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Data Protection Legislation in India

With the increasing pressures from the US market on reducing the outsourcing of IT jobs to India, there is a need for the Indian BPOs to look at other countries including EU countries for the next wave of BPO business. EU Countries have however been very strict on the "Privacy Rights" of individuals and maintain a strong Data Protection regime. If Indian Business has to harness the opportunities from EU there is therefore a need to satisfy the requirements of the EU data protection act.

Considering the importance of the legislation there is a need for a serious debate on the proposals before a law is passed. Naavi.org therefore opens a discussion on the subject and invites comments from the public.

As food for thought, we have the well researched article of Mr Praveen Dalal which is published along side this article. : DATA PROTECTION LAW IN INDIA: A CONSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Your comments are welcome...Naavi

MD5 Hash Algorithm Cracked?

Researchers in China are reported to have identified a flaw the MD5 hash algorithm which is one of the standard algorithms approved by the Information Technology Act 2000 for the purpose of Digital Signatures in India. It is however necessary to appreciate that any algorithm will be subjected to research analysis and in due course could be broken.

These are basically theoretical predictions  and there is no need for unnecessary panic and false alarms. At the same time it may be said that the research underscores the need for continuous research and improvement in the algorithms as also finding of new algorithms.. More

VSNL under Tatas ...More Inefficient?

The Indian ISP service has never treated its customers with respect as "Consumers". With the taking over of VSNL by Tatas and further taking over of Dishnet by Tata VSNL, there is a huge monopolistic interest built by Tatas in the ISP industry. This is reflecting in the erosion of efficiency and onset of customer unfriendly policies. In order to represent the interests of Netizen's interests as Consumers of ISP service, there is need for an consumer organization that focuses it's attention on the needs of ISP customers.  Naavi.org invites participation of other consumer organizations in developing a body that can represent the interests of ISP customers. Suggestions in this regard are welcome.

Cyber Cafe's to Check Identity of Users in Karnataka

A notification issued under the signature of the Governor of Karnataka recently has notified a set of rules for Cyber Cafes called the Information Technology  (Karnataka)   Rules 2004. Under the rules it will be mandatory for the Cyber Cafe owners to maintain a visitor's register and check the identity of the Cyber cafe users with a photo identity card...Detailed Notification

Is CBI  A Bottleneck for Cyber Crime Investigations ?

It is well known that a large proportion of Cyber Crime Investigations involve information to be gathered from foreign ISPs. In all such cases in India, the CBI is the nodal agency to route the request from the local Police to the Interpol. However, with the preoccupations of CBI in the other cases, it appears that there is an inevitable delay in CBI acting on such requests. A direct result of this is the loss of faith for the public on the Cyber Crime Investigation capability of the Police.

It is therefore necessary that CBI should set up a separate agency for Cyber Crime Coordination   to assist the State Police in International investigations or suggest some alternative means by which State Police could gather the information required at Cyber Speed. Can we expect some positive action from CBI?

Un Digitally Signed E-Mail Rejected as Evidence

It is reported that a Tax Tribunal has rejected e-mail correspondence as evidence due to lack of "Signature". The case opens up discussions on how an e-mail which is not digitally signed may be produced as acceptable evidence in an Indian Court of Law.....Details in Hindu Business Line

Data Protection Act..The Pros and Cons

Naavi.org is in the process of collecting views from the public on the need for and the nature of the required legislation for "Protection of Privacy Rights of Individuals in Cyber Space" or what is normally in the domain of "Data Protection Act".

While the Human Right Activists would like a strong flavour of protection, the Security requirements of the country require the legislation to give sufficient scope to the law Enforcement Authorities. Finding a balance is the tough job for the legislators.

I urge interested professionals to submit their views for consolidation and publication at Naavi.org. It is proposed that if there is a good response to this public opinion gathering exercise, a seminar on the theme of "Data Protection Legislation and Its impact on BPO business in India " may be held in Chennai to formulate a recommendation that can be submitted to the Government.

It may be recalled that Naavi had organized similar exercises in the past on ITA-2000 through the Netizen's forum and on Communication Convergence Bill through New Media Forum. The present activity is planned to be taken up with the assistance of the Cyber Society of India. . ....More

Internet Banking and Cyber Law Implications

Though the ITA-2000 has been in effect for nearly 4 years, the Indian Banking industry has been ignoring its impact on the computerized Banking operations. One of the reasons for this is that the Banks are captive in the hands of the software companies who have supplied the Banking software. Unfortunately, the big names involved in the production of Banking software have been avoiding the upgradation of the Banking software with Cyber Law Compliance aspects. The legal effect of this negligence by the IT industry is exposing the Banks to an avoidable risk arising due to non compliance of Cyber Laws.

Naavi has been advocating the CyLawCom Certification for Banks to mitigate this kind of risks. The response from Banks and the Banking software developers is still lukewarm to the suggestion. The general tendency that " If Every body in the industry is negligent, then it becomes a norm. Let us face the consequences" is prevalent in these circles.

Hopefully the Banking Industry realizes the enormity of the legal consequences arising out of the use of the current versions of the Banking software sooner and before some huge liability hits them.

Mr Praveen Dalal, the Delhi based legal practitioner discusses the impact of ITA-2000 on Internet Banking in this article......The Article

Judicial Review..Nuisance or Necessity

Praveen Dalal, Delhi based legal pactitioner discusses the role played by the Indian judiciary in the establishment of an orderly and civilized society in this article. The article also attempts to trace and identify the true nature of judicial review as prevailing in India...The Article

Copyright on Inline Drawing

A few days back, we had received a query on copyright law applicable to inline drawing from a journalist. Mr Praveen Dalal, had submitted a response which should be of interest to the Netizens in general. The response

Mobile Phone Virus..Through Games

A mobile phone virus which sends SMS messages to  premium telephone numbers at the cost of the phone user has been reported from US. The virus, which only affects phone running the Symbian operating system, spreads via an illegally modified version of the mobile phone game Mosquitos, calling itself Mosquito v2. ....Details at snpx.com

Digital Forgery Detector

Manipulation of digital photos is a type of Cyber Crime which bothers Cyber Crime investigators. It is now reported that Hany Farid, a computer science professor at Dartmouth, analysts are working on the development of a  technology that allows them to identify manipulated digital images. Report in darmouth.com

MTNL becomes a CA

MTNL joined the select band of companies registered as Certifying Authorities in India. Presently SafeScrypt, TCS, NIC and IDRBT were the only licenced CAs. It is reported that MTNL is pricing the entry level certificates at RS 250/- per year...Report in Hindu

Bangalore Cyber Cafes asked to take Digital Photos of visitors

In a drastic move that could anger the privacy protagonists, the Cyber Crime PS in Bangalore has recommended to the State Government to make it mandatory to photograph all Cyber Cafe visitors...Report in The Observer.

Even the Broad Band may Choke !

In recent days some attention is being paid to usher in an era of broad band internet connectivity in India. While the availability of broad band is expected to be of immense use to the development of E-Business and also better communication and management of business in general, it is necessary to focus on another aspect of I-Governance which needs to be addressed in tandem, namely getting allocation of the required "Domain Name and Number Space".

I urge MCIT to take some urgent steps to get nominations from India reach ICANN in time and then work towards further involvement in the IPV 6 implementation as also overhaul the Indian Domain Name System...More

Another Fraud of which You should be Careful

It is unfortunate that Netizens in India are being exposed to a series of fraud attempts in recent times and  despite discussions and alerts posted in fora like this, there is a distinct possibility of many innocent Netizens being adversely affected.  I am now referring to another fraud attempt reported to me through a mail received from a Netizen in Delhi for which I have given my advice as I thought fit. I suppose other Netizens would be cautioned in dealing with such enquiries. . Details

The Glimpses  of Copyright Law in India

Traditionally the concern of copyright law was limited to books, music, paintings or films. Copyright protection has now taken new dimensions and today it extends to even computer software and compilations of data...Praveen Dalal analyses the current status of Copyright Law in India from the perspective of the Copyright Act and ITA-2000...Detailed Article

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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