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National Seminar on Privacy and Data Protection in Bangalore on October 17, 2008

Hyderabad Police Charge a Techie under Section 66

Hyderabad police have filed a case under Section 66 of ITA 2000 on charges of having stolen a software of the company and trying to sell the same. Kunapareddy Sita Venkata Ravi Kumar alias Ravi, 33, who had worked as a software engineer for Tecra Systems, allegedly stole products and custom applications developed for various clients of Tecra Systems by copying them into his personal laptop.

On a complaint lodged by Krishna Prasad Gondi, managing director of Tecra Systems Private Limited, a case was registered (Crime number 194/2008) under sections 420, 406, 380 of IPC and sections 65, 66 of the IT Act on August 19. ..More in TOI

SC stays proceedings against eBay

August 26: The Supreme Court today (August 25) stayed the proceedings against auction portal eBay India and its chief Avinash Bajaj for allegedly permitting sale of an MMS clip showing two school students from a Delhi school indulging in a sexual act. A bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir, while issuing notice to the Delhi government, stayed the proceedings under Sections 67 and 85 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The petitioner has contended  that Section 67 of the Act, does not define the term obscenity and thus liability cannot be fixed on him for merely listing of the 2.37-minute clip video clip even if it was obscene. “Even assuming that video clip is obscene, mere ‘listing’ cannot be obscene for the purpose of Section 67 of the Act merely because the video clip may be obscene,” he said while seeking quashing of all the proceedings against him. Report in

Company Law to Amend ITA 2000?

August 26: It is reported that Company law is proposed to be amended to enable e-mail to be considered as an evidence. While the objective is good, it must be pointed out that there is no need for such amendment since the law already recognizes e-mail being an electronic document as evidence. There is also clarity on the fact that a digitally signed e-mail is admitted as evidence against the signer without any further proof while an undigitally signed e-mail may be admitted as evidence but needs to be proved as to data integrity and origination.

It is preferable if multiple legislations are not allowed to tamper with the law and whatever clarifications are required it should be attempted with ITA 2000 alone.

Report in ET

Indian Hacker behind 2.9 billion UK Pounds worth hacking

An investigation by Scotland's Sunday Herald newspaper has discovered that a previously unknown Indian hacker successfully breached the IT defences of UK-based Best Western Hotel group's online booking system and sold details of how to access it through an underground network operated by the Russian mafia. He is being  charged with the greatest cyber heist in history for allegedly helping a criminal gang steal identities of an estimated eight million people in a hacking raid that could ultimately net more than £2.8 billion in illegal funds. Report in TOI

Illinois Makes Internet Safety teaching compulsory in Schools

August 22: A legislation to help protect children from the dangers of the Internet. has been passed in the State of Illinois, USA. The new law requires school districts to incorporate Internet safety into their curriculums, to be taught at least once every school year to students in third grade or higher. This new law will help teach our students the dangers that can be lurking on the Internet, and how to avoid them. The new law takes effect January 1st and provides that the Internet safety curriculums in schools will begin with the 2009-2010 school year. The bill allows the age-appropriate unit of instruction to be incorporated into the current courses of study regularly taught in the districts’ schools.

It may be noted that Naavi has advocated  an "Young Responsible Netizen" (YRN) programme for implementation in Karnataka Schools and the same is being pursued with the Karnataka Government. At least one school in Bangalore, Indus International School has already initiated several measures in this direction to educate children of all grades on Safe usage of Internet. Hopefully , Karnataka Government will adopt this as a state wide policy programme.

Remembering the HIPAA Day

August 21: 12 years back, on August 21, 1996, a legislation called HIPAA became effective in USA. The legislation was primarily meant for insurance reforms and protection of privacy rights of US citizens in respect of their health information. This legislation has always been relevant to India which is a primary outsourced services center for handling the protected health information under the Act.  However many Indian firms who had an indirect obligation under the Act as "Business Associates" continued to ignore the provisions until now. However after the passage of all the compliance deadlines, the US regulators of HIPAA appear to have increased their vigilance in the US market on covered entities who have outsourced their operation. As a result there is an increasing awareness in India about the need to take up compliance measures.

Naavi's Cyber Law College is the only organization in India which provides both HIPAA Awareness Training and "Certified HIPAA Professional" certification besides the Compliance audit along with its associates.

Since the provisions of HIPAA compliance would apply to medical transcriptions, Hospitals catering to US nationals for treatment etc, several agencies need to start activities towards HIPAA Compliance audits and HIPAA awareness training for their staff. Hopefully the Indian agencies who need to take compliance steps start initiating suitable action before any sting operator from US starts spreading rumors that "Heath Information is not safe in India" and hence health information should not be outsourced to India.

Supreme Court issues notice to Google,Yahoo and Microsoft

August 14: India's Supreme Court issued notices to Microsoft, Google and Yahoo  following a complaint that they were promoting techniques and products for the selection of an unborn child's sex through advertising and links on their search engines...Report

Mumbai High Court Asks Google to Reveal Blogger Identity

August 14: In a defamation case, Mumbai High Court has reportedly issued a notice to Google to reveal the identity of a Blogger. Google has for some time been protecting its user identity even in the e-mails by providing a Proxy IP. In case of Blogging, the IP address of the user or his profile particulars are held confidential. While Google defends such action under the requirement of Privacy, there are often a case for revealing the identity when a crime is being committed with the use of the resources of Google. Of course "Defamation" is on a platform different from some other crimes say such as "Cyber Bullying" or "Pornography".

Whenever any offence is made out the intermediary will be required to part with the information and the Indian law supports such a view. However Some times blogs may be performing a  whistle blowing function in the interest of the society. Hence such cases need to be treated differently.

In the instant case it appears that the notice is being served upfront on a case being filed as a requirement of the Criminal Justice system in India.  If the object of filing a case is only to bring the person into open before a valid case is made out, the person may be subjected to harassment of various kinds by a powerful corporate. Perhaps Courts may consider the privacy rights at least until a prima facie case is made out and the presence of the accused is required to continue further trial.

We  suggest that Bloggers in India should come together as a community and set up a voluntary cyber law compliance programme and in the process create an "Ombudsman" to guide them in such cases. In the event of complaints of defamation etc, the first level of resolution can be done by the Ombudsman himself and only if necessary the victim may go to Court. Even at this stage the Court may try to analyse the validity of the complaint keeping the blogger in the background as long as feasible so that any possibility of unfair victimization is reduced. Report on the complaint in ET

SENSEX Dispute

August 11: Recently a case has been filed in Pune court that the word "SENSEX" was coined by a Stock Market Analyst (Deepak Mohoni) and was being wrongly claimed by Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd as its trademark. It is interesting to note that BSE claims usage of the term SENSEX since 1986 while the stock market analyst claims that he was the first to coin the term some time in 1989 while writing articles in Business Standard and it soon caught on by others. In a recent article in Deccan Herald, the former editor of Business Standard who edited the newspaper during the time the said analyst first started to use the term SENSEX has corroborated the views of Mr Dipak Mohoni. Article in DH

Another interesting angle to the dispute is reflected in the Wikipedia entry on the term Sensex available at The earlier version of the page as available on October 19 2007, reproduced here states that SENSEX was coined by Dipak Mohoni. Significantly, the current version of Wikipedia does not have this paragaraph. In the light of the dispute currently in the Indian Court, it would be interesting  to investigate what this change would mean in terms of its legal impact.

During the years 1984-87 when I used to work in Mumbai as head of  the Merchant Banking Bureau of Indian Overseas Bank, I remember the introduction of the new BSE sensitivity index. I am sure some of my Merchant Banking contemporaries of the time may have documentary evidence regarding how the BSE Sensitivity Index came to be known as SENSEX. I would welcome any of those contemporaries of mine who can throw light on the first usage of SENSEX to contact me over e-mail

Cyber Crime Watchdog Required

August 10: Cyber Crimes are on the increase. So are complaints that Police often arrest persons by mistake. In the recent blast related e-mail case, an US national had to face the harassment of the Police since the IP address was traced to him. The arrest and illegal confinement for 50 days of the Bangalore software engineer by the Pune Police by mistake in the resolution of IP address is another glaring example of a Police excess on hand. There are many complaints that Police donot register complaints unless you are either influential or able to add weight to your complaint. In a recent incident, a parent of a minor boy accused of sending an obscene photograph by mail reportedly had to spend nearly a million rupees under threat of arrest. suggests that in order to ensure that there is a monitoring system that tries to reduce the impact of mistakes by Police, a Cyber Crime watch dog is required just as a Human Rights watch dog. It is possible to carve out such an organization by the Human Rights Organization itself by creating a Cyber Crime division. Related Article in IE Related Article in mynewsindia

New Cyber Crime Laws expected in US

August 04:The US Senate recently  passed legislation to modernize the nation's computer crime laws and give prosecutors more leeway in pursuing cyber crooks. The legislation would make it a felony to install spyware or keystroke-monitoring programs on 10 or more computers regardless of the amount of damage caused. Extortion of companies by publishing or releasing stolen information would now be considered a criminal activity. Details of  The Former Vice President Protection Act

Karnataka Police set to ban s_bhabhi website

August 04: After several attempts, it appears that at last Karnataka Police are set to write to CERT for blocking of the infamous s_bhabhi website. It is likely that the site owners may re-surface with another bhabhi site shortly. CERT should therefore take pro-active action in respect of any such sites that may surface now. It would not be possible for this process of persuading the police to send an official request of for banning a site to be repeated each time. CERT should therefore start acting on complaints from responsible organizations such as without insisting on the formalities that the request should be sent only through proper channels.

If the Governments introduces a provision that a data base of such sites to be banned  maintained by organizations such as or Digital Society Foundation be automatically incorporated in the "Black List" of ISPs, it would be possible to involve the public and eliminate a majority of such sites.

Related Reports: CIOL, Deccan Chronicle,

Welcome to Cyber Crime Expert in SEBI

August 04: In an interesting development, SEBI has brought Cyber Crime investigation skills into its office by recruiting Mrs  Pradnya Sarvade, the former head of Cyber Crime Cell, Mumbai.

It may be recalled that has been fighting against many online broker frauds which are actually Cyber Crimes. Police are unable to appreciate the Cyber Crime ang,e to such offences and are overwhelmed by the "Fraud" or "Economic Offence" angle in determining the jurisdiction of the case. In one of its recent complaints, SEBI failed to do justice to a group of investors who had alleged that a manager of India Infoline, Mangalore had committed a fraud and cheated them of RS 20 lakhs. had brought this to the attention of the SEBI since the circumstances indicated that the fraud might have been committed with the forbearance on the part of the top management of the Company for unfair gains in business. However SEBI simply shifted the responsibility for resolution to NSE which could not do a professional job of reconciliation.

Hopefully this move of Mr Bhave who is considered an Investor Friendly person right from his early days in SEBI would enable investors get a fair hearing in the adjudication proceedings concerning Broker Frauds.

Now that Mrs Sarvade type of investigators are available to SEBI, they may be able to take better control of the online broker's market which is a Cyber Fraud den.

It is interesting to note that another senior officer of Mumbai Police, namely Mr Sarvade also moved out into the private sector recently. It feels good to note that hardworking  Cyber Crime specialists in the Police are finding lucrative offerings in the IT industry.



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/-.

 For Enquiries and Bulk orders  click here. :

For online Purchase, Click Here

  What is is India's premier portal on Cyber Law. It is not only an information portal containing information on several aspects concerning Information Technology Law in India but also represents the focal point of several services around Cyber Law carried on by Naavi.

The first such service is the Cyber Law College a virtual Cyber Law education center in India which provides various courses on Cyber Law.

The second key service is the Cyber Evidence Archival center which provides a key service to help administration of   justice in Cyber Crime cases.

The third key service is the domain name look-alikes dispute resolution service which provides a unique solution for websites with similar looking domain names to co exist.

The fourth key service is the online mediation and arbitration service another unique global service.

The fifth key service is the CyLawCom service which represents the Cyber Law Compliance related education, audit and implementation assistance service.

Additionally, is in the process of development of four sub organizations namely the Digital Society Foundation,, International Cyber Law Research Center and Cyber Crime Complaints and Resolution Assistance Center. Digital Society Foundation is a Trust formed with the objective of representing the voice of Netizens in various fora and work like an NGO to protect their interests. is meant to develop a collaborative distributed network of LPO consultants. International Cyber Law Research Center would support research in Cyber Laws and Cyber Crime Complaints and Resolution Assistance Center would try to provide some support to victims of Cyber Crimes.

Together, represents a "Cyber Law Vision" that goes beyond being a mere portal. Started in 1997, when the concept of Cyber Law was new across the globe, consistent efforts over the last decade has brought to the beginning of "Phase 2" in which the services are ready to reach out to a larger section. This is recognized as the phase of collaborations and growth by association. will therefore be entering into a series of associations to develop each dimension of its vision with an appropriate partner. Individuals, Organizations and Commercial houses which have synergistic relationship with the activities of are welcome to join hands in commercial and non commercial projects of


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