December 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002

Wishing You A Happy New Year

The Indian Post Office Amendment Bill...The New Terror to Netizens

As the year 2002 ends and a new year dawns, a threat lurking on the horizon needs to be brought into the attention of the Indian Netizens. This comes in the form of the Indian Post Office Amendment Bill  which is due for passage in the Parliament and which could affect E-Mail services and E-payment services........More

Canadian Business Opposes E-Commerce Tax

E-Commerce Taxation is under discussions in India as elsewhere round the globe. Here is a view on the Canadian E-Commerce tax proposal which is of interest to Indian observers. advocates that instead of trying to tax E-Commerce at this stage of development in India, we need to create an E-Commerce tax haven and attract Internet related business into India. There seems to be some opportunity at this point of time which may vanish if not taken advantage of.

Article in Global

Amsterdam Icann meet

The Amsterdam meet of ICANN which was held on December 14th and 15th of December passed off with no major surprises. The meeting formalized the transition of the old Board of directors to the new Board as recommended by the Evolution Reforms Committee. A set of new bye laws has been adopted which effectively reduces the At Large participation in the management off ICANN has been adopted.

The Absurdity of IPR To the Fore Once Again

The trade marking of the word Vastu in Gernany has once again brought to the forefront the absurdities behind a global interpretation of local IPR rights. The solution lies in creating a "IPR Security Blanket" for India so that such absurdities do not hurt Indian rights. If India remains a mute spectator to this cult of IPR predators, then there are several beautiful Sanskrit words which may be trademarked and commercially exploited against us. Do we have the guts to take on the world on this issue?

Article in TOI

Digital Certificates and Affordability

Here is a letter received from Safe Scrypt clarifying some points raised in our article of December 16, 2002.

I thank Mr Urmez Daver for the clarifications and look forward to the introduction of the new classes of digital certificates.......Click Here for the Letter

Is This an Indian Version of HIPAA?

There are several Indian software vendors who are having Hospital related products and doctor related products. These software vendors should remember that their products will become obsolete once the Telemedicine laws become effective and the users want to migrate to the new systems....More

Telemedicine Legislation and Digital Divide

In analyzing any new legislation or a Government project, meant to transform the society, it is necessary to consider ...Will the new legislation increase the divide between the Digital haves and Digital have nots?

.....At present there are no clear indications in the guidelines that it has recognized  the needs of Indian rural sector for better health delivery...It is therefore suggested that the Standards mentioned in the guidelines are reviewed.............More

The Essential Impact of the Telemedicine Legislation

In order to enable the public to understand the impact of the proposed legislation and to contribute suggestions on the same, a summary of its impact is provided here in....................................More

Are We Ready for Telemedicine Regulation?

The scope of Cyber Laws in India is set to expand significantly with the proposed law on Telemedicine. The draft guideline has been released for public comments as a prelude to further legislation.

Just as has been presenting new Indian legislations in Cyber Law area for public assimilation right from mid 1999 when Information Technology bill 1999 was available, the impact of the Telemedicine laws will also be discussed in these columns. ................................................................More

Let Compliancy Replace Complacency

...One of the main action points that should follow now is to find a means of how such country risks can be covered...If the country risk has to be insured, who will provide the insurance?...What is the role of ECGC in Software export contracts?...What role Nasscom can play in developing such an insurance cover?

The next blow on the Indian software industry and their information asset base will come in the form of Trade Mark, Copyright and Patent Right attacks on the Products, Services, and Domain Names of Indian software companies.........................................................More

Let Arresting of Corporate Executives Stop

No responsible software company wants to violate the laws of any country whether it is Indian or foreign. However, violation of laws do happen...and now every one knows that the consequences are very unpleasant...One of the lessons that we should draw as a nation therefore is to avoid physical arrests of corporate executives for the offences of a Company in the usual course of business...........More

Software Companies Cannot Drop Their Guard

The growing aggression of some Companies in protecting their legal rights and resorting  to pressing criminal charges against executives on whom the law enforcers can lay their hands for the moment as against resolving the dispute through more civilian means  characterizes the Polaris and Elcom soft cases.

It is therefore necessary  for all software companies to develop a system whereby every commercial quotation is weighted for not only the possible uncertainties in manpower and time estimates but also the legal risk factor. ...................More

E-Bridge Centers to promote Self Employed E-Entrepreneurs

With the initiatives taken by the International Trade Center Geneva and India Trade Promotion Organization, there is a renewed focus on the activities and welfare of the Small Scale and tiny Sector industries in India. ..If the efforts of ITC and ITPO have to succeed, there is a need for reversing the current trend of disillusionment amongst SME entrepreneurs and encouraging E-Entrepreneurship. therefore suggests a few measures..., intends to create a network of "E-Bridge Centers" which will provide the E-Entrepreneurs a "Zero Capital Cost" access to the physical infrastructure required to harness the knowledge resources...........More

E-Trade Bridge Training Programmes to Be Launched

Naavi's Cyber Law College which was a pioneering Cyber Law Education venture has decided to launch a series of workshops aimed at SME s to enable them integrate E-Strategies to their business proposition.

This follows the recent Tamil Nadu initiatives under the E-Trade Bridge Programme of the ITC, Geneva and ITPO, India................Details

Polaris Chief Out of Detention

With the reported intervention of the Prime Minister of India, Mr Arun Jain, the CEO of Polaris has been released from detention in Indonesia though his passport has been impounded for the time being. He has been handed over to the embassy. He was released early morning of 20th after a weeks detention.

The incident has however attracted international attention to the rogue behaviour of Indonesia as a country where business disputes are likely to be settled with the arrest of visiting corporate executives.

Polaris Chief Still in Jail

Despite the intervention of the Indian Foreign minister, the Polaris executives continued to be held captive by Indonesian Police. is  happy however to note that Nasscom has  decided on some action plan .................More

Now Indian IT Companies Start Thinking

The Polaris shock has now forced Indian IT industries and the industry organizations such as Nasscom, CII and MAIT to start thinking about Country Risks, Legal Compliance etc. Let's hope the companies can forget their commercial differences while working on a common strategy to protect Indian assets in foreign land.......More in TOI

Elcomsoft Held Not Guilty

In a notable verdict, the Jury held that Elcomsoft the Company for which Dmitry Skylarov worked for and was arrested in California on the basis of Adobe's complaint was not guilty. The verdict comes as  a welcome relief to all those who consider that IPR litigations are becoming too vexatious.................More at

ISP s Liability on E-Mails Questioned has brought to the attention of the Netizens how the policies of ISPs make e-mails of customers vanish into thin air, how they force customers to change their digital IDs, all in an effort to beat the spamsters. The case of a New York based TV producer Nancy Carter suing her ISP for damages to the extent of US $ 110,000 should be a news which may now shake up Indian ISP s from their anti-consumer policies.....Detailed Story in Business Line

Earlier Articles at

Block Spam Not Customers!!!  : Please Do not Play around with Digital Identities :

Can an ISP lock away your e-mails?

Some Questions Nasscom Should Answer

Following the Polaris CEO's arrest in Indonesia and a claim of US $10 million against the Company, it has become necessary to assess the total exposure of all Indian IT companies in contracts in Indonesia.

...In this connection we would like to know if Nasscom has made a survey of Which all Indian companies have entered into contracts with Indonesian counterparts, What is the total value of the contracts, What are the legal liabilities agreed to and How India can meet claims of compensation such as what has been claimed from Polaris etc............

This is Business Terrorism

The arrest of Polaris CEO in a business dispute should have shaken up most corporate executives in India doing business abroad. Particularly companies doing business with countries where a democratic system of Governance is absent will be at the mercy of the ruling junta at all times.

...While the Indian Government under the persuation of Mr Pramod Mahajan can be expected to do its best, the industry has to move the International community to combat this "Business Terrorism"............More

Legal Negligence Can Be Devastating

The unfortunate and shocking incident of the Polaris CEO Mr Arun Jain's arrest in Indonesia should be an eye opener for the Indian IT industry on the consequences of ignoring the legal risks in business.

....Now apart from taking immediate tactical steps to get Mr Arun Jain released, it is necessary for the Indian Government to take suitable steps to ensure long term measures which try to generate warning signals when "Risk" is building up in a business deal............More

Rs 15000/- per year for Digital Contract Empowerment?

It is two years since ITA-2000 became effective. Since then, Netizens in India are dreaming about signing E-contracts with Digital Signatures.

But can we afford a Digital Certificate at Rs 15000/- per annum? , Why should the Rs 500/- per year certificate of Safescrypt be invalid? Is there not a case for making simple e-mail verified Certificates valid in law so that public will get digital certificates at Rs 500/- or Rs 250/- per annum and not at Rs 15000/- per annum?

...are some of the questions for which Netizens of India are seeking answers...........More

Will Microsoft Yield Windows Source Code to India?

If as is reported in some circles, Microsoft has agreed to provide Windows source code to India so as to prevent growth of Linux, it is a great news. However, it is not clear if this is just another strategy of Microsoft to win over the State Governments to adopt to Windows platform in the e-Governance projects, against the opposition from informed circles.................More

Brazil is the Largest Exporter of Cyber Terrorism

As per information gathered by security agencies, it appears that Brazil is the largest exporter of Cyber Terrorism in the world. Top 10 most active hacker groups in November emanated from Brazil and the crimes included Identity Theft, Credit Card frauds, IPR violations, Political protests Defacements, etc.

Related Article / Ranking of victim countries (pdf)

What Motivates a Hacker?

According to statistics gathered by Zone-H, 32 % of defacements are motivated by a "Desire to Have Fun". "Patriotism" and "Political" reasons contribute to around 21 %, while 22 % are motivated by a desire for "Challenge".

Perhaps this analysis provides some strategic insights to the reduction of defacements by providing  a "Motivational Bypass" to the potential defacing hackers.

Hacker Forces News Paper Editor to  Resign

A hacker has exposed the contents of a confidential e-mail of a Durban newspaper editor in which he had passed adverse comments on many of his colleagues. The exposure has so embarrassed the editor that he may be forced to resign....This should be a lesson to those who use e-mails irresponsibly as well as Corporates who under estimate and ignore Network risks...........Details at Security News Portal

Preventing Online Credit Card Frauds

In a recent case of Credit Card fraud busted by the Chennai Police, it  was found that the Credit card particulars had been stolen from many hotels in several foreign cities such as Singapore.

This highlights that the biggest risk for credit card frauds online is not from online security problems but  from the possibility of the credit card data being stolen offline in a hotel or a shop where the user parts with the card for some time............More

If Software is Insecure, Cyber Entrepreneurs Could be Ripped off

Recently, a security flaw was discovered in a shopping basket software supplied by an Australian firm which could enable a hacker to re-fix prices and offer a discount to oneself. This is indicative of the risks involved in insecure applications which need to be examined and certified by a competent authority before the public can start using it.

This frisking requirement for software is a matter that Indian Cyber  security authorities need to address if India has to avoid its entrepreneurs being ripped off in the Cyber world...........Details at cw360

German Government Warns Against Hidden Cost in Palladium Security

German Government has warned federal agencies set to use upcoming Microsoft's Palladium Security Technology that they may be entering into a high cost commitment arising out of software licensing. 

National Security Administrators in India need to take not of this development very seriously since many of the Indian State Governments have committed to use Microsoft technology during Mr Bill Gate's recent visit to India......Details at : How it works

Does an Employee's E-Mail Space Belong to the Employer?

The case between Intel and Ken Hamidi, its ex-employer in California Supreme Court  is expected to provide a landmark ruling on the ownership of the Cyber Space and the rights of the person providing access to the same. The case discusses "Trespass" by Mr Hamidi by sending e-mails to the employees of Intel. The outcome is eagerly awaited......More in Chicago Tribune

Australian Court Extends Internet Jurisdiction

An  Australian High Court has ruled that  news publisher Dow Jones could be tried in Australia for defamation . The judgment implies that the material on the internet is deemed to have been published in the place it is viewed, not in the country of origin. The decision is a double edged provision that could be welcome for consumers but could be irksome for those who maintain websites.

This could also be yet another means by which resourceful Cyber predators could occupy new areas in Cyber space with full legal protection. We can now see legal cases hoisted in US courts on Indian websites using disputed patent methods for E-Commerce, Hyper linking, Reverse Auction or disputed copyright issues such as News aggregation, Meta Tag Usage, Domain Name disputes etc.....Details in TOI

Tinkering with ITA-2000 with other Laws should be avoided

Information Technology Act-2000 was passed as a special law applicable to electronic documents. It was vide Section 81 of the Act also given overriding powers against other laws. Now, with the passage of the Negotiable Instruments Amendment Act 2002 (NIAA-2002) provisions of ITA-2000 has been subordinated to the provisions of NIAA-2002 in respect of Electronic cheque and Truncated cheques.............More

Is This a Solution to Bridge Digital Divide?

Digital divide creating social and economical distance between the "Digital haves" and "Digital have nots" is a concern of all regulators. The two main causes for widening digital divide are the lack of "Digital Education" and "Cost of Digital Empowerment".

With stricter enforcement of IPR and technological advances which enable remote monitoring of software usage, there has been a substantial reduction of software piracy in the community. However the accompanying increase in cost of digital empowerment is a concern for regulators aiming to reduce digital divide in the community.

In this context, introduction of Linux based computers at US $199 without Windows and "Intel Inside" tags by Walmart is a welcome development.

It is high time that Indian Government explores the possibility of bringing such computers to India too. The aim should be to make multi media, internet enabled desk tops are available at less than Rs 10,000/- before end 2003.........Related Article in HT

Need for Frisking of Software Vindicated

US agencies have been concerned that the enterprise software solution to manage workflow in projects installed in many of the sensitive establishments by Ptech Inc, could have hidden codes providing entry to hackers or for stealing information. The firm is suspected to have AlQueda links.

This vindicates the concern expressed by some time back that all software installed in sensitive Government agencies need to be "Frisked". In due course India needs to set up a system where any software sold in India should pass a mandatory "Security Check". Details of how this can be effectively done needs to be worked out. Your views in this regards are welcome.

Related Articles:

Ptech Inc Raided / Wireless Technology Accused as Terrorist Tool

 ITA-2000 stands amended through NI Act Amendment

The passage of the Negotiable Instruments Amendment Act 2002 (NIAA 2002) in the Parliament has also brought in a significant change to the Information Technology Act 2000 (ITA-2000) bringing Cheques within its purview.........Details Here

Personal Health Data Protection Laws Arrive in India

The draft guideline on Telemedicine released for public comment has cast a responsibility for the state to ensure that, except in limited circumstances, information regarding a person's physical condition, psychological condition, healthcare and treatment shall not be released without his consent. The guidelines also mandate that the transmission of records shall be done in a secure manner and the State shall prohibit unauthorized access to telemedical records and patient information by all appropriate means, including legislation as required by circumstances.

Implementation of these guidelines require passage of a new law on data protection or a law on the telemedicinal practice itself. If so, this will signal the arrival of data protection laws in India.

Medical practitioners should start familiarizing themselves with the requirements of these laws so as to minimize the adverse impact of the laws on them. The guidelines seems to have already picked some ideas from HIPAA of USA and the Indian law when passed, may  follow the principles of HIPAA in incorporating penal provisions for negligence in ensuring the confidentiality of patient information in hospitals.

Doctors should take care !

Digital Signatures Now become relevant to Doctors

With the impending formalization of  Telemedicine practice and Tele Consultancy, it would now become necessary for all electronic records of patients either in storage or in transmission need to be digitally signed by the doctor or operator responsible for the information. In case tele health equipments are programmed to send patient data electronically for tele processing, it would also be necessary for an embedded digital signature system to authenticate such reports.

Non usage of digital signatures would expose the doctors to the risk of being held liable on manipulated data or data corrupted during transit or storage for any technical reasons.

Before the wide spread use of tele medicine, it is therefore necessary for doctors to learn signing of electronic reports.

Telemedicine Draft Guidelines Released for Public Comment

As a part of DIT Initiative for evolution and adoption of Standards for Telemedicine, a draft of the guidelines and standards for telemedicine has been made available for public comments. The draft has been prepared by Apollo Health Street Ltd., (AHSL) a participating member for the committee for "Standard of Digital Information to facilitate implementation of Telemedicine Systems using IT enabled services" Chaired by Secretary, DIT. Any suggestions and comments regarding the draft guidelines may be sent to the following address, Shri.B.S.Bedi, Director, Department of Information Technology, Electronics Niketan, 6 CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi - 110003. Tel / fax: 4360582 E-mail:

Copy of Draft Guidelines

Conflicts in Vulnerabilities Reporting

One of the components of Cyber Space Security is the identification of security vulnerabilities in software applications. .. it is important for security organizations to test software products released by vendors and  inform the user public about the vulnerabilities detected. How this should be done? Is there a right for the vendor for first information and withholding of information to public? Is there a need for regulation from the Government?..etc are issues that need extensive debate.......More

Egypt to Create A Digital Library

In a bid to re-create the Egyptian heritage as one of the oldest civilizations in the globe, Egypt is creating a huge digital library consisting of almost all public web pages posted since 1996. No doubt some IPR zealots will squirm at this attempt at archiving of digital material. This is however a welcome move since knowledge needs to be preserved and made available for the posterity if civilizations have to grow.  India, the only other ancient civilization in the globe should take note of this bold initiative from Egypt to break from the shackles of IPR and create the library. We need to ensure that if similar or related initiatives emerge in India, they should be encouraged and protected from the IPR predators. ......Details

Keep a Watch on the Virus World

One of the most important security threats in the Cyber world today come from the viruses that range from harmless pranks to deadly system crashers and annoying data thieves. Whether we are a home computer user or a business user, information on the latest viruses is of immense use. Equally useful is the information on virus hoaxes that cause unnecessary panic. will now provide instant information to Netizens on the latest viruses found  and virus hoaxes  circulating in the society. This information is brought to you courtesy

We hope the link Keep a Watch on the Virus world will be found useful to the visitors.



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