March 1-march 31, 2002

Are Good Days  Expected for Dot-Com Again ?

Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe) meeting in Manila last week, has  felt that the fundamentals of the Cyber Economy was strong and could sustain a growth of 30% to 40 % per annum over the next decade, nearly 10 times the traditional growth rates.  ..But is this only a marketing dream? or Can it be closer to truth?.. is what is challenging the minds of Internet Economy watchers.

...The moot question is, Has the increasing Cyber Regulations contributed or is likely to contribute significantly to the revival of Internet Economy? appears at first glance that "Cyber Regulations" have not been an unbridled success in promoting Consumer confidence and better E-Commerce. Some of the problems is in the Enforcement which is weak and often mis directed. Some are due to the legislation itself being faulty or lacking in vision.

Perhaps Nasscom has to undertake a new perception study....

Detailed Story Here

Dutch Court Gives A Hope to Naptster

In what could be a land mark reversal of thinking in the Copyright arena, an appeals court in the Netherlands overturned a lower court ruling that had held file-trading  liable for copyright infringement. That decision--which still can be appealed to a higher court--was the first anywhere to protect a file-swapping company against copyright liability.

If nothing else, this decision should give a moral strength to non US Courts to decide independently on Cyber Law issues without being influenced by US Court decisions.

At a time when US Copyright Zealots are trying to make "Reading a Book Aloud" an offense, this Dutch court decision comes as a breath of fresh air.

More Details at

Related Article on Adobe E-Book Restrictions

Internet Telephony Ready to Hit the Market in India

April 1st 2002 would be a much awaited day for the Convergent Society watchers in India. For the first time now, the convergence of Internet and Telephony would be given  legal blessings with the introduction of Internet Telephony. ...Net4India has been the first  ISP off the block and has already announced the scheme for the PC to Phone long distance calling....

...It is now upto the other ISP s to catch up with this blazing start of Net4India. The consumers can expect innovative schemes, introductory promotions and falling costs to make communications convenient and less expensive.

Detailed Story

The Story of Spam

From a friendly inexpensive marketing tool, Spam has come a long way since its origin in 1994 to be one of the most hated problems of E-Mail usage. Laurence Canter, considered the father of Spam recounts how it all started in an interesting interview.

Detailed Story in

The Legal Status of E-Mails

Recently,  a case has come up before the Plymouth Supreme Court ( Shattuck v. Klotzbach) concerning the legal validity of  a series of e-mails exchanged between a prospective buyer  and a seller of a property which the seller tried to repudiate later.

....Ever since the Information Technology Act-2000 became effective in India, users of E-mail in India have been concerned with the legal status of E-Mails....

Detailed Story

Let's First Protect Our Home Front

CBI is reported to have arrested a 16 year old teenager for spamming a UK site. The action has followed a complaint from abroad.

What we do not understand is why CBI is not similarly interested in protecting Indian Citizens from Cyber Porn spam emanating from abroad.

Is a "Foreigner's"  complaint  more precious for CBI to follow up?.. than the interest of Indians?.

More Here

Business Opportunity With Global Patent Prospects

Naavi has been pursuing two global patents for web services which have since passed international search phase. The search has confirmed non existence of prior art and therefore the possibility of final patent being granted are very high.

Granting of patents means that the services would be available for exploitation world over without competition.

Additionally, Naavi is also pursuing a third patent which is in the provisional stage. This is a "Brick and Click Solution" of immense potential.

These when exploited would be the first dot-com projects in India to be backed by global patents.

Now Naavi is looking for VC s or Companies who are interested in associating with him in harnessing the business potential of these patents.

If any Company or investor is interested in associating with Naavi for developing these projects the modalities can be discussed for mutual benefit.

More Details Here

Block Spam Not Customers!!!

Spam is a growing menace every where....ISP s have started blocking SMTP access to customers of rival ISP s in the guise of prventing SPAM. This however only helps to block genuine customers having multiple ISP accounts. It does not prevent spam which often originates through international servers.

The anti-customer approach taken by VSNL and Dishnet   needs to be discussed in the context of individual freedom to use an e-mail ID of the customer's choice.

Details Here

India Calls for Affordable Universal Access

It is reported that the Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh said at the World Telecommunication Development Conference-2002 organised by International Telecommunication Union at Istanbul on Monday that in order to reduce the ill effects of Digital Divide, there is a need for providing "Affordable Universal Access"

In order to achieve this, efforts are required on two fronts. Firstly, the cost of telephone for accessing Internet has to be brought down from the current levels of Rs 25 per hour to around Rs 2 to Rs 3 per hour, a little below the ISP s cost of around Rs 4 per hour. The total cost of access would then come below Rs 10 per minute.

Secondly, the Cyber Cafe's being "Public Transport" to Internet world need to be encouraged rather than persecuted as is happenning now.

Hope the Telecom Secretary would do the needful on his return to India.

Related Article in TOI

Please Do not Play around with Digital Identities

...Now the choice is before you.. either change your name or quit the house. ...This is what Dishnet is asking its customers to do...

...Now the choice is before you...either transfer the deposit out of my Bank to or pay up the loan taken with my competing Bank....This is what VSNL has been asking its customer to do ..

The mutual blocking of SMTP servers for clients who have multiple access accounts is ostensibly to prevent misuse of the SMTP server for spamming. In the process both ISP s are playing around with the "Digital Identities" of Netizens forcing them to change the identities in tune with the access accounts.

Details Here

Consumer Protection  Under ECT-2002- International Players Beware!

While the intentions behind this jurisdictional freedom assumed by the act is laudable, it could be a source of frequent international disputes when the seller takes shelter under the provisions of his country's consumer laws which are at variance with the ECT-2002.

Details Here

Crimes Under ECT-2002 ..Shades of DMCA ?

What is important to note is that  "Selling or using of devices that assist in breaking of security measures for protecting data", are made an offence under the ECT-2002.

Vendors of software referred to in the section above who make it available to the people of the Republic of South Africa will now be liable for trial as per the jurisdictional coverage envisaged in the Act even if they are not residents of the Republic.

Hopefully, Mr Dmitry Sklyarov takes note of this provision and desist from travelling to South Africa!!.

More Details Here

The Dilemma of Teenage Crime

This is the case of a minor boy who once had been a website defacement hacker and trapped by FBI. The trap involved an invitation to make the boy some thing of a security consultant for the State Government. Now even though FBI prefers to let the boy off without pressing of hacking charges, the State Government is keen on pursuing its charges since the boy has now turned 18.

The case brings out the sociological challenges in handling Cyber crimes. In India the series of e-mail threat cases that have come to light in recent days  are also similar to this case and raise the issue of how to handle such teen age miscreants.

Details in here

Governance of the Domain Space ECT2002 Vs ITA-2000

Chapter 10 of ECT-2002 is devoted to defining the envisaged administration of the dot-za ccTLD so that this country code domain space would be systematically administered. ..

The policies of the NCST in respect of domain names in India has failed  in protecting the interests of the Country and its Foreign Exchange revenue and ECT 2002 has reminded us that we in India also need a "Domain Name Administration Authority" on the lines of what is proposed in ECT-2002.

Detailed Story

Governance of the Domain Space ECT2002 Vs ITA-2000

Chapter 10 of ECT-2002 is devoted to defining the envisaged administration of the dot-za ccTLD so that this country code domain space would be systematically administered. ..

The policies of the NCST in respect of domain names in India has failed  in protecting the interests of the Country and its Foreign Exchange revenue and ECT 2002 has reminded us that we in India also need a "Domain Name Administration Authority" on the lines of what is proposed in ECT-2002.

Detailed Story

Bharti Mobile to offer Browser on SIM Card

In a major breakthrough in the field of Mobile Internet technology, Internet will soon be available in India on Mobile phones without the need for expensive WAP enabled hand sets. Bharti Mobile has announced that it would provide Smart Trust's Wireless Internet Browser in its Air Tel connections, shortly. This will allow Net-based services to be offerred to all subscribers.

This would be a great booster to Convergence and highlights the need to push through the passage of the pending Communication Convergence Bill at the earliest.

Detailed Story in TOI

British Telecom Set to lose Patent Case against Prodigy?

In what could be a relief to the Internet world, preliminary indications are that British Telecom may lose the Hyper Linking Patent case against Prodigy.

Detailed Report in

E-Governance Through Legislation-Contrasting Styles ITA-2000 and ECT 2002

What is striking in contrast in this approach of the South African Government is the Desire to work for International Goals without rejecting National interests and to set a time frame for not only the Minister in Charge of Information technology but to the entire Government itself. It suggests a "Broad Global Vision" and " Extreme Self Confidence".

Details Here

Beware-Mobile Phones are Under Attack!

We are aware of the Trojans and viruses that send out e-mails in our names carrying objectionable materials.

Now it is reported that hackers and virus writers are attacking mobile phones and making them do such things as ring up White House and deliver a message from Osama Bin Laden!.

Next time there is an alleged crime involving E-Mails, it would be necessary for the law enforcement authorities to eliminate the possibility of such a virus activity as part of the investigation. 

Detailed Report from Economic Times

War Against Terrorism-Al Queda losing on Cyber front?

Concerted efforts by technologists cooperating with the state has enabled the Police to take an upper hand on Al Queda on the Internet.

Detailed Report in Business week

E-Commerce Law Bill Presented to parliament in South Africa

The South African government has presented its long awaited Electronic Communications and Transactions bill to parliament.  The Bill is a comprehensive bill which covers not only Cyber Crimes, Digital Signatures, Privacy and Spam but also addresses the issue of domain name space in the dot ZA space and consumer protection. The law has also been very specific on jurisdictional issues and appears to be a "model Law" in many respects.

Look out for more on this Bill at this site.

Steganography- The New Criminal Challenge

Race against Cyber Crimes is reaching yet another technological mile stone with Steganography,  the new technology of "Hiding Messages within images".

Initially when the technology was unleashed a few years back, it was hailed as a means of preventing copying of picture files from the web in violation of the Copyright of the owner.  It soon became a cherished tool for confidential communication by terrorists who were otherwise caught by the FBI 's content monitoring software such as the Carnivore.

The future in Internet security will therefore be an interesting battle between those who create algorithms for hiding the data and detecting the hidden data. After Virus and Anti Virus, Hacking and Anti hacking, it is the time for Steganography and anti steganography battles in the Internet space.

It is high time that Indian software professionals start devoting attention on this field.

More Details here


Task Force Required To Protect India's Internet Number Space

The IP addresses required for internet connectivity are presently based on the IPV4 system With convergence of Internet and telephony,  the system will choke unless alternate addressing system such as the contemplated IPV6 system is not developed quickly.

There is  an urgent need for India to wake up to the need for ensuring an appropriate allocation of IP  addresses when IPV6 comes through. urges the Ministry of Information technology to set up a task force immediately to develop an action plan on this aspect on the lines of the "Spectrum Committee" envisaged in the Communication Convergence Bill.

More Here

Brussels I Regulation Comes Back To Life.

In December 2000, the council of Ministers of 15 EU states met in Brussels and passed a joint agreement for cooperation in E-Commerce Law enforcement.  According to the provisions of this convention, consumers residing in the convention countries who get into a legal dispute with a foreign company when buying goods online can now have their case heard in their country.

This convention referred to as Brussels I regulation was to come into effect from March 2001. According to recent reports, the law has become effective now in all European Union member states, except Denmark, along with non-EU countries Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Poland and Switzerland.

Related Article in

Copy of the Regulation

"UDRP is biased"- Says a Study

The obvious has been restated. A study of all 4,332 UDRP decisions released before Feb. 18, 2002 suggest that the decisions of the UDRP are biased in favour of Trade Mark Owners. What is worse is that the bias has also resulted in two of the arbitrators being able to garner 95 % of business arising out of the disputes apparently indicating that the bias is having a commercial implication. has been advocating that the UDRP system is fundamentally flawed as it favours the Trade Mark owner and discriminates the Cyber Citizen's right to a domain name even when there is no bad faith. The situation can not improve unless WIPO accepts its mistake. urges viewers to take a look at which is a solution aimed at resolving the "Bad Faith" issue. The service for which a patent is pending is awaiting large scale exploitation for want of appropriate sponsors.

Related Article in

Is Internet Outside US Law?

The celebrated case of Dmitry Skyalov has raised the fundamental question of whether Internet should fall under the jurisdiction of Meta Society or not.

This could lead to interesting discussion on why and when should laws of one society be made applicable to another society? Is it because the citizens of one of the societies are more powerful and can impose that their laws have to be universally accepted? or Is it because the properties of one society get affected by actions of persons in the other society? ..And is Cyber Society a Community entitled to its own process of democratic functioning at all?

The judicial review in this case will also re-open discucssions on whether US can claim regulatory rights on  Antarctica or the Moon or whether US can take military action against a sovereign states without the intervention of UN under certain circumstances etc.

Details at ZDNet

Frauds on e-Bay on the rise

Increasing incidents of fraud and sophistication in their execution is creating concern amongst the genuine Netizens participating in auctions over the Net.

In the light of such reports it is interesting to note that Indian auction site is adopting a promotion strategy on the TV media based on "No payment on the Net"...perhaps a case of IT security professionals refusing to take on the challenge of the criminal hackers.

Related Report in NY Times

Amazon and Barnes & Noble reach a Settlement

The much talked about single click patent case between and Barnes & Noble was settled out of court under some undisclosed terms.

Details at

Cyber Evidence Service to be made available by

After the passage of the Information Technology Act 2000 (ITA-2000), electronic documents have become documents acceptable as evidence in a court of law...However, as in the case of several other aspects regarding Cyber Laws, there is a need to develop acceptable standards for production of Cyber Evidence in Courts which is in conformity with the law and also takes into account the practical aspects of dealing with evidence that rests in servers beyond the easy jurisdictional access of Indian litigants. therefore is pleased to announce that it would commence providing "Certified Cyber Evidence" to any parties of a Court dispute in a form that it believes should be acceptable to the courts of law in India.

Details Here

Cyber Law Compliancy Highlighted

E-Business is having a great potential to profits....but netpreneurs should also recognize that negligence  in Cyber Law Compliancy could also lead to loss and damage .

Here is an interesting article from Netmag

W3C backtracks on Patent issue

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has backtracked on its proposal to let companies claim patenting rights on 'standard' internet technologies.

Detailed Story at

Cyber Democracy on Test

The ongoing war between Mumbai police and Cyber cafe owners has taken an interesting twist and placed a challenge on the Citizens. In what should be considered as a land mark decision, the Mumbai High Court has ordered that the controversial report of the expert committee which has suggested photo ID cards for Cyber Cafe owners to be placed on a web site so that public can send their comments on the report to the Court. therefore requests every Netizen who has a view on the subject to take a little time off and file his views.

Here is a challenge to the concept of Cyber Democracy. All Netizens should realize that all Courts will not be as progressive as Mumbai High Court in seeking public opinion in such cases. We have a duty to respect the confidence that the Court has put on the Netizens.

Cyber Democracy Website  launched has been advocating Regulation of Cyber Space which promotes harmony between Cyber Society and the Meta Society. In pursuance of this objective, has always advocated public participation in the regulatory process. Some time back, promoted a "Netizen's Forum" which took the lead in mobilizing public opinion on the Information Technology Bill and the Communication Convergence Bill.

In a step to strengthen the concept of  "Netizen's Forum", and to create an organization around it, has now launched a website The site will start enrolling members for the Cyber Democracy Movement and prepare to undertake larger responsibilities to be an interface between the regulated Netizens and the Regulators.

The Movement is not for promoting laissez-faire on the Internet, but for promotion of Cyber Regulation which will have a high degree of voluntary Compliance from the society.

Visitors are invited to become members and contribute to the development of the idea.


February 25, 2002

Submit Your Comments on the Expert Committee's Report on Cyber Pornography

On February 13, 2002, the Mumbai High Court passed an order in Suo Motu Writ Petition 1611 of 2001. By that order, the report dated 30.1.2002 submitted by the Special Committee appointed in September 2001 was directed to be made available to the public online for download, to enable comments and suggestions. The order requires that the online editions, in PDF and HTML formats, should be available also on this suit.

Accordingly, in compliance with that order, VSNL have uploaded the entire Committee report at


Comments can be sent to directly or to Naavi for consolidation and submission.

PDF Versions are downloadable here:

Part1 (800 KB)

Part 2 (4MB)


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