Date: October 30, 2000 
Public Sector to take the Lead?

The newly appointed Controller of Certifying Authorities Mr N.K.Gupta is reported to have suggested that RBI and SEBI are likely to be the first organisations that may be permitted to issue digital certificates in India. He has also set a probable time frame that they may be issued licenses in the beginning of the next year. While the entry of reputed organisations such as RBI and SEBI to the field is welcome, this may stifle the prospects of the private sector companies since these organisations may use their statutory powers over Banks and Companies to monopolise certain markets. Since the RBI Governor is also a member of the CRAC, there will be conflict of interest.

Certifying authority business is a Commercial proposition involving "Selling of a product". Will the public sector  regulatory agencies allow a level playing field to develop ? Is it permitted under the statute of these two organisations? in law?  and in spirit? are questions that will need some thought. It was also strange that instead of the announcements coming from the prospective licensees, it came from the Regulator (Controller) himself. The propriety of such an announcement holding out a brief for these two organisations is debatable.

The developments leave us with an uneasy feeling that an unprecedented power center is being created  by the trioka of  regulators which  will control the future of the E-Commerce world in India. Looking at the events purely from a strategic perspective, this may  not a healthy trend. The least that the market needs now is a reassurance from the Controller that the private sector will not be discriminated in the issue of "Licenses". A  clarification that this is not a move to "Nationalise" "Digital Signature Industry" which is a key ancillary to  E-Commerce from the MIT would also be helpful. 

Related Story in Financial Express

Let South Asian Countries  Develop a Regional Treaty

The treaty proposed by the European Council and discussed with USA in a recent meeting in Germany, is an important step in the direction of controlling Cyber Crimes. In South Asia, India, Singapore and Malaysia have already passed Cyber Laws. It appears that none of these countries took part in the convention. In the light of the experiences of these countries, a regional treaty for Cyber Crime prevention and control would be a good idea. 

Will  any organisation in India take up this cause? 

If so, will volunteer assistance to such an organisation. However, judging by the lukewarm response from Indian IT majors on the seminar on CERT proposed by the Netizen's Forum, it is doubtful if the IT companies take active interest in this regard.  I hope the Police authorities under the guidance of NCRB can take up this challenge.

Draft Euro-USATreaty on Cyber Crimes
Related Article by Chetan Nagendra

The ITA-2000 and Creation of Agency

The passage of the ITA-2000 has extended the Indian Contract Act-1872 to the Digital media.This has however left some aspects of the Contract Act as applicable to the digital media in an ambiguous state. "Creation of Agency" is one such. 


The Divide Shows

Two news items reported yesterday highlighted the problems in formulating an acceptable Cyber Law regime on a global scale. One was about a meeting of experts in Berlin to discuss standards for Cyber Crimes between different countries. The other was a proposed treaty in this respect being drafted by some authorities.

Unfortunately India doesn't seem to have participated in either of these two meetings and hence has lost an opportunity to express its views. 


Cyber Squatting is often Misunderstood

It appears that NASSCOM has made a recommendation to Ministry of Information and Technology to bring about some more regulations on the Copyright and Trademarks applicable to Internet. Inter-alia this may try to bring some legislation to prevent what is popularly called “Cyber Squatting”.


Let's Keep It Simple

...if we attempt to make the "law" very explicit, we run the danger of making the "Act" a "Procedure Manual" for the Judge. This will make the law rigid, will not give any scope for dynamic changes to be accommodated. Cases will be won or lost in such a regime by the fact of  which lawyer was more meticulous about the "Procedure" and not who was on the right side of "Justice"....Should we perpetuate this imperfect system on the Cyber Laws too? 


New Regulations for the Convergence Sector

Now the Netizens have to also watch out for the new "Regulator for the Convergence Sector" proposed to be set up. This regulation would cover Internet, Broadcasting, and Telecom sectors. A huge part of the Cyber society would be affected by any legislation in this regard...We need to remain vigilant...


The Struggle Continues

The notification of Rules under the ITA-2000 on October 17, has brought legal validity to the ITA-2000. Compared to the bizarre set of Rules notified in draft form on August 15, the present set of Rules is a huge relief. However, not all the changes that were proposed earlier by Cyber Law observers have been accommodated in the amended rules.....


Digital Contract Era Dawns on India 

  October 17, 2000 will be an important day in the e-history of India (and the History of India as well). This was the day when India entered the “Digital Contract Era” with the notification of the Rules under the Information Technology Act 2000. With this, the story which began with the drafting of the E-Commerce Act 98 reached a decisive stage where Electronic Documents and Digital Signatures became as valid as paper documents and written signatures. ..A Perspective View  of India's Journey into the Digital Contract Era


Origin of Conflicts- A reflection

Why is Mr Ramanand living in a flat in Mumbai is always at loggerheads with his neighbours but is most well behaved with the residents of the neighbouring society?. Or Why is it that any husband quarrels with his wife  more than with any body else? 

 Behind these day to day occurrence lies a truth that we often miss. That is, "Conflicts arise when there is some thing to share"..more so when the shared object is scarce. This is as much true of the family or neighbourhood as the "Cyber Space". When conflicts arise in Cyber Space, we need "Cyber Laws" to restore order to the society

Read Here for More

Law Enforcement with Netizens's help

In a bid to bring in 14 million new eyes to watch criminal activity and report to the Police, MIAMI--Florida has launched an online law enforcement records system that will allow people to check to see if the goods they want to buy are stolen or if someone they know is wanted. Information leading to arrest will carry suitable rewards. 

This Public- Police interface through the Internet is likely to be a common and essential feature of law enforcement in the coming days. 

Read More at LATimes

ICANN Election Results

The trend setting online election for ICANN administration through ATLARGE membership has been concluded and the results are available at  ICANNsite. 
Netizens and Atlarge members  are requested to critically evaluate the process and send their comments if any.  invites Indian Netizens to send their comments to Naavi so that their views can be consolidated and forwarded to Icann. promotes Cyber Law College

In  pursuit of its goal to contribute towards creating a "Responsible Cyber Society" , has promoted India's first Cyber Law Education Center  through This college will conduct online Cyber Law Courses for which registrations will open from 28th September,2000. The Course will commence from October 7th with the despatch of the first lesson. is also in the process of identifying suitable partners for conducting off-line courses in India and neighboring countries. which was associated with the publishing of the first Cyber Law book in India,  is proud to be part of this yet another pioneering venture  to spread "Cyber Law Literacy" in India.