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Press Release


Proposed Amendments to ITA-2000 may weaken the Security Fabric of India

  •  The proposed amendments to ITA-2000 contemplated by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, has a serious adverse impact on the security fabric of our country and needs to be debated at all levels.
    Following is a a copy of the note sent to MCIT by Naavi.org, a premier Cyber Law Portal in India




    The Ministry of Communications and

    Information Technology

    Government of India

    New Delhi


    Comments on the Proposed Amendments to Information technology Act-2000 (ITA-2000)


    1. According to Section 88 (3) of the ITA-2000, the Cyber Regulatory Advisory Committee (CRAC)  alone has the mandate to advise the Government on any amendments to the Act. The procedure presently adopted to constitute the Expert Committee and take its recommendation for implementation is therefore not in accordance with the provisions of law. 

    It is therefore suggested that the Expert committee’s report  be placed before CRAC for review and approval.


    1. The Expert Committee’s report is conspicuous for the absence of any attempt to address the more pressing needs of the E-Commerce industry and Netizens in India. It has failed to recognize that Netizens are the pillars of E-Commerce and not addressed needs such as Spam, Cyber Squatting, Cyber Stalking and Cyber Terrorism, This is not conducive to the development of a secure Cyber Space in India.

    It is suggested that since another major amendment is not likely to happen in the near future, the Government may consider inclusion of these types of Crimes as part of ITA-2000 during this amendment itself even if it is necessary to delay the implementation of the recommendations for this purpose.


    1. The cumulative impact of most of the amendments that have been made is to  weaken the penal provisions of the Act in case of “Injury to Information Residing Inside a Computer”, “Obscenity in Electronic Form”, “Prevention of Abuse of Women through Electronic Documents”. This will adversely impact the growth of E-Commerce since a trusted business environment is an essential factor for E-Commerce Growth.

    It is therefore suggested that the reduction in the terms of imprisonment under sections 66 and 67 are reconsidered.


    1. The proposed amendments will make the Police in the Country redundant in respect of most of the Cyber Crimes. This is an unwise move considering the increasing trend of Cyber Crimes in the country. If some of the suggestions in this regard are not reversed, India is likely to turn into a notorious haven for Cyber Criminals on a global scale.

    It is therefore suggested that the powers of the Police are restored to a reasonable level while at the same time checks and balances to prevent abuse may be incorporated in the Act. Amendments proposed to sections 80 and 69 in this context may therefore be reviewed.


    1. The data protection aspects available in ITA-2000 through Section 66 and Section 43 have now been weakened with the proposed amendments. This coupled with the weakening of the powers of the Police, will reduce the confidence of the International community on the Indian Cyber regulatory framework and harm the prospects of the BPOs.

    It is therefore suggested that Section 66 be restored to the original form except for removing of the word “commits hacking” which has assigned the name “hacking” to the section 66 offence. Similarly it is suggested that section 43 (2) is suitably altered to include privacy protection to individuals from all sections of data handlers including non corporate data handlers and Intermediaries.


    1. The Intermediaries in general have been provided an excessive protection under the proposed amendments to the extent of breeding negligence and sheltering of criminal activities under the protective umbrella of being classified as an Intermediary. This is contrary to the general principle that every citizen of the country should shoulder a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent crimes whether in the Cyber Space or otherwise and to provide reasonable support to the Law enforcement authorities. Further the benefits given to the Intermediaries widen the digital divide in the society since the same level of protection are not available to the intermediaries in the physical world nor to the other industries in the IT and non IT sector. The provisions regarding Intermediary protection are therefore discriminatory and untenable.

    It is therefore suggested that the various amendments that have been suggested by the Expert Committee under Sections 79, 72 and 67 are reviewed.  


    1. The powers given to the adjudicators to compound criminal offences without permission of the court and even when prosecution is pending is amenable to an inefficient administration of justice and abuse.

    It is therefore suggested that the proposed amendments in this regard under section 80A are reviewed.


    1. Some of the changes made to Sections 66 and Sections 85 as well as sections 79 and 72 have imposed an unreasonable burden on the victims of a crime to prove abetment or connivance or intention to cause injury etc on the corporate or the intermediary. This is impractical and puts the general public at a disadvantage in dealing with Cyber offences. This provides an undue advantage to business entities against the consumers of their services. This is expected to result in an erosion of Cyber Security in the long run and increase the cost of IT usage by the public. It is considered reasonable to impose certain responsibilities on the technology savvy companies using the technology for commercial purpose.

    It is therefore suggested that the requirement of due diligence by Corporate entities and Intermediaries is not diluted and the earlier provisions in this regard are restored.


    1. The recommended amendments send a general signal that the Act after amendments will be Anti-Consumer, Anti-Netizen, Anti-Women. It also appears to be Criminal Friendly and unreasonably protective of the Intermediaries. Cumulatively therefore the suggested amendments are anti people and needs to be reviewed in toto.

    It is therefore suggested that the proposed amendments are placed under the review with the CRAC and are simultaneously placed for a national debate until a better version of the amendments are developed.


    1. While the expert committee took nearly 8 months to arrive at the recommendations, the public have been given only 3 weeks to make their comments. This is an unreasonable time frame for proper evaluation of the suggestions which are prima-facie detrimental to the interests of the general public.

    Hence it is suggested that the last date for sending of public comments is extended from September 19th by at least 3 months.