Naavi has been nominated to the panel of Experts for evaluating Content for Manthan Award from the States of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Andamans and Nicobar. Suggestions for the award may kindly be sent to Naavi for evaluation as per the terms of the award.
Open Source Enthusiasts Question Karnataka initiative
The recent announcement of the Karnataka Government to go ahead with Microsoft platform for e-Governance projects has raised criticisms from Open Source Enthusiasts. It has been cited by some that Companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Mindtree and Encore had good Open source development skills which has been ignored. However, it may be noted that except for Encore the major software Companies in India such as Infosys have never shown any inclination to work in the e-Governance segment for reasons of their own. Perhaps the decision of Karnataka Government would instill a sense of urgency for these Companies to devote attention in this direction...Report in CIOL : Related Articles: Buying Process Modification and Optimal Solutions
Complaint Registered in Trisha Case
The Cyber offence regarding circulation of a video clipping of Cine Actress Trisha which was considered obscene and defamatory has now taken a new angle. A Tamil magazine called Nettrikann has reproduced the alleged film frame by frame in print and given it wide publicity with posters being displayed in Chennai and perhaps in other parts of Tamil Nadu. A complaint has now been filed with Chennai Police in this regard and it is reported that the Editor of the magazine has been arrested today. (28th December 2004)
Calling Attention of Nasscom, CII and FICCI
Now that the heat of the Bazee.com issue has come down, it is time to think about "What Next"?. As the new year dawns, Naavi.org urges industry organizations such as Nasscom, CII and FICCI to join hands with Cyber Law College and Cyber Society of India to promote the concept of Cyber Law Compliance. Cyber Law College has already developed a basic structure for CyLawCom audits and is preparing CyLawCom examiners who will possess the necessary expertise to conduct such audits and guide the commercial establishments. Cyber Society of India, a not for profit organization of the Netizens, for the Netizens and by the Netizens is prepared to provide the certification programme for the establishments. If the industry organizations associate themselves with such private initiatives, it is possible to develop industry specific CyLawCom programmes for implementation.
Shall we hope that the year 2005 will see some action in this regard?..Naavi
Tsunami Strikes Chennai
The disaster that struck Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu as well as several parts of South East Asia on December 26th, 2004 around 8.45 am (+0530) will long remain in the memory of Chennaites as the biggest disaster ever to pass nearby. I vividly recall the unforgettable scene in the film Poseidon Adventure which I saw on the screens of a theater in Mysore nearly 3 decades back where the Tsunami was first introduced to me. Now we have seen the real destructive powers of a Tsunami which even at a distance of 1700 Kms from the epi-center, has claimed over 10,000 lives in a flash.
The Marina will never be the same again for the Chennaites of this generation.
Let God provide strength to all those who lost their near and dear to bear the sudden tragedy that has struck their lives.
It was however painful that the possibility of occurrence of a Tsunami was foreseen at least two hours before it hit the shores of Chennai since it is a natural and definite occurrence when the earthquake happens in the Sea. Yet, no warning could be given to the potential victims despite all the Information Technology gadgets we have. This is a definite failure of those in the Meteorology departments in several countries who could have foreseen the possibility. Hope we learn from our mistakes and prevent recurrence of such disaster in future.
Managing Business Legally
"It is strange that people are demanding to take aid of the American System, whereas the matter has authoritatively and conclusively decided by the Supreme Court in various cases that arose under different statutes. "..Says Praveen Dalal, the Delhi based High Court Advocate, while analysing the provisions regardiang "Due Diligence" rquirements in Section 85 of ITA-2000. ...Full Story
Masala board To Become Porn Free
In an interesting and positive development to the recent discussions, the administrator of Masalaboard.com has urged the users not to post hardcore pornographic links. The full notice is reproduced here for information. This is a good beginning. Hope the users follow the notice and the administrators follow up on violations.
Are We Serious in Fighting Obscenity on Internet?
Despite the media hype generated by Bazee.com which resulted in a high level of awareness in India that there is a law which requires web site owners to take Cyber Law Compliance measures, there are a set of people in the industry who continue to break the law with impunity..A NY based Indian expresses concerns about the websites masalaboard.com, pakkadesi.com, indianmasala.com etc...Full Story
The Vulnerability of E-Commerce
"The concept of e-commerce is not a golden path to advantages and profit making. It may attract the wrath of law, both civil as well as the criminal, where it is not conducted properly. It must be noted that none has a right to carry on the business in a wrongful, immoral or/and illegal manner. An idyllic business activity must be not only morally sound but it must equally be legally justified. A right without limitations cannot be visualised in a civilised and democratic country like India."
..In a hard hitting reminder to the E-Commerce industry, Praveen Dalal, the Delhi Based Advocate analyses the need for tradeoff between the benefits and risks associated in the engagement of e-commerce activities....Full Story
"C2C auction site is a Mine filed of Cyber Law Risks"
Thanks to the tremendous support received from the Industry, Bazee.com CEO was able to get bail in the MMS case. Unfortunately however, a new trouble front seems to have opened against Bazee.com, with the complaint on "Hawking of Imitation Goods". The case being investigated by the Mumbai Police now raises further questions on the "Non Compliance of Cyber Laws and Its Consequences on an Auction Site".
The question therefore arises if in the interest of E-Commerce, blanket protection be given to all E-Commerce players against third party frauds committed through them or in their names.
What Needs to be done?.....Full Story
Consistency in Criminal Justice Approach Required
The recent bazee.com case has created a precedent in the administration of the Criminal justice system which needs to be be noticed.
The pressure brought in by the Industry and the foreign Government and supported by the media was avoidable.
Such pressures could lead to inconsistencies in the administration of justice by bringing undue expectations of the Police and the Judiciary and needs to be discouraged.
The Threats of Obscenity and Pornography
Mr Praveen Dalal, a Delhi based advocate analyses the ramifications of the Information Technology Act, 2000 on website owners in this well researched article. He regrets " They have not deemed it necessary to make their dealings in cyberspace as cyber law compliant. This apathy on their part may put them into trouble, as ignorance of law is no excuse."..Detailed Story
Dont' Raise the bogey.."Law is Wrong"
True to expectation, the intense pressure brought by the industry and more so by the US administration had its desired effect. Mr Avnish Bajaj got bail after agreeing to certain conditions that he would not flee the country etc.
The call for "Change the IT laws", first mooted by Mr Amit Mitra, Secretary General of FICCI and acknowledged by Mr Narayana Murthy of Infosys and Mr Kamal Nath, the honourable Minister for Commerce have also missed the point that even if they can change the IT law (Say with retrospective effect) , the case may still continue on the strength of IPC.
By applying pressure on the Police and Judiciary, and getting a short term relief, it appears that the Industry captains have done a disservice to the Criminal Investigation system in the Country and shown that it can be made to buckle under pressure. It would have been better if they had worked for long term goals of defining the "Need For Arrest" and "Need for Special Provisions for the remanded prisoners" than use the bogey of "Law is Bad " argument...Full Story
Cine Actress Case...Morphing Suspected
In the Chennai case on the alleged circulation of a CD said to contain a clipping of a Cine Actress taking bath in a Hotel room, the actress appears to have denied that she is the person in the film . This raises interesting questions as to what is the legal position of the crime.
If the face of the person found in the film is not similar to that of the actress, then it is only a speculation that the film relates to her and it could be one of the many such clippings available on the Net. It could still be considered an offence to circulate the clipping in India, though it would be difficult to proceed against any foreign website that might have hosted the clipping.
If it is alleged that the face is morphed, then the actress has a case. However, I suppose morphing the face in a movie clipping is not the same as morphing the face in a still photograph. It may require far more skill and investment for such an effort.
If however the clipping is real, then the actress has a definite case but cannot publicly disown that the film is genuine. Surely a dilemma which she could have done without.
Should Law Takes Its own Course?
It is natural that Nasscom, FICCI, as well as the US Secretary of State argue that the action of Delhi Police in arresting the Bazee CEO was unwarranted.
But let us not forget, that Police had very little choice but to go ahead with the arrest since this is an established practice in the country. ...Full Story
Cine Actress Registers Case
In what could be another major DPS-MMS type offence, a well known Cine Actress Trisha has filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police Station in Chennai on the circulation of an objectionable allegedly morphed video of hers. This relates to the circulation of a video file said to contain a video clipping of the actress taking bath in a Hotel room. It is stated that the clipping was available both on the Internet as well as the local video market. Recent issue of Junior Vikatan, a Tamil magazine had carried a report on the incident
The actress has reportedly denied that the video is genuine and hence the possibility of investigation about the creation of the video in the Hotel which might have been involved becomes redundant.
One of the recognized offences is the publishing and distribution of a video in electronic form under section 67 of ITA-2000. If "Morphing" can be established, there could be an offence of "Hacking" under Section 66 of ITA-2000. If "Morphing" cannot be established, Section 66 fails but investigation for identifying the actual Hotel involved can continue....Report in Deccan Chronicle
Understand the Existing IT Laws before seeking Change
The arrest of the Bazee.com CEO has sparked of a knee jerk reaction from the industry with a call for change of IT laws.The laws as they are now are yet to be understood by the industry and it is premature to call for a change.
ITA-2000 has some strengths of its own which can protect the industry. For example the concept of "Due Diligence" is a moving target meeting of which could protect them. It is open to the Court to imply that what bazee.com has done is within the meaning of due diligence at present in which case they stand protected under Sections 79 and 85 of ITA-2000..
Just because the Police tend to mis-interpret provisions in the pre-trial stage, it is incorrect to say that the law is weak. Similarly, if the industry does not know how to present electronic evidence as per the provisions of Section 65 B of Indian Evidence Act and they lose their bail application, we cannot blame the law.
If Bazee.com had understood the Cyber Law Risks in its business and deployed a proper Cyber Law Compliancy programme, then they would not have been in the present Stage. Even then, I feel that this is a temporary discomfiture for the CEO and there will be relief at the trial stage.
If industry bodies such as FICCI and CII implement suitable plans of action to implement a Cyber Law Compliance Programme across its member organizations, there would be no problems of the kind we are now witnessing.
What is Due Diligence?..2 (Effect of Section 85 of ITA-2000)
Section 85 refers to cases when it is established that a Cyber Crime has been committed by an organization and proceeds to define the responsibilities of the individuals including the Directors or CEOs....."Due Diligence" is understood as "the level of judgment, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances."..Full Story
What is Due Diligence?..1..Effect of Section 79 of ITA-2000
The recent developments in the Cyber Law interpretation has brought us to the doorsteps of an important discussion on "What is Due Diligence" according to ITA-2000?...In the context of the Information Technology Act 2000 (ITA-2000), it is relevant to consider the references made to the "Due Diligence" can be seen in the sections 79 and 85....If any view that an "Auction Website is not an Intermediary under Section 2(w) of ITA-2000" is to be accepted, it would mean that Section 79 of ITA-2000 has to be discarded lock stock and barrel...Full Story
Outrage Expressed at bazee.com CEO arrest
The arrest of Bazee.com CEO, denial of his Bail and remand for 14 days has raised the heat in the Netizen circles. ...The image that the Delhi Police project through the handling of this case and the standards that the Judiciary will set for this Case will attract worldwide attention.
...Questions are being asked whether the arrest was necessary ...Details
Bazee Bite Wakes Up Sify
The arrest of bazee.com CEO has put other portals on guard. Sify which until 17th carried an "Erotica Store" and was putting products on sale has today stated "There is no product in this category". Hope India's biggest pornographic web portal namely the timesof india.com also wakes up.(See: Advertising Code?..or Section 67 of ITA 2000?).
The DPS Saga..Some reflections
"..Fellow students claim the girl wanted to be 'cool' and gain some instant popularity. Unfortunately for them, the film reached the Principal who expelled the two... It is being said that on being questioned by the Principal, both students did not appear to be ashamed of what they had done. In fact, the girl even reportedly retorted, "Who doesn't do it? Haven't you done it?" The boy is equally nonchalant about what he had done, according to his peers. ..."
These are the revelations of a concerned observer of the episode. This indicative trend of the current generation of our children is truly alarming. ..More
Are Mobile Phone Service Providers Liable?
An interesting debate has ensued on the liability of Mobile Phone Service Providers in issues such as the distribution of MMS clippings which may violate Section 67 of the ITA-2000. Similarly, the issue of "Whether a Portal Owner Is Responsible for Contents within a Video sold in his site" is also being debated.
In short, it can be categorically stated that both these issues should be covered under Section 79 of the ITA-2000 and unless "Lack of Due Diligence" is proved, the service providers should be considered as protected. Portal owners should however be careful on what they say in the introduction to a product and whether it conveys knowledge of the illegal content.
In the excitement sorrounding the media interest in the DPS case, there is a danger of the offence being blown out of proportion. Care should be taken to ensure that this does not create any precedents which may come to haunt the Netizen community in the long run. ..Related Article in rediff.com
Buyers of DPS Video also being Arrested
According to the report in TOI, Delhi Police are in the process of arresting people who purchased DPS Video on the Net. At the same time, the person who created it in the first place and was the origin of the distribution, is yet to be arrested. The appropriateness of the arrest of persons who bought the clip is debatable since it is not subject to the provisions of Section 67 of ITA-2000. It is doubtful even if Section 292 of IPC would be applicable to such persons.
Related Articles: Sify.com : Express India : TOI : HT
IT Lab Set Up in Chennai by ICAI
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in India has set up an IT Lab in Chennai with a view to give it's members, hands on training in IT Security Audit. Inaugurating the facility today (17th December 2004), Mr Sunil Goyal, President of ICAI highlighted the need for CA's to adapt to the changing business environment...More
Will ITA-2000 be Amended to protect IPR on Database?
It is reported that an amendment is being contemplated by the Government of India in ITA-2000 to provide some extraordinary protection to foreign data base owners.
It is reported that according to reliable sources, Section 2 of the IT Act be amended to ensure that the database of the foreign companies are protected and the amendment in this Section has become necessary in view of oft-repeated complaints of large MNCs abroad that their Indian counterparts pirate their data in a manner that accrue them commercial benefits during the course of their business transactions.
It may be stated here that ITA-2000 is not the legislation that should be tinkered with for "Copyright Protection" even if such a measure is necessary. Secondly, it is the Indian entrepreneurs who need protection from the irresponsible use of IPR under the WTO regime and the reported objective of the legislation if true is regrettable. I wish that the Expert Committee supposed to have been appointed for this purpose does not allow themselves to be used to serve vested interests...Related Article in BL
BBC To Take Action on the Attempted Fraud
A few days back, naavi.org had reported an attempted Nigerian mail type fraud using an article appearing in bbc.co.uk as a supporting information. BBC authorities have confirmed that they have initiated some legal action in this regard..
Netizens are once again warned to keep away from any such offers from strange persons....Related Article
Bazee.Com CEO Arrested
As a follow up to the arrest of the IIT student for selling DPS video on the Bazee site, it is reported that the CEO of bazee.com has now been arrested. It was sad to hear the IIT student admit before camera that he would not have indulged in the act if he had known that it was illegal. Unfortunately, ignorance of law is not considered an offence. When ignorance is exhibited by otherwise educated persons, it is difficult to pardon it.
But I would like to re-iterate that the parents and teachers are to be blamed for the ignorance of the young students since making Computer users "Cyber Law Aware" is part of the Computer education process.
Yet Another Privacy Violation Charge
In what is a repeat of some of the recent reportings using a Camera Mobile to capture sexually explicit pictures of Celebrities and publishing and distributing them on the Internet, a Mumabi tabloid is reported to have published some picture of a well known actress Kareena Kapoor. It is understood that the actress is taking legal action alleging that the picture is fake...Details in IE
Australian Police Gets Powers to Install Spyware
In an attempt to arm the Police with statutory powers to install surveillance software such as Key Loggers and Trojans, Australia has enacted a law under Surveillance Devices Act. The move is frought with risks of misuse and could cause problems in the days to come. Details
Wise Techies realize that Law Can Bite
The arrest of an IIT Kharagpur student in connection with the sale of obscene videos through Internet should open the eyes of Technology Intoxicated youth of the day who show scant respect for law. It is one thing to oppose any law as unfair, unnecessary or even bad. But violating law is a risk not worth taking for making a fast buck or to satisfy personal ego or just as a show of adventurism...Details in TOI
US Video Voyeurism Bill Goes for President's Signature
It is interesting to note that while a hot debate is happening in India on the irresponsible use of Camera Phones or other means to capture photographs or videos in violation of normal limits of decency and privacy rights, a law is about to be enacted in US. Called the Video Voyeurism Protection Act 2004 , this act makes it a crime to surreptitiously capture images of people in situations in which they have an expectation of privacy. Under the new law, video voyeurism committed on federal lands would be punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both..More
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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