcome)

The G_G Saga Opens a Pandora's Box

The report in India Today (10th October 2005) on the Greg-Ganguly controversy has opened a new Cyber Crime angle to the dispute. The report states that one of the players in the Indian team fiddled around with Chappell's computer and stumbled upon the controversial 6 page e-mail. He then brought it to the notice of other players and the information was leaked to Press. If this report is true, it means that the said player who first located the e-mail may be guilty of an offence under Section 66 of ITA-2000. The report also mentions that Ganguly presented 11 e-mails of Chappell to the review committee containing his views on different players. If this is true it means that all these 11 mails might have been extracted unauthorized from the computer of Chappell and Ganguly was part of a conspiracy in this "Hacking".

The only alternative to this which BCCI can put up as defense is to admit that the leak took place from their end and one of their officials was guilty of breaching the privacy rights of Chappell. The long shot defense is to state that BCCI computer was either hacked or was infected with a virus which spread the mail inadvertently.

Either way there is an interesting Cyber crime debate surrounding the controversy which may have the potential of landing an Indian Cricket player in jail if the Police so wish. (Comments welcome)

Greg Chappell and in respect of its views on the amendments to ITA-2000 appears to be sailing in the same boat as Greg Chappell finds himself in, with respect to his views on Saurav Ganguly which has made big news in India.. It is painful to categorically state that the efforts taken by the "Expert Committee" needs to be reviewed once again. But if we do not express our view in this regard, we would not have fulfilled our professional duty.

Just as Ganguly may feel that Chappell has been unfair to him, many Cyber Cafe owners have been expressing that we are taking a stand against their interest despite many instances of abuse of the law by Police. We regret if such a feeling has arisen due to the principled stand taken by us to oppose the amendments.

While Chappell may be fortunate to get his views through, we are no so sure if the Government will agree to accept its mistake and review the "Expert Committee's report".  So our work will continue with the new law as and when it gets through.

Only time will prove if our stand was in the long term interest of the public.

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 For more information click here.



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