May 1-May 31,2002

From HIPAA to CCL Compliancy

Indian software sector has started feeling the pressure from their International counterparts on legal compliance issues. Compliancy of HIPAA, GLBA and EU directives on data protection  have become quality parameters in the industry. All these and more are part of the Comprehensive Cyber Law Compliancy (CCL) that is the need of the hour. Naavi's Cyber Law College will address this issue with a Corporate Education programme  aimed at IT companies. Contact Naavi for details. 


Audiogalaxy- The Next Napster?

The war between the Meta Society and Cyber Society continues. After RIAA successfully eliminated Napster who made available the peer to peer file sharing technology to its Cyber community, it is now the turn of Audiogalxy to face the music of legal action from RIAA.

Will this fight for supremacy of Meta Society rights over Cyber Society norms  benefit the larger community of Netizens+Citizens? is a question that the we need to answer for the sake of future generations.

More here

Data Protection Laws in India

A recent study has found that more than 40 countries around the world have enacted, or are preparing to enact, laws that protect the privacy and integrity of personal consumer data. India is not however one amongst them.

In framing the laws in this regard, the data protection right of an individual may have to be balanced with the requirement of the law enforcement authorities who are demanding recording of every move that a Netizen makes on the net.

As long as India is a country affected by terrorism of the kind we are presently facing, it will be difficult to pass any strict privacy laws in the country. Rather the POTA will ensure that information can be extracted forcibly if the authorities think it is necessary in the interest of the country.

Details Here Joins ICANN At Large Project

ICANN has taken further steps in ensuring the participation of individual Internet users in the administration of its functions, by enlarging its At Large project.

Cyber Law Solutions Ltd of Naavi will be representing the interests of the Indian Netizens in the At Large outreach programme. Members of the Netizen's Forum, and will be automatically enroled in the process.

I invite more Netizens to enrol themselves at as members to form a community that can represent its views to the ICANN on matters of concern to Indian Netizens.

Details will be made available in this site in due course.


May 23, 2002

A Kids Zone in Cyber Space?

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a proposal to create a kid-friendly Internet zone free of violence, pornography and other adult material.

This is being achieved through creating a domain space where Web sites bearing a "" address which are certified not to contain sexually explicit material, hate speech, violence or other material not suitable for minors.

This is a good move which even India should try to emulate. As a follow up the Internet administration should move all adult material to .xxx or .adult domain name space so that filtering becomes easy and effective.

More Details at HT here

Also Read

Cultural Policing- Creating a Red Light Area on Cyber Space

How to Counter Rogue sites

A Computer Inside Your Body?

In an interesting technical development, successful experiments on implantable chips that deliver medicine to the body are reported to have been carried out on rats.They are expected to be used on humans in future.

This development means that an "intelligent, pre programmed computing device" would take control of a person's health.

There will also be issues whether the functions of the chip would be controlled remotely? If so can the chip be hacked? or virus contaminated? by an electronic pulse from outside?

Details here

Company claims patent on 'millions' of e-commerce sites

A company named Pangea  Intellectual Properties in USA, said to  own patents concerning the display of text and images on e-commerce web sites, as well as a patent covering automated credit checking for online transactions is going about filing patent infringement suits on several companies.

At issue are  patent, number 5,576,951, covering a system "for composing individualized sales presentations created from various textual and graphical information data sources" using "the
retrieval of interrelated textual and graphical information,"  and  patent number 6,289,319, which covers an automated "financial transaction processing system" in which a computer "is programmed to acquire credit rating data relating to the applicant from the credit rating service," according to the filing. 

The implications of these patent claims could be far reaching and we hope that the claim would be disallowed in the interest of the community.

Detailed Story in Industry Standard

Is Software Patentable in India?

The long pending Patents (Second Amendment)  Bill which was passed in India has raised an issue of whether the amendment now makes it possible for Software to be patented in India. According this view,  a generic computer program using a simple calculation or algorithm or a business process can not be patented, but if a software solves a specific technical problem in an innovative way then it can be patented.

Naavi disagrees with this view and states...the inclusion of  the words "Per-se"  is perhaps to make "Hardware Devices using embedded software" patentable when the innovativeness may be more in the functionality of the device which is the property of the software rather than the hardware.

He feels .."We need to therefore wait for more information regarding the amendment before jumping to the conclusion that software is now patentable in India."

Details Here

Lindows to Challenge Windows!!

It appears that the days of monopoly for Microsoft Windows is numbered. Michael Robertson, the founder and former CEO of, aims to offer an alternative to Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system by selling a new program, LindowsOS, which would allow Windows programs to run on the Linux operating system.

As could be expected, Microsoft will fight out this case on all fronts. Presently the legal battle on Trademark rights is on with an attempt by Microsoft to get the website closed.

Unfortunately, the preliminary ruling has even questioned the Trademark right on the word "windows" itself and it is unlikely that the legal battle will go in Microsoft favour. We can now watch out for other interesting battles on the commmercial and technical fronts.

Details Here

Constitutionality of Section 69 of ITA-2000

Section 69 of the ITA-2000 refers to the powers of the State regarding interception of messages. Mr Parthasarathy Pati noted legal analyst from Pune dissects the section and compares with the relevant sections of IPC and Cr Pc and debates on the constitutionality of the section, in a thought provoking article.

Details Here

Another Classic Domain Name Dispute that needs Verify4lookalikes service

The case by Lousiana State University on one of its ex-student Mr Douglas Dorhauer to cease using the domain name is another classic case of domain name right being claimed by a physical entity even when there is no "Consumer Confusion".

Perhaps use of services from would have strengthened the case of the student.  


ISPs wary of ruling on police searches

Web giant Yahoo! Inc and several Internet trade associations filed papers on Monday seeking to overturn a court ruling  requiring police officers to be physically present for search warrants. has in the past advocated that a law such as "Electronic Evidence Act" on the lines of Bankers Book Evidence Act would be a remedy to this problem. May be it is time to re look at this suggestion.


Smart Cards Hacked!

In an alarming revelation,  scientists at Cambridge have discovered that sensitive information stored on a smart card microprocessor can be revealed with a flash of light using inexpensive, off the shelf equipments.

This "Hacking" method raises a question mark on many of the E-Governance issues based on Smart Cards in India. The undersigned has been advocating an alternative method for most of the Smart Card applications now being planned by different State and Central Governments which is far cheaper and more secure. This gains more relevance in the context of the above finding ..

More Here

ITA-2000 should move with W3C Consortium standards

Cyber Laws differ from other laws in many respects. One such difference is in the close interaction technology has on various aspects of the Law. Changes in technology introduces both challenges and solutions to legal problems in the Cyber space.

In order to avoid unnecessary court battles on Technical Standards Vis a Vis Legal Standards, it is necessary for the Cyber Laws of a country to provide some mechanism by which the legal standards get automatically updated. If this is likely to introduce a bit of uncertainty in law, there could at least be a "Technology sub committee" on the lines of the Cyber Regulations Advisory   Committee" to advise the Government periodically on certain aspects of technology standards that have an impact on Law.


E-Mail Evidence presented in Pearl Case in Pakistan

Pakistani judiciary had one of its first encounters with digital evidence when FBI presented a detailed report on how they traced Pearl killers from the e-mails.

More details at HT

Online Commercial Activities exempted under EU law on Cross border disputes

The European Commission has granted an exemption to all online activities from the contentious element of a controversial law on cross-border disputes in the European Union. The draft law stated that the laws of the country where the injury occurred should apply in a cross-border dispute, rather than the laws of the country where the supplier or publisher is based.

Details at

Convergence Bill Likely to be passed around May 17

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Mrs Sushma Swaraj, stated in Rajyasabha that the Convergence bill is likely to be passed during the current parliament session.

 More in HT

The loss to Internet Economy through Napster ban

A  Jupiter Media Metrix survey in US done in June 2001 reported that the file sharing technology which enabled persons to exchange music files free has in fact boosted the demand for CDs.

If the 20 million subscribers of Napster had on an average been connected to internet one hour per week, 20 million internet hours would have been used by them through their respective ISP s. Along with it, 20 million surfing hours of ad inventory has been lost. Besides many more high speed multi media computers would have got sold. Perhaps the online buying would also have grown...

Detailed Story

National Police Academy to Develop Cyber Crime Investigation Procedures

The National Police Academy in Hyderabad is working on a project to  lay down procedures to handle digital evidence in case of computer and Internet-related crimes.

It is also reported that the Electronic Research and Development Centre of India (ER&DCI), Thiruvananthapuram, would develop technical resources such as investigation software products, cyber forensic tools, etc, to help the investigation agencies deal with computer related crimes.

Detailed Story in EFE

Mellissa Virus Creator gets 20 months imprisonment

David Smith, a 34 year old man from US was sentenced by a New Jersey court for having released the Mellissa virus in 1999, which was estimated to have caused damages worth more than US$80 Billion. He was also ordered to server 3 years supervised release after completion of prison sentence, and to serve 100 hours of community service besides a fine of US $5000.

If a similar offence is committed in India, ITA-2000 can be invoked under Section 43 which however stops at providing compensation to the person affected. There is no prison sentence possible for the virus introducer, except by invoking section 66 for "Hacking". It would be strange if a court has to try a Virus crime as "Hacking". .but there seems to be no other go.

Related Story

Are Cyber Crime Laws Becoming Counter Productive?

Even before the the new Cyber Laws are understood by the industry, and at a time when India is in the verge of passing the Communication Convergence Act, a discussion has already emerged in other parts of the world on whether Cyber Laws are getting counter most of the IPR related Cyber Laws, there has been a tendency to over regulate leading to industry slow down.

Detailed Story



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