July 1 -July 31, 2002
Cyber Law College and Delphi Computech Tie Up

 Offline Cyber Law Courses to Commence from August 5 at Pune

Hindustan Times Files a New Report on Blocking of Yahoo, Hotmail Proposal

Without specifically admitting a false report in the first place, Hindustan Times put up a report on August 1, 2002, on the ISPAI meeting clarifying that there is no proposal to block Yahoo or Hotmail. It reiterates however that one ISP did raise the issue of sharing of revenue by such ISPs.

While the issue rests here leaving the journalistic ethics for debate, Netizens need to be on their toes to claim their fundamental Netizen Rights if in future the ISP s again think of any proposals of similar kind.

HT's New Report

ISPAI Secretary Denies Proposal to Block Yahoo and Hotmail.

Mr Amitabh, secretary of ISPAI has stated that the report that appeared in Hindustan Times was totally false and the only discussion that took place was regarding the IP telephony services. Data Infosys which was indicated as the ISP which mooted the idea has also denied the report. Their statements is available here.

The ball now is in the court of Hindustan Times.

Proposal for Blocking Yahoo and Hotmail by Indian ISPs

Yesterday's brief comment on the proposal mooted by some ISP is in India to block popular sites such as Yahoo and Hotmail has evoked wide spread comments. Most of the respondents have found it hard to believe such a proposal could be existing because they see no valid reason for the same.

In order to remove the doubts about the origin of the news report, and to record some views on the likely consequences on the Indian Netizens as well as the ISP s themselves, a more detailed analysis is presented here.

Reader's views are welcome at naavi@vsnl.com


July 28, 2002

Netizens Wake Up !!

In one of the most brazen attempts to curtail the rights of ordinary Netizens, it is reported that some of the ISPs in India are considering blocking Hot Mail and Yahoo services. This ill advised move needs to be opposed by all Netizens since ISP s are only "Intermediaries" and should not usurp the power of "Content Regulation".

If they do, they will be digging their own grave since they would then assume full responsibility for the content delivered including content from international porno sites, fraud sites, and hate sites, and lose protection under Section 79 of the ITA-2000. They will also be open to legal action from the consumers for violation of "Right to Information" and legal action from Hotmail and Yahoo for "Criminal Intimidation and Extortion".

Naavi.com opposes this idea as an "Anti Netizen" move and request all Netizens to record their opposition by sending their views to naavi@vsnl.com.


July 27, 2002

Related Article in Hindustan Time

Should There be a Law Against Disrespecting the Password?

In a society which is transforming from a non Cyber to Cyber operations, problems of adaptations are plenty. The article in Financial Express referred to below highlights the situation in Indian Banks where the staff's ignorance on maintaining the sanctity of passwords is highlighted.

Probably our Banking colleagues should remember that under  ITA-2000, negligent handling of passwords may be construed as "Assisting" in the commission of crimes and can result in  punishment if any crimes result therefrom.

Probably, Bankers need better education on these aspects of Cyber Law so that they start to learn to respect passwords as much as they respect (if not more) the strong room keys.

Related Article  in FE

Copyright Owners To become Authorised Hackers !!

In a move that threatens to snowball into another huge controversy between the Netizens and the music industry, a Bill has been introduced in the US Congress which gives legal authorization to the Copyright owners to hack into the systems of users who use file sharing technology. It would be a sad day if the Bill gets through to be a legislation in USA as it would mean that the Copyright owners would be able to take law into their own hands.

Detailed Article in C Net News

Indian Police Need to Go Hunting on the International Soil

With the passage of Information Technology Act 2000  in India, the country is judicially ready to protect offences against its citizens against Cyber Crimes committed from outside India. Though the section 75 of the IT Act is yet to be invoked in any reported case, it is likely to be invoked for the first time in one of the cases in Coimbatore which Naavi is working on.  Perhaps this would be the first case in India to make an international party, the accused in a Cyber Crime case in India.

After the French challenge on the jurisdiction issue in the Yahoo case, it is now the turn of Italy as the recent article "Internet extends legal reach of national governments" in Silicon Valley.com suggests. With ever increasing Nigerian fraud mails actually emanating from US,  Porno mails from South Korea, Virus mails from Middle East, Credit Card Frauds from all over, the need for Indian Police to to go hunting on the international soil has arrived.

In order to handle the practical issues involved in such investigations, perhaps the Police need to evolve a proper system including how the relevant Investigating officer would be supported with the necessary expertise.

Naav.com invites suggestions from readers on this issue.

What You See Is Not What Was Sent !!

In a strange approach to control of virus on e-mails, Yahoo is reported to be using a content filter mechanism that selectively blocks some words/strings and replaces them with some other string. For example "eval" is said to be replaced with "review". By blacklisting "eval," Yahoo's filter makes words like "evaluate" appear as "ereviewuate.". Similarly, it is stated that  "mocha" was being changed to "espresso" and "expression" was replaced with "statement" even if the phrase appears within a word, all aimed at blocking words that can be used to launch malicious JavaScript codes.

In adopting this system, Yahoo is seriously eroding the integrity of e-mail communication. The legal consequences of such changes on the customers is a matter of debate.

Details in internetnews.com

Karnataka Police to Issue Guidelines for Cyber Cafe

It has been reported that Karnataka Police has formulated a detailed guidelines to be issued under the Information Technology Act 2000, which includes insistence of ID cards for users and probably surveillance cameras. For a department which set off to a flying start with the formation of the Cyber Crime Police Station, this unwise move is an aberration. The legal validity of such an action is suspect and the corresponding benefits that flow are low. The ID Card option is likely to hurt the general image of a Cyber Cafe's as dens where some thing wrong is taking place and ignores the beneficial aspects of a free use of Cyber Cafe by all Citizens.

Details in TOI

Related Article-Can We Declare Cyber Cafe a place of worship?

Madhya Pradesh Police Introduce Online Complaint Filing

In what should be described as the best effort in India so far by the Police to reach out to public through the Internet, MP Police has created a website that enables public to even file online complaints. The site available at http://www.mppolice.nic.in/mpphq/default.asp has information on  wanted criminals, stolen property etc.

Hacktivism, A New Threat? or a Welcome Campaign?

Hacktivism, meaning "Hacking For a Cause" appears to have gained in strength with the recent Hactivismo declaration opposing Censorship of the Internet in some countries such as China and Middle East.

The declaration states that State Sponsored Censorship is a violation of Human Rights and Hacktivists will study the ways and means of circumventing state sponsored Censorship of Internet.

Presently the activism is directed against countries like China and Middle Eastern countries who have adopted extreme steps to monitor the Internet due to political or religious compulsions. Hopefully the hacktivism remains within the bounds of accepted human rights protection and does not become a license for "Cyber Terrorism".

The Declaration

Danish Court Objects to Deep Linking

In a significant court ruling, a Danish Court hearing a complaint of a News Paper publisher has upheld an objection against a search engine site that provided deep linking directly to the articles in the new paper website.

Does Deep Linking deprive the publisher of ad revenue? or Boost it? Is the argument  self defeating and ignores the nature of Cyber Space and Virtual Assets?..

Read the Detailed Comments here

Is it the Beginning of Cyber Retaliation From India

For quite some time, there have been allegations that Pakistani backed hackers are on a systematic attack on Indian Cyber Space in the form of hacking of Indian sites. Now it is reported that a group of Indian hackers have released a virus called Yaha to counter attack Pakistani Government sites.

Detailed article in HT

After Bucharest, What Should India do?

The Bucharest meeting of ICANN can be identified as an important turning point in the history of Internet Governance. (I-Governance)...Under the circumstances, we need to ask ourselves, the question "Where Does India Stand in the I-Governance Administration?".

I therefore urge the Ministry of Communication Technology to immediately appoint a committee to examine the issues involved and take up a concrete proposal for representation of Indian interests in ICANN.                                     See here for more details


July 5, 2002

ICANN Adopts the Nomcom Approach of Governance

Prior to the Bucharest meeting of ICANN, intense debate had been initiated about the process by which the ICANN board was to be constituted and funded. In the run up before the Bucharest meeting, in a well orchestrated maneuver, the participation of the public in the ICANN Board has been marginalized.

We now need to wait and see how the Nomcom committee would be constituted and what action it takes to provide a representation to the At Large Community and how it approaches the issue of At Large Advisory Committee.

Look for the Follow up article: What should India do?

Details Here

Beware of This Worm which is sending e-mails in the name of Naavi

Klez.E is a worm which is very intelligent. It uses E-mail spoofing to spread itself and the message it carries compels the recipient to click on the attachment and pick up the virus. A report on this virus was made in this site a month back and more details have now become available since Naavi's e-mail ID itself has been spoofed.

It has been observed that an e-mail has been sent in the name of Naavi to with the following message:

"Klez.E is the most common world-wide spreading worm. It's very dangerous by corrupting your files.
Because of its very smart stealth and anti-anti-virus technic, most common AV software can't detect or clean it.
We developed this free immunity tool to defeat the malicious virus.
You only need to run this tool once, and then Klez will never come into your PC.
NOTE: Because this tool acts as a fake Klez to fool the real worm, some AV monitor maybe cry when you run it.
If so, Ignore the warning, and select 'continue'.
If you have any question, please mail to me."

The header information on the mail received by me indicates the return path of rrajeev@qatar.net.qa and senders address as naavi@vsnl.co. Since the Computer used by the undersigned has the latest Mcafee Virus scan/shield installed, it is unlikely that the virus could have originated from Naavi's system. Also naavi@vsnl.co is a non existent e-mail address.

Kindly delete the mail immediately and do not click on either the attachment or the link therein.

I will be sending e-mail alerts to all my address book friends in an alternate e-mail address. I will also explore the possibilities of preferring  a complaint with the Indian Police in this regard. Any suggestions on this are welcome.


July 2, 2002 (6.30 am )

Also Read : Beware, This Virus Could be Spoofing Your ID

Are we on the verge of Judicial Revolution in India?

Close on the heels of the changes made to the Civil Procedure Code to speed up judgments, the Chief Justice of India has indicated that Supreme Court may start conducting judicial proceedings online within a short time. According to Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal who was speaking in a function at Hyderabad, Filing of a case in the Supreme Court, its trial and delivery of judgement would be made available online. Advocates from remote areas can either e-mail his or her arguments or put forth their point via tele or video conferencing.

If the initiatives of the Chief Justice materialises, it would be a welcome relief to the public.

ICANN Proposes Grace Period for Domain Name Renewals

In yet another move that will create more problems than solving, ICANN has proposed that a grace period of 30 days should be provided for renewal of Domain names so that those who miss renewals would be able to wake up.

Will this solve the problem? or Complicate it? What is the solution?

Read Here



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