October 1- October 31, 2002

Protect Indian Cyber Space from IPR Predators

Cyber Space operators face the problem from time to time from the global IPR regime whenever fundamental business processes are patented...

As a long term measure, we need to redefine the Patent regime and introduce a "Patent Monitoring Authority of India" which will act as an interpreter in case of any dispute on Patents between an Indian Citizen and a foreign Patent holder and provide its won opinion for the Courts to take a legal view. Such an authority will act as a "Security Umbrella" against nuisance patents.

This is an essential input to the growth of E-Commerce in India and every promotional body including Nasscom should take note of this need.


Self Regulation Required for Scientific Content on Internet

CIA has pointed out that Al Queda is only one of the several outfits engaged in Cyber warfare against USA. In an analysis of the threats posed by various terrorist organizations, CIA has alerted the Government about the dangers posed by the easy  availability of scientific information on unconventional weapons including nuclear weapons on the Internet.

Netizens and owners of sensitive information may have to realize that the situation may soon make it necessary for the regulators to monitor Internet content. Responsible Neitzens should therefore start working on a means of self regulation of scientific information so that sensitive scientific information is not misused. All scientific and educational institutions should therefore audit the content posted on their websites and take steps to limit exposure of sensitive information except to authorised persons.

Related Article in ZDNET

Al Queda Hijacking Websites

It has been reported that Alqueda is hijacking websites and inserting pages to communicate its own messages. This could create legal complications to the website owners and there is an urgent need for Server owners to upgrade their security.

More in TOI

A New Anti-Spam Movement in India?

A fresh initiative is brewing in India to reduce Spam mails by forcing some preventive action from the ISPs. Some of the activists are considering legal action to elicit response from ISPs. Naavi.com believes that not enough has been done by ISPs to prevent Spam and whatever they have done (Stopping relay) is actually hurting genuine users. Hope some positive action comes out of this fresh initiatives.

TCS Emerges as CA Technology Provider

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has emerged as the first Indian technology supplier for setting up Digital Certificate Authority Business  based on the Public Key Infrastructure. Recently, TCS became the fourth CA to be licensed in India behind Safescrypt, IDRBT and NIC. TCS technology is already incorporated in the IDRBT CA system.

Hitherto, Verisign, Entrust, UniCert were some of the technology sources for setting up of CA systems with whom TCS system will now compete.  It should also be noted that TCS technology installed in IDRBT is capable of handling the dual key system (Separate sets of keys for encryption and signature) which is a relatively new technology even on the global level. TCS will therefore be expected to have the huge  global market for PKI technology for exploitation.

Shanghai Meeting of ICANN Opens -Where is India?

The four day ICANN meeting at Shanghai has begun. The meeting will discuss various issues relevant to the domain name space management including the composition of the Advisory Committees. ..As in the previous occassions, it appears that India will go unrepresented in these deliberations.

Shall we hope that we will be able to correct this lacuna atleast when the next meeting at Amsterdam comes up on December 14 and 15?


Security When Conventional Security Fails

It must  be remembered that no security software is foolproof...What then happens to the Information Property Owner and his need to secure his assets?..We...  need an insurance scheme that protects the Information assets against hacking and virus attacks.


Cyber Space Security..You Have a Role in it Too!

Every Netizen whether he is an individual or a corporate citizen, has a responsibility to be security vigilant and also maintain a certain level of Desk top security within the systems that he operates. This is like a requirement of a Car owner to keep his brakes in working condition before he ventures out into the public roads.


Cyber Space Security..Whose Responsibility is It?

In a society infested with terrorist activities from New York to Gandhi Nagar on to Bali and Moscow there are no  two opinions that "Security" has been a concern upper most in the minds of the people. This is as much true of the physical world as the Cyber world.

What should be the intricacies of  such Cyber Security Management?  What should be the role of private sector in such an activity? What are the responsibilities of the Netizens in this regard? ....are issues that need debate.


Domain Name Root Servers Attacked

In a major attack on the Internet system, the 13 root servers which control the global domain name resolution system came under a simultaneous denial of service attack recently. The attack disabled the system for about an hour before it was fought back. The attack crippled 9 of the 13 servers.

This could be an attack from an organized group of hackers and the hand of terrorist outfits such as Al Queda cannot be ruled out.

Details from Silicon Valley

Amendments to ITA-2000

A Copy of the Gazette notification containing the amendments to Information Technology Act 2000 made on September 19, 2002 is reproduced here for public information. This is the first amendment after the passage of the Bill and is aimed at removing some difficulties arising out of the errors that had crept into the drafting.

There are no major policy or procedure changes arising out of the amendments. The changes have been incorporated in the copy of the Act available on this site.

Text of Amendments

E-Gold Not Legal in India

RBI has clarified that  E-Gold as a concept is violative of  Indian law and RBI regulations regarding use of "Currency". The clarification was overdue to prevent public from being misguided.

Details in ET

IT Secretaries to be the Adjudicating Officers Under ITA-2000?

It has been reported that following a direction from the Mumbai High Court, the Government has issued instructions that IT Secretaries in each state will be deemed to be the Adjudicating Officers under the ITA-2000.

It is not however clear if all the IT Secretaries would meet the "Judicial Experience" criteria fixed in the ITA-2000.

Also, details of the procedures to be adopted by the Adjudicating Officers in receiving complaints, conducting enquiries and passing the necessary awards on various offences coming under Chapter IX of the ITA-2000 are awaited.

Widespread Ignorance in Industry about Cyber Laws

In a recent survey in South Africa, some interesting information about the low awareness of Cyber laws and implications of non compliance has been reported. Perhaps a survey of this kind in India would be even more revealing.

Report in Sunday Times

Lessons From Akshardham for Cyber Space Security

The International  Anti Terrorism Forces have once again been shaken up from their complacency after the Bali terrorists attack. We in India which has been a witness to Akshardham attack recently can see that  there is a pattern to the two attacks which  could lead to some thoughts that are relevant to Cyber Space Security.....


Seoul Conference on Cyber Crimes call for Global Cooperation

The three day conference on Cyber Crimes at Seoul attended by top Police officials from 37 countries, concluded on 15th October with a call for better cooperation amongst the Cyber Crime investigators across the Globe.

Details at Washington Post

Spain's  Internet Law Opposed

New Spanish law which mandates registration of websites and expects ISPs to monitor content on websites has evoked wide spread protests. India had rejected a law of this nature due to its impracticality when the ITA-2000 was enacted.

Details in Register

Related article in govtech.net

Telephone Numbers as Domain Names?

An initiative to introduce a mapping of individual and corporate telephone numbers to URLs and enabling an automatic resolution of the telephone numbers has been suggested by some quarters. ..Will it function? Is it desirable?...     

Read here for more details.

Cyber Terrorism...A New Challenge to Law Enforcement Agencies

In the post September 11, 2001 scenario, “Terrorism” has attracted the attention of law enforcement authorities (LEAs) all over the world.  In a society where Internet has become a common tool of Communication, Information Dissemination, Business and Governance, it is natural that “Cyber Terrorism” has also gained the attention of LEA s along with Terrorism per-se and other Crimes. 

..Naavi discusses some of the challenges that Cyber Terrorism poses on the society and the LEA s particularly in India.

Read Here

Microsoft Sues a Kolkata Boy for Selling Pirated Software

A 20 year boy from Kolkata has been trapped while trying to sell pirated software through an auction site. Microsoft has claimed a damage of Rs 20 lakhs from the pirate and initiated necessary court action. A question which needs debate in such cases is the vicarious liability of the auction center..To what extent they are responsible for peddling illegal goods and what kind of techno-legal action they need to take to prove good faith and lack of negligence.

Details in Hindustan Times

Is There an Alternative to ICANN ?

At this point of time, the domain space management in the Cyberspace is largely with ICANN whose management is under restructuring. Several Alternate Domain Name Management Authorities are requesting for a say in the proposed restructured management body. Should ICANN accommodate them?..or Keep them off?..

.If ICANN tries to remain a monopoly, it would be interesting to find the US Government (Department of Commerce) on the same side as Microsoft in the anti-trust suit!..


New Technology, A Nightmare for the Police ?

A Fantasy coming true? is how you can perhaps describe the latest invention by two Japanese firms where high bandwidth data transfer can be effected when two humans shake their hands.

Perhaps the Law Enforcement Agencies need to study the possible ways by which the technology can be applied by criminals and train their security personnel to spot any unusual handshakes.


FONE Opposes mutual blocking of Internet Telephony sites by ISP s

The Forum for Open Network Enhancement (FONE) has opposed the selective blocking of Internet telephony sites by some ISPs, calling it the "End of the Internet".

FONE is an initiative launched with the support of the Internet Users Community of India (IUCI), whose members include Shammi Kapoor (Chairman IUCI), Vijay Mukhi (Executive council member NASSCOM), Vickram Crishna (Founder, Hawking Communicator Project), Arun Mehta (activist founder of Society for Telecom Empowerment), Tushar Gandhi (consumer rights spokesperson) and Kanakasabapathy Pandyan (Co-founder NASSCOM).

Detailed Article at Rediff.com

Related Article 1 by Naavi

Related Article 2 by Naavi

Infringement of Trade Mark Rights through Meta Tags

In a recent case in USA, (Promatek Industries, Ltd. v. Equitrac Corporation, No. 00-4276 (7th Cir., August 13, 2002) the Court has held  that defendant is not allowed to use the trademark of its competitor in the meta tags of its web site.

Has the Court taken a narrow view of the technology devices, the intelligence of the users and the alternate means of preventing Consumer Confusion?.. Read here for Comments from Naavi

Spanish Police Bust Nigerian Fraud

It is reported that Spanish police have cracked a Nigerian-led scam that is said to have reaped millions by fooling victims into paying seed money for access to millions of dollars of unclaimed funds of various organizations.. Five Nigerians, a British man, a Spanish woman and a minor whose nationality was not disclosed were arrested.

Details From smh.com.au

Related Article

WIPO Endorses Second Internet Domain Name Process

The member states of WIPO in their last meeting ending on October 1, 2002, has  adopted a decision on the issues raised by the Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process. The decisions are being communicated to ICANN and is likely to be discussed at the Shanghai meeting. The decision closely tracks the recommendations of the Standing Committee on the subject. Some of the decisions were objected to by some member states.

Summary of Recommendations

Is There a Danger Lurking For E-Mail Users in India???

The Indian Post Office Act is now under amendment. The Act defines "Electronic Post" which will include all forms of E-Mail and Electronic Communication.

The Indian Post office Act has many prohibitory clauses preventing carriage of postal articles except by the Post office.

In this context, there is a need to analyse the amendment to check if it can make E-mails illegal in India.

Copy of the amendment bill

Dated 1st October 2002




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