March 1-April 27, 2001


What's New

"Who Is" Record and Privacy Rights

An important issue has been raised by the so called "Privacy" supporters on the Internet regarding the availability of "Who Is " records in the public domain. "Who Is" record provides the information about the registrant of a domain name and his contact address. It is alleged that this information is used by marketers to violate privacy.

The Privacy advocates should therefore realise that they are going too far in demanding a cover on Who Is information.

Read the Detailed Story here

Rediff.com sued for Non Disclosure during IPO

An investor has filed a case against Rediff.com for insufficient and wrong disclosures in its IPO document.... Could be an irritant which could blow up if SEBI turns truant. In the interest of the troubled stock markets in India and the dot com companies everywhere, we hope that the issue is not blown up out of proportionately. The key to the case is whether the objections made out were material information without which the complaining investor would not have made his investment and whether the information was deliberately suppressed to mislead the public. It is difficult to presume that this is correct and can be proved and hence the case may fall through. Nevertheless the case highlights the risks in business when the going gets tough on the stock markets. Many entrepreneurs including stalwarts like Narayana Murthy of Infosys think that stock prices are not their concern. They should review their opinion since a dissatisfied investor could be a source of unwanted trouble.

Detailed story in The Deal.com

Cyber Crimes and the Hardships in Curbing Them

Perfect' is a relative term. Nothing in this world is perfect. The persons who legislate the laws & by-laws also are neither perfect. The laws therefore enacted by them nor can be perfect. The law of Cyber Crimes in India has emerged from the womb of globalization. It is at the threshold of development. In due course of exposure through varied & complicated issues it will grow to be a piece of its time!

Read The Detailed Article from Mr Pati

Convergence Bill Makes Some Progress

Mr Fali Nariman, who heads the sub-group on convergence has informed that the Bill has been redrafted after taking into consideration the suggestions made by the public and is likely to be introduced in the Parliament during the current session.

Detailed Story at Financial Express

Related Story at Hindustan times

Sudden Demise of Mr Dewang Mehta

The news of the sudden demise of Mr Dewang Mehta, the Nasscom President has left the IT Community in India shell shocked. Mr Mehta had been largely responsible for the policy push that the industry received in recent days. May his soul rest in peace.

Detailed Story at sify.com

Control of dot edu domain names shifted

A Non profit Consortium Educause has been selected by US Commerce department to manage allocation of .edu domain names replacing Verisign.

Detailed Story at Wired.com

The Law of Domain Names becomes more complicated

The  Law of Domain names is already creating confusions all through the Cyber society.  WIPO thinks that any company which has a trademark in a geographical area can claim a domain name related to the trade mark as a matter of right. This well intentioned  suggestion has been much abused by the Trademark owners who today  object to use of any variation of the trade mark or an existing domain name even though the possibilities of a consumer getting confused is non existent.

WIPO will soon find out that it is taking upon itself a responsibility and setting a precedent which it cannot sustain. 

Read the Detailed Story here

The Fraud of the Cyber Stocks 

Ever since the demat form of shares have been introduced in India, Naavi.com has been warning that the possibilities of fraud are high and SEBI has to take care. True to its form, SEBI has been complacent (Deliberately?) about the risks...

Now it appears that the Ketan Parikh episode has atlast brought the biggest fraud in Indian Stock markets into open. This would involve the Bear Cartel, SEBI, the Stock Holding Corporation and the Cyber Shares. (demat shares)...

Is this scam a Cyber Crime? Is the Demat share an Electronic Document? Is Screen Based Trading and Demat Stock Lending forms of Cyber Contracts?.. are issues to be discussed.

Read the Detailed Story here

Digital Signatures to be available by June 2001

Mr K.N. Gupta, Controller of Certifying Authorities has stated that Digital Signatures should be avialable in India by june 2001. Applications are presently being accepted by the Controller and it is stated that more than 20 applications have been received so far. Amongst the aspirants are Reliance, Reserve Bank of India, ICICI, National Security Depository Ltd, Department of Posts, Videsh Sanchar Nigam, MTNL, and Tata Consultancy Services.

Detailed Story at Sify.com

A New War Zone on the Horizon

The Netizen community is still debating the Napster judgment which has thrown a challenge at the technological developments which create legal conflicts within the society.

In the mean time, a new war zone appears to be forming on the horizon with some of the recent technological developments. The Cyber Law scene is already full of disputes on "Caching", "Deep Linking" and "Privacy Invasion". Some of the new developments discussed here appear to further accentuate the concerns in this regard. We shall in particular  look at three such technologies being introduced  by Kenamea, Bang Networks and Fine Ground Networks, all US based start ups.

Read the Detailed Story here

The Ills of Censorship

One of the greatest advantages that Internet offers to mankind is the "Freedom of Expression" it bestows on an individual. Curtailing this freedom through Censorship has to be examined in the context of Obscenity, Anti National Activites and also the suppression of political opposition. Is it justified in some contexts? and not so in other contexts? Where do we draw the line?.. Opinions may differ.

Here is an interesting article written by Seth Finkelstein - Anti-censorship activist and programmer who was recently honoured for his work. Can I have the views of the Indian elite in this regard?

Article by Seth Finkelstein from spectacle.org

India to redefine Digital Signature System

It has been reported in Economic times today that the Cyber regulations Advisory Committee is finalizing the standards for Digital Signature systems According to the report, the Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) is said to be considering to make it mandatory for Digital Certificates to be issued with two sets of keys, one set for digital signature and the other for encryption.

If this system has to be adopted, the standard Key generation and Digital Certification software being used world wide has to be modified. The browsers such as Netscape and Internet explorer needs to be made compatible with the system of two sets of keys to be used during the process of transmitting any secured message.

Read the Detailed Story here

We welcome Mr Parthasarathy Pati of Pune who will be contributing articles regularly to Naavi.com. Mr Pati's Columns can be accessed here.

"CEO s and Cyber Cafe Owners, You may need this tool"

With the growing crime graph in the Cyber world, the vicarious responsibilities thrust on the owners of Computers have increased. It is no longer infeasible for a CEO to be arrested for one of his employees having sent an obscene e-mail from his desktop computer. The Cyber cafe owners are already living under the shadow of Police harassment for the acts of their customers. It is therefore necessary for these as well as responsible Parents and School administrators to look for software that can be their "Personal Watch dog". The filter softwares such as "Net Nanny" may not be sufficient for such requirements. Here is another solution worth looking into.

 Read the Detailed Story here

Need For Ethics in Web Journalism

The political and legal controversy generated by Tehelka.com has brought into focus the growing power of the Internet media. Unlike other media, Internet provides an opportunity for a journalis to be his own publisher. As a result, there is a need to develop a code of ethics for web journalism.

 Read the Detailed Story here

Read All About Tehelka.com Expose from Rediff.com

Mexican Lawyer Warns on Trade Mark /Copyright Infringement

World over, the legal community has become increasingly interested in infringement of IP rights on the Internet. Here is a warning from a Mexican Lawyer who says " At this point, we would like to make clear that practically without exception, the use made through the Internet, by a third party, of a registered trademark or a copyright without proper authorization, constitutes an infringement and /or a criminal offense in Mexico."... Is it also binding on Non Mexicans?..probably not, since the jurisdiction of he original IP law is limited to the jurisdiction of Mexico. But, will the WIPO step in to pass "Marutionline.Com" type verdicts? which can affect Indians? .eg: www.televisa.com of Mexico..is it infringing on Televista trademark?

I invite lawyers in India to react. Please send your views to Naavi

Detailed Story

Double Jeopardy in Copyright law in Phillipines?

A Lawyer in Phillipines points out that the Copyright Law provides for violators of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the Philippines may be prosecuted twice for the same crime they have committed. Readers may send their comments on whether there are similar provisions in India atleast in respect of Law on Obscenity?

Detailed Story

What is Double Jeopardy?

The Plight Of Cyber Cafe Owners

An advocate from Belgaum (Karantaka) has reported that the Police have hoisted a case against a Cyber Cafe owner under Sec 292 of IPC and Sec 67 of ITA-2000 and he is trying to convince them that a Cyber Cafe is an ISP and is not liable for the contents of web sites. (The sections relate to publishing and distribution of Obscene Content)....What is the remedy against such harassment?...How Can Citizen's Contribute to protect honest and Clean Cyber Cafe's?...

 Read the Detailed Story here

Remedy for Fraud by a Seller

A case has been reported on a fraud by an American seller on an Indian buyer through the Net. Is there a remedy for the Netizen in the ITA-2000? is a point discusssed in this article.

 Read the Detailed Story here

Amazon Patent Gets a Boost

Amazon's patent claim on the "Single Click Buying Process" has been a subject matter of controversy. In a bid to identify "Prior Art" that could challenge the Claim, a web site "Bounty Quest" ran a reward programme. It is reported that the contest could not produce clinching evidence to challenge the Patent even though the reward was split amongst three participants for throwing up useful leads.

Detailed Story in NY Times

Private Cyber Cops

Internet is a huge space which any single Policing authority would find it impossible to monitor..."Private Cyber Investigating Agencies" may soon be required on the Cyber Space along with "Private Cyber Detectives". ..Perhaps it is necessary for the Indian Government to develop a policy for "Private Detective License" to be issued upon some scrutiny ...Read the views of Naavi and send your reactions.

Do We Need To Create a Red Light Area on Cyber Space?

The Convergence Bill draft has opened a fresh debate on the rights of the Government to impose laws that try to regulate Communication for the purpose of preserving "Cultural Heritage". A huge debate is also going on in the American market against a proposed Bill seeking to make it mandatory for all public Libraries getting funds from the Government to install "Porno control software" (e.g.: Net Nanny) and regulate the access to "Adult Sites".  ..How do we resolve this Conflict?

 Detailed view point by Naavi.com  (Ed: Article is now available at Naavi.org since naavi.com is cyber squatted)

A Revolt in the offing Against Existing TLD System?

It has been reported that a company called Idealab has challenged ICANN and is trying to introduce 20 new TLD s outside the existing system operated by ICANN. This would however require re-configuration of the thousands of DNS servers operating in the system. One section of the market is expecting that the Trademark moghuls will soon launch their assault on this new development.Will they succeed?..Let's watch..and hope they don't.

Read the Detailed Story

Resolving Conflicts in the Judicial and Other functions of the Convergence Commission

The Communication Convergence bill envisages a high power Commission which will administer all the provisions of the envisaged Act...Naavi argues that the Super Regulator which the Commission is, needs to Delegate  Non Judicial powers to appropriate sub committees and restrict itself to the discharge of Judicial Powers.

 Detailed Article by Naavi.com 

Cyber Law College.com to launch off-line courses in Chennai

Naavi's Cyber Law College is shortly opening off-line courses in Cyber Laws in Chennai. The Course offered as a part-time course will extend to 8 weeks and 48 hours of class room teaching. It will consist of a written examination at the end of the programme.

The first programme expected to commence in the first week of April will be handled personally by Naavi.Later this model is being extended to other cities on a "Franchisee Model".

Click here for details.

ISP Liability on Copyright

With growing concern for IPR violations, the liabilities of an ISP are often called to question for both direct and contributory infringment of copyright. Advocate Unni of Kottayam analyses the legal position in India.

Read the detailed article here


Book Cover "Now New Edition Available with Electronic update"
Read a Review Here

For more information on the Information Technology Bill look into the book- "Cyber Laws for every netizen in India". For information on and how to buy it directly from the author/publisher visit the Cyber Law Center here.


If you would like to know  more about naavi, the information is available here.