Cyber Law News

. June 30

E-Signatures Bill signed by Bill Clinton

Story at Yahoo

Another Deep Linking Dispute reported by South China Morning Post.

June 26

Is Hyper Linking a Patent Infringement?

An issue of far reaching consequence has been raised by a claim on "Hyperlinking" as a Patent protected process. It is reported that a British Telecom employee discovered that the organisation actually holds a patent on hyperlinking which has expired everywhere except in USA. The company is reported to have sent a notice to 17 American companies such as AOL, claiming compensation for some undisclosed sums.

Read the Detailed story on CNet.COM

June 20

Another Interesting Domain name dispute on cards which recently won an award against has now taken up a case against a Thai company using the domain name

Look here for details in EFE

June 19

The IT Bill has received the assent of the President of India on 19th instant.

June 16

Philippines wakes up to introduce Cyber Laws

Details Here (Courtesy:ABC News)

It happens Everywhere..Politicians fumbling with the Technology Bill

The developments in the Irish Parliament..Courtesy Irish Times

American House Of Representtives pass Digital Signature Bill

Details Here (

June 14

Juno files a Patent case against netzero.

Details from

June 12

An icourt experiment worth taking note of. (Courtesy:

June 11

Cyber Squatting most prevalent in US

Article from Nando Times for general information

June 8

Mr N N Ghatate, member, Law Commission. highlights  the need for enactment of more cyber laws and setting up of electronic courts.

Hindustan Times Report


June 1

ISP account Hackers ..Beware

In a case of misuse of Password for an VSNL access account, Delhi Police has tracked and arrested a person in Delhi. He is alleged to have used the password of a customer and obtained access to the Internet services of VSNL.

This sort of crime is specifically covered under the just passed IT Bill under Sec 43 (h) which states as follows:
"If any person without the permission of the owner or any other person who is in charge of a computer, computer system or computer network,...
charges the service availed by a person to the account of another person by tampering with or manipulating any computer, computer system, or computer network,
he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation not exceeding One crore rupees to the person so affected."

This clause applies both to the misuse of access passwords as well as Credit cards. 

The effective date of the Act however is not clear as to whether it would apply only to crimes committed subsequent to the date of the Act coming into force.

Details of the case available in this report from Hindustan Times

Newzealand Company wins Domain Name Dispute

A New Zealand company, Moana Pacific Fisheries Ltd, has grappled a domain name back from the clutches of a US-based competitor through a domain name dispute resolution process set up by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)..repots Newsbytes, Hongkong.

Details Here

May 31 

Satyam Infoway jumps into Digital Certification

Satyam Infoway the leading Internet company in India today announced an affiliate arrangement with Verisign to enter into Digital Certification business in India

More on the story

May 24
This is an interesting article on the Domain Name Disputes from NY Times

Trademark Holders Dominate ICANN Dispute Process
(Free registration required)

May 21 

Digital Signature Bill under discussion in US

A bill setting national standards for "digital signatures," is under discussion in US. 

More on the story

May 18

Cybermate announces entry to Digital Certification

Cybermate Infotek Ltd, a company in Hyderabad has entered into an arrangement with Baltimore technologies, USA to bring digital certification services in India.

Full Story in Business Line

May 17

IT Bill was today passed by the Rajyasabha after a voice vote.

May 16

The much awaited IT Bill-99 was passed by the Loksabha today by voice vote.

More information here: Courtesy: Satyam Info

May 16

IT Bill discussion to continue today
The discussion on the IT Bill will continue today in the Parliament and there is a distinct possibility of the Bill being passed today. Some of the amendments proposed by the standing committee as reported in the media today are
1. The qualifications of the Adjudicating Officer to include experience in IT
2. The term of the CRAT would be 5 years or attaining of an age of 65 years
3. Penalty for publishing obscene literature on internet from the original two years and Rs 25,000 fine to five years and Rs one lakh fine.For the subsequent convictions, the penalty would be 10 years in prison and Rs two lakh fine instead of the original provision of five years and Rs 50,000.

May 15

Controversial Clauses Dropped

The IT Bill-99 has now been tabled in the Parliament. As expected the two controversial aspects, one requiring registration of websites with the Controller and the other requiring the Cyber Cafe owners to keep a register of websites visited by their customers is reported to have been dropped.
The opposition political parties have inidcated that they have no objection to the Bill but need some more time to study the implications. They have suggested that the Bill can be takenup in the next session.

As reported at 14.00 hrs in the news bulletin of Star News.
Also read Hindustan Times Report

May 15

Nasscom records its objections on the IT BILL

Nasscom has indicated its objections to several aspects of the IT Bill as being placed now before the Parliament.
Nasscom has also requested the government to pass the IT Bill in Parliament’s current session. “If it is passed and implemented in the next 1-2 months, Indian e-commerce transactions in ’00-01 could rise by 500 per cent from Rs 450 crore to Rs 2,500 crore.” 

Read the details at this Economic Times Report.
Read Mr M Rajendran's report in Telegraph/

May 13

IT Bill Ready for Passage

According to a news report that appeared in The Hindu of May 13, 2000, the IT bill is being submitted to the Cabinet for its approval during this week end along with some modifications suggested by the industry. The changes proposed from the earlier draft are likely to be in the following areas.

1. The punishments for hacking and pornography may be stiffer.
2. Enforcing authorities may be given more teeth to punish violations of its directive.
3. Cyber Cafe's as well as web sites may be brought under some kind of licensing regulations.
4. Cyber cafe's may be required to keep a record of users. 
5. ISP s providing hosting services may be required to provide particulars of sites hosted to an authority.
6. Cyber Squatting may be discouraged

The Bill is likely to be passed by the 17th of May.

May 11

Case Filed Against

In an interesting development of Cyber Patrolling, the Economic Offenses Wing of the Delhi Police, acting on a complaint, discovered that in some of the free web pages hosted by IndiaTimes, pornographic contents had been placed by the web page owners. After keeping a record of such sites in the presence of some witnesses, the crime branch has filed a case under sections 292/34 of the IPC against the web site for display and circulation of pornographic material. A similar case has alos been filed on
This case is laudable for the display of an ability of the Police to monitor the Internet publications. At the same time this raises two academic questions. One is how far the ISP (In this case the parent web site which provided the free web hosting facility) could be held responsible for the actions of its members.The other is that since this crime has been registered before the Cyber Laws are passed, whether it indicates the redundancy of the same being included in the jurisdiction of the Adjudicating Officer and CRAT envisaged under the IT Bill. 
I personally feel that the ISP should only be held responsible if he fails to remove the site and hand over the identity of the person using the free web page facility to the police.
(The above information is based on the News report appearing in The Hindu dated May 11, 2000 and is for the purpose of academic discussion only. No offense is meant hereby to any of the parties referred to in this information).


May 6

24/7 Media Inc sues Double Click

24/7 Media Inc has sued Double click for infringement of patent rights for its "On-Line Interactive System and Method for Providing Content and Advertising Information to a Targeted Set of Viewers.''

Full Story at ZDNet

May 5

Cyber Law enters Corporate World

In a far reaching development, SEBI has made publication of unaudited financial results mandatory on the web site of a company or to make it available in htm format to enable the stock exchanges to publish it on the web. This has been made mandatory under clause 49 of the stock exchange listing agreement. Similarly presentations made to analysts shall also be published on the web site and provided to the stock exchange. 

Corporates listed either under group A of the BSE or at S&P CNX Nifty Index will have to comply with this direction before March 31 2001. Other companies with paid up capital of Rs 10 crores or Net worth of Rs 25 crores will have to comply by March 31, 2002 and those with a paid up capital of Rs 3 crores  by March 2003.

Thus, the web has been given a suo-moto recognition under Company law in India even before the passage of the IT Bill.
Divorce by e-mail?

In a landmark case at Dubai, the court is set to rule on a divorce by e-mail. The Gulf News filed the following report in this regard.

 Court to rule on first e-mail divorce

A Dubai court is set to judge the legality of a divorce conducted by e-mail. In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, a husband notified his wife that he was divorcing her by sending an e-mail to her computer.

The husband, who is of Arab origin but holds American nationality, then officially registered the divorce by filing a case with the Personal Status Court in Dubai.

Dr. Mahmoud Abdul Mutjalli, Chief Scholar in the Dubai Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Department, said that according to the Shafi and Hanbali schools of Islamic law, the husband must utter the divorce to his wife in order for it to occur.

But the Maliki interpretation, which is followed in Dubai, states that divorce is permitted by just referring it to the wife and not necessarily by saying it in person, he said. The court will review the case and may call the wife, a Saudi national, to appear in court to be verbally notified of the divorce.

The couple were living separately in two villas in the same area of Dubai when the husband sent the message to his wife."


It would also be interesting  to discuss the legal effect in the above case if the e-mail had been sent as a Voice file. Perhaps it would then satisfy the Islamic law also.

Send Your Views here

May 1

Is the IT Bill technology dependent?

Here is a View about the authentication system suggested by the IT Bill. (New Indian Express) 

Electronic Authentication Systems

Electronic authentication systems are expected to take off sooner than expected.

More information here (courtesy Tech republic)

April 20

Online Privacy Act in America becomes operational

Online marketers who collect information from children below 13 years have to watch out. Cyber regulators will start patrolling the web space to check such sites. They now need to take the permission of the parents to get the information.

More Details from fox news here