The intended Convergence of IT and Telecom has taken a decisive step forward
with the notification of the merger of the ministries of Information Technology and Telecom. The Communication
Convergence Bill which is still pending before the Parliament may now see the light of the day soon.
Details from TOI here
Electronic Evidence to Help in Conviction of Terrorists in Parliament Case
In a demonstration of how terrorists are making full use of Technology to plan and
execute terrorist activities on land, it has now been revealed that the terrorists involved in the
December 13 attack on the Indian Parliament had used a laptop to down load Home Ministry logo from a website
and create a Car pass. Obviously the laptop has also been used for many communication connected with the crime.
While the Police are now taking the help of experts to
decipher the "0" s and "1" s in the hard disk,
the Courts with or without POTO will have to struggle to understand the evidence particularly if the disk has once
been erased and data recovered. It would therefore be an interesting case to watch for Cyber Law and Cyber Crime professionals.
Details from Indian Express here
Dmitri Skylarov is Free!
According to reports emerging from USA,
it has been confirmed that Mr Dmitry Skylarov, the Russian programmer who
had been arrested in connection with the Adobe Copyright case has been released and
would be flying back home soon.
The trial however continues against the Company Elmsoft.
WIPO publishes Patent Agenda for Public Comments
WIPO has released a "Request for Comments" document on a suggested agenda
for International Patent System. Several aspects of Policy and Procedures have been brought up
for discussion. Interested parties can submit their comments before February 15 2002.
Details from WIPO here
Global Copyright Act in the Offing
It is reported that a draft Global Copyright Treaty of the WIPO has been endorsed
by thirty nations solidifying it as an agreement. The agreement would be effective from March 2002
and would aim to help ensure that artists, composers, writers, musicians and others involved
in the creative process are protected from Internet piracy..according to WIPO.
Press Release from WIPO here
FBI wants to Introduce Authorised Virus!!!
In a strange but shocking news, it is reported that FBI has requested anti virus
software manufacturers to deliberately leave a loophole for their authorised trojan to be introduced to
the Cyber world. This trojan, a product of the "Magic Lantern" project is said to be capable of capturing
the key strokes and reporting to the FBI.
While it is also reported that the anti virus software manufacturers have
rejected this request, the incident raises a grave concern amongst the Privacy and Freedom lovers.
Perhaps USA may escape the trojan for the time being, but once this thought has been implanted in the
regulatory system, it will soon be pushed through at least in countries such as China, and perhaps also India.
This may well herald the beginning of the regime of the "Cyber Dictators".
Naavi's Cyber Law College Expands Operations
Naavi's Cyber Law College which pioneered Online Cyber Law Courses in
India through www.cyberlawcollege.com is launching
an Offline Franchised Cyber Law Course at Panchkula, Haryana by January. A similar course in Mumbai and Pune
are also on the anvil. It may be noted that Cyber Law College has already started a
Correspondence course. Through these courses, Cyber Law College is becoming one of the
few dedicated learning centers for Cyber Laws in India.
Naavi invites offers from interested persons for starting offline courses
in other cities.
Voice Your opinion on Internet Telephony in India
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has published a consultation paper
on the introduction of Internet telephony to elicit the views of the stake holders. Views if any are to be submitted
before 15th of December 2001 to the department. A copy of the paper is available here for reference.
Detailed Article Here
Is VOIP Definitely Coming?
In what appears to be a further confirmation that the VOIP is likely to become
a reality in India, it is reported that BSNL is gearing itself to set up a VOIP network across
The report of the Financial Express today also makes a reference to the VOIP over
Closed User Group being permitted at present which is a view not widely accepted. I would invite the views of the
elite public in this regard.
Web Content Over TV under Patent
A patent has been issued covering the delivery of Internet content over cable and satellite
networks to set-top boxes favouring OpenTV, an Interactive TV software maker. While this may improve the
bandwidth usage for the Cable operator, we need to wait and see if it will have any adverse impact
on the spread of benefits arising out of the Convergence of the TV and the Internet media.
Can an ISP lock away your e-mails?
In the Go2nextjob.com case in New Delhi, reported some time back, two
of the directors of an ISP which stopped the web hosting services to a
client who had defaulted in the payment were arrested and accused of "Hacking".
An issue has come up for discussion now of the remedies available to
an ISP providing e-mail services in case of a non payment of charges.
Naavi.com suggests that in order to face situations of non payment as well
as the non availability of space in the box, it must be made mandatory
for the ISP to provide an option to the account holder that "In the event
of the e-mail box being full or otherwise the service is to be discontinued,
all incoming mails are to be diverted to an alternate e-mail address to
be provided by the addressee along with a notice to the sender of the fact
that the mail has been diverted.
Detailed Article Here
Freedom of Speech Vs Copyright Protection
A Californian Court has overturned the earlier Court ruling barring distribution of
code for breaking the DVD lock. It has held that distribution of code through website is covered under
the right to freedom of speech.The decision, while not a final one on the legality of the software program,
nevertheless marks a severe blow for the movie industry's legal battle against online threats.
Patent Challenge to Microsoft
In the recent past, some of the Patents on basic operations on the
Internet such as hyper linking, software updation through downloads etc
have disturbed the functioning of the Web.
In an interesting
development, it appears now that a patent held by a less known American individual may challenge the grand
visions of Web services touted by titans such as IBM, Microsoft and Sun
Detailed Article Here
E-Commerce Tax in India
The Kanwaljit committee on E-Commerce Taxation has requested for public response
to the draft recommendation before October 31 st.
The approach of the Committee is pragmatic and deserves commendation.
In implementing the recommendations however, the "Rate of Withholding
tax" should be as small as around 0.5 % since it is a turnover based tax and there is no guarantee that there is a real profit in any transaction.
There should also be a base exemption upto say a tax of Rs 1 lakh so that small entrepreneurs generating "Export Income" are not needlessly harassed
with the tax formalities.
Detailed Article Here
Who Will Judge the Judges?
There was an interesting debate on the Indian TV on the 27th October
2001, (Big fight on Star News) on the subject of "Who Will Judge the Judges?"....
Both under the ITA-2000 and the Communication Convergence Act 2001 (to
be passed) there is a provision for Tribunals and Adjudicators who can
define their own systems for conducting proceedings.
Naavi.com has earlier suggested two approaches to improve the accountability
and efficiency of the Cyber Judges which may be relevant to be discussed
Detailed Article Here
USA Act Passed by US Senate
The Patriot Act has been passed by the with some modifications as USA Act.
The Act is said to contain many provisions that would provide powers to the state
for surveillance. Freedom lovers are agitated..naturally.
E-Mail That Disappears!!
It is interesting to note that a new breed of E-mail distribution tools
are in the market which provide some freedom to the sender to erase the e-mail or alter the e-mail
that has already been sent and received by the receiver in his mail box.
This utility though useful to the sender raises many legal questions and is
possible to be used by fraudsters. According to the ITA-2000, the electronic document is deemed to have
been delivered when it leaves the sender's system and deemed to have been received when it enters the
designated system of the receiver. This utility creates a confusion when a "Received" e-mail disappears
or alters on its own.
P.S: Naavi.com in association with Deltagram has developed a solution
for dealing with such e-mail frauds which will be shortly made available to the public.
Cyber Attacks on India Begin Again
As expected, Cyber attacks on high profile Indian sites have begun with
India Today and Zeenews.com have been defaced by GForce Pakistan and PHC (Pakistan Hackers Club)
It has been reported that in the defacement of India Today, a 'news' items critical of India
and suspportive of Pakistan has been inserted.
In the defacement of Zeenews.com, 'Doctor Nuker' of PHC boasts of
defacing zeenews.com sites for the fifth time and warns that "Indian
Atomic Research and US Military and Government should wait for their
The hacked zeenews page can be seen here
The hacked zeenews page2 can be seen here
The hacked zeenews page3 can be seen here
India Today page can be seen here
Html links to defaced sites:
Defaced India Today website
Defaced Zeenews.com website
Patent Regime Being Discredited Once Again
The Anthrax scare has focussed the world attention on the negative effects of
Patent regime making common drugs more expensive than necessary. A tendency for
profiteering from Patents
is creating an uneasy tension in the Community about the Patent regime itself. Now IBM has jumped into
the fray by Patenting Web Design Templates, a common utility used by many individual Netizens. With British
Telecom pursuing the legal recourse against ISP s on its Hyper Linking Patent, there appears to
be a serious threat to the Internet society from the aggressive pursuance of Patents.
It is time to think once again how far the Patent right should be allowed to infringe
the right to live on the Internet or the Real World.
Related Article on IBM Here
Related Article on BT Here