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PIL Filed on EVMs in Supreme Court

It is reported that a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court against the EVM system used in the Elections 2004. A note from the person who has filed the PIL along with some of the news paper reports is reproduced below for information.

While Naavi.org appreciates the concern shown in the complaint for a free and fair election which the undersigned also holds dear, it is necessary to point out that such a discussion should have been taken before the election process was started and not when the election is partially over.

I suggest that the PIL should be modified to seek a direction that EC should take up a proper review exercise of its system through an appropriate body of experts soon after the completion of the current election process and not for cancelling the election...Details

ITA-2000 to be Amended for Data Protection?

ET has reported that Nasscom favours an amendment to ITA-2000 to address the concern of major ITES companies in the country that lack of data protection laws in India may hamper their growth. It is expected that the amendment may come up any time after the next Government comes to power.

It is to be noted however that  many of the Indian Companies today ignore law compliance either because they consider it an unwarranted expenditure or because they are ignorant of the consequences. Many of them therefore have not incorporated the normal Techno Legal security measures expected of them based on the current laws itself and are exposed to many legal risks that they may not even be aware off.

Nasscom has also not addressed this issue of  IT industry's apathy for law compliance adequately. The current demand for a new law on Data Protection may only help show case that a legislation has been passed but is unlikely to  help in the security situation showing any improvement.

ITES companies must not only comply with all relevant provisions of ITA-2000 but can also exercise the the option of entering into a suitable data protection agreement (Safe Harbor Agreement) with the data vendors which can satisfy them of adequate data protection as per EU norms.

The buzz word is "Cyber Law Compliance" and "Techno Legal Security" of Information Assets. There is a need for a wide awareness campaign in this regard which should be a priority for Mr Jerry Rao in the coming days...

Related Information: CyLawCom

Cyber Law Compliancy and Electronic Voting

India has created history of sorts this time by conducting the entire election process using Electronic Voting. The Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)  used in India have been appreciated by several international observers and hailed as useful, innovative and tamper proof.

The EVMs which are being used in India were designed when India did not have Cyber Laws in place. Today, ITA-2000 is the law of the land and any electronic document is subject to the provisions of the ITA-2000.

Question therefore arises Whether the EVMs are Cyber Law Compliant? and Whether they follow the provisions of ITA-2000 wherever it is relevant?

While the elections 2004 has successfully gone through, and there has been international appreciation for the Indian EVMs, we can be proud of our achievements. At the same time it is necessary for the EC and BEL to start looking at developing the next generation EVMs that are not only functionally acceptable but are also Cyber Law Compliant....More

New Consultation Paper by TRAI on CAS

TRAI has issued a new Consultation paper on CAS on which comments can be sent by May 7, 2004...Details here

New Nasscom Chief Presses for Data Protection Act

Mr Jerry Rao the new Nasscom Chief reiterated focus for Security and has pressed for changes in ITA-2000 to incorporate provisions of data protection...Report in HT

Lindows is Now Linspire

Following Microsoft's objection on the use of Lindows as the name of the Linux based OS, the name of the OS has been changed to Linspire....Report in HT

RTGS To Expand

More Banks are expected to join the RTGS system soon..says RBI...Details in BL

Settling Scores through e-mails does not pay

In what has become routine, Chennai Police rounded up another e-mail abuser who used e-mails to spread obscene disinformation to settle personal scores in a sports association. It is sad that the offender  did not foresee the consequences and only he is to blame. What this case also underscores is that network managers  have no control on the use of the network for committing offences and they should beware that law expects certain accountability from them and if they continue to be negligent, they will find themselves at the wrong end of law for crimes others committed. ...Details in The Hindu

It is important to note that these developments also indicate that lawyers with Cyber Law Education will have more and more demand for their services...Perhaps a boom is ahead for Cyber Law practitioners.

ICS To bring Cyber Forensic Solutions to India

George Bar, Director, Intelligent Computer Solutions, Inc, USA, a leading manufacturer of Cyber Forensic products used by Law Enforcement Authorities and IT Companies would be visiting Chennai between April 9th to 13th. 2004. The products of ICS are relevant to Law Enforcement Authorities, IT Companies, Fraud Examiners and Internal Auditors.

Related Information: ICS and Law Enforcement: ICS and Auditors: ICS, A Brief Note

Use of Spyware by Companies

Several spyware software including Key loggers are in the market urging users to "Keep an eye on the employees". Some Companies will be tempted to use such software within the corporate network to spy on the activities of their employees. Will this amount to "Privacy Intrusion?" "Does it require prior permission of employees?", "Can evidence collected out of such data tapping be used against the employees?" ...are the questions Companies have to ask themselves before adopting use of such software. It is considered that the evidentiary value of any evidence collected by such software is also likely to be challenged in a Court. Naavi.org would therefore like to advise the employers to be careful in the use of such software as it may land the Company into serious trouble.

Law on Line

The need for cyber law literacy will be of critical importance in the years to come, ...Article in The Hindu

The Future is in Patents

The future of Indian IT industry is dependent on how the industry is able to harness the IP regime to is advantage. Traditionally Indian Companies have not been keen on protecting their Intellectual Properties and are rather happy to make a fast buck as a Cyber Coolie. Nasscom has once again urged the IT Companies to focus on this issue. Some Companies have started looking at Copyright protection of their software. However it should be recognized that the real protection is available only through Patents and not copyright. Further obtaining Patent for Software is an "Art". Structuring the patent application for a reasonable chance of success requires "Techno-Legal Understanding" of the functional components of a software. Even more important is that a Patent application has to be made in time before publication or marketing commences and hence should be part of the software development process in a Company and not an afterthought. Sooner our Companies realize the importance of Patents, better it is for them.

Related Article: Patents can give IT firms a competitive edge: Karnik

Microsoft Threatened by Lindows?

Microsoft has initiated Trademark action against Lindows stating that the name is "Similar to Windows". Perhaps this indicates a perception of threat for Windows...More iN ET

Calling Attention of HRD Managers

The Nasscom_IDC survey of employment opportunities has created ripples in the HRD circles. In particular, the HRD managers of IT companies who are recruiting an army of software professionals fresh from the College have been jolted with the statements such as " Employment Opportunities for Information Security Professionals is 5 times that of IT professionals" and "Salary for Information Security Professionals is 200 % of the normal IT professionals.".

In India where the importance of Information Security is sinking in slowly, the time has come for HRD managers to take stock of the HRD planning in their respective organizations to check if their recruitment policies are in tune with the global trend....More

Towards Better Cyber Law Literacy

In order to make Cyber Law Education more widespread, Cyber Law College has substantially brought down the cost of its Certificate Course in Cyber Law. Now a comprehensive Cyber Law Course is available through the Internet from Cyber Law College at only Rs 2000/-. Check here for Details.

720 pages of Comprehensive Coverage on Cyber Laws

Naavi's "Cyber Laws in India..ITA-2000 and Beyond", first E-Book on Cyber Laws to be published in India consisting of 720 pages of comprehensive coverage on Cyber Laws and relevant issues, available for online purchase at RS 300/- in download form and at RS 400/- on CD.

 For more information click here.

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