ICANN Terminates Registrar accreditation to Net4India

ICANN has announced that it has terminated the license given to Net4India as a domain name registrar.

The announcement  states


“LOS ANGELES – 26 February 2021 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the termination of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with Net 4 India Limited as a result of its failure to cure multiple breaches of the RAA”


The detailed notification is available here.

ICANN has also indicated a domain name transition process as follows:

Domain Name Transition Process

To protect domain name registrants, ICANN will follow the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure to commence the domain name transition process and will solicit bids for a qualified ICANN-accredited registrar to manage the domain names currently managed by Net 4 India.
ICANN reserves all of its rights under the RAA. Please note the rights and obligations required to continue in effect after the expiration of the RAA, including but not limited to:


3.4 : Retention of Registered Name Holder and Registration Data;

3.9 Accreditation Fees;

5.8: Resolution of Disputes Under this Agreement; and

5.9 Limitations on Monetary Remedies for Violations of this Agreement.

Net 4 India has current and past due accreditation fees for the total outstanding amount of
US$4,142.64. Please immediately submit payment to ICANN Accounting.

This does not include accrued fees for the period of 1 January 2021 through 14 October 2021 that become billable upon termination and once all transactions have been reported. Additionally, Net 4 India will be invoiced for the remainder of the yearly fees owed to ICANN and any variable fees corresponding to transactions reported through 13 March 2021.

All these fees are required to be paid to ICANN pursuant to Section 3.9 of the RAA.

If you have questions or require assistance, please contact Leticia Castillo at leticia.castillo@icann.org.

P.S: Ongoing requests are expected to be transferred in bulk to the transferee registrar if any.


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New Intermediary Guidelines

In December 2018, Government of India came up with a draft Intermediary guidelines under Section 79 of ITA 2000/8.

Some of the articles written at that time are available below in this link

Most of the points discussed at that time (Refer article Meity Needs to take assistance of techno legal experts on Section 79)are relevant even today.

Now the Government has come up with a new guideline with effect from today. We shall only focus on discussing some new thoughts that are included in this guideline.

The 2018 version of the guideline was  prompted by the issues surrounding WhatsApp being used for spreading fake news and social disharmony. At that time Government wanted to ensure that the origin of messages in WhatsApp should be traceable. However as usual there was an opposition from the “Cyber Nay-Sayers” who shouted that the guidelines were unconstitutional etc and the MeitY developed a cold feet and kept the guideline under wraps.

Now that the Twitter saga has forced the hands of the Government, Meity has gathered some courage and also took the assistance of the I & B Ministry to draft a new set of guidelines.  Some of these guidelines will also be part of the Personal Data Protection Act when passed.

The new issue that has been taken up now is the regulation of the OTT platform where serials and small screen films carrying content which is obscene, spreading disharmony in the country etc were being published without even a cursory censorship to which the cinematographic films are subjected to.

Hence this notification combines a regulation of the Digital media which could claim to be an “Intermediary” under ITA 2000/8 when it comes to avoiding liabilities. However, as Naavi.org has explained from time to time, many of the service providers cannot be considered as “Intermediaries” as defined under the ITA 2000 since they have ownership of the content.

One of the points the new regulation focusses is the creation of a three level regulation, first at the self regulatory level of the platform, then at the industry level and later at the Government level.

The notification is clear that the social media intermediary shall respond both to the Court order as well as the order from the Government for removal of content taking care that the directions of the Government shall be issued only for reasons stated in Article 19(2) of the Constitution as reasonable exceptions to the freedom of speech.

Hence the directions cannot be questioned in the Court of law as unconstitutional though it cannot be ruled out that the habitual PIL agents would file an objection in the Supreme Court stating that the Government may misuse the powers.

What is notable is the suggestion for a Central Grievance portal besides an industry level regulatory body like the Press Council. The intermediaries are also required to voluntarily submit a half yearly statements of grievances received and resolved at their end.

One of the provisions included in the PDPB 2019 namely providing an opportunity to the registered users of the significant social data intermediaries to verify themselves. Any digital news publisher with over 5 lakh subscribers or 50 lakh followers of the services will be required to notify some information about the organization to the Ministry of I &B.

Naavi.org welcomes the guidelines. What is missing however in the guideline is the penalty for not adhering to the guidelines. It is presumed that not being compliant with the guideline could lead to blocking of the service.

More details of the requirements are contained in the notification, a copy of which is available here.


P.S: Notification on the threshold limit of 50 lakh registered users for a significant social media intermediary was issued separately as S.O. 942(E) (Dated 25th February 2021)



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ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಬಯಿಸಿ ಪ್ರಧಾನಿಗೆ ಪತ್ರ ಬರೆದ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಸೈಬರ್ ತಜ್ಞ


Article published in Oneindia.com

ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಬಯಿಸಿ ಪ್ರಧಾನಿಗೆ ಪತ್ರ ಬರೆದ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಸೈಬರ್ ತಜ್ಞ

By Muralidhara V | Updated: Saturday, February 20, 2021, 12:43 [IST] ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 20 :

ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡದೇ ಹತ್ತು ಸಲ ನೋಟ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡಿದ್ರೂ ಬ್ಲಾಕ್ ಮನಿ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಣ ಮಾಡಲಿಕ್ಕೆ ಅಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಮೊದಲು ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು. ಜಾಗತಿಕ ನಾಯಕರಾಗಿ ಗುರುತಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಯತ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ನೀವು ಈ ಕ್ರಿಪ್ಟೋ ಕರೆನ್ಸಿ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದೇ ಆದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಗಳು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಬೆಂಬಲಕ್ಕೆ ನಿಲ್ಲಲಿವೆ ! ಪ್ರಧಾನಿ ಮೋದಿಗೆ ಪತ್ರ:

ಕಪ್ಪು ಹಣ ನಿರ್ವಹಣೆ ಆರೋಪ ಹೊತ್ತಿರುವ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ನ್ನು ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡುವಂತೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಸೈಬರ್ ತಜ್ಞ ನಾ. ವಿಜಯಶಂಕರ್ ಅವರು ಪ್ರಧಾನಿ ಮೋದಿ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಬಹಿರಂಗವಾಗಿ ಪತ್ರ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದರು. ಅದರ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಸಾರಾಂಶವಿದು.

ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ನಿಷೇಧ ಮಾಡುವ ಸಂಬಂಧ ಬಿಲ್ ಮಂಡಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಒಂದು ವರ್ಷವಾದರೂ ಬಿಲ್ ಗೆ ಅನುಮೋದನೆ ನೀಡಿ ಜಾರಿ ಮಾಡಿಲ್ಲ. ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ತ್ವರಿತ ನಿಷೇಧ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು. ಇಲ್ಲದಿದ್ದರೆ ದೇಶದ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಸ್ಥಿತಿ ನಾಶವಾಗುವ ಜತೆಗೆ ಸೈಬರ್ ಅಪರಾಧಕ್ಕೆ ಬಲಿಪಶುವಾಗಲಿದೆ ಎಂದು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಸೈಬರ್ ತಜ್ಞ ನಾ. ವಿಜಯ ಶಂಕರ್ ಎಳೆ ಎಳೆಯಾಗಿ ಪತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಡಿಸಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಪ್ರಧಾನಿಗೆ ಬರೆದಿರುವ ಪತ್ರದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನಾ. ವಿಜಯಶಂಕರ್ ಒನ್ ಇಂಡಿಯಾ ಕನ್ನಡ ಜತೆ ಹಲವು ವಿಷಯ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಂಡರು.

ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಯಾಕೆ ?

ಕ್ರಿಪ್ಟೋ ಕರೆನ್ಸಿ ನಿಷೇಧ ಮಾಡುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮೋದಿಗೆ ಮೊದಲಿನಿಂದಲೂ ಬಹಿರಂಗ ಪತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೆಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ನೂರು ಸಲ ನೋಟ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡಿದ್ರೂ ಕಪ್ಪು ಹಣ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಣ ಮಾಡಲಿಕ್ಕೆ ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದೇ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿಷೇಧ ಹೇರಲಿ, ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಗಳ, ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳು ಭ್ರಷ್ಟಾಚಾರ ರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಗಳಿಸಿರುವ ಭ್ರಷ್ಟ ಸಂಪತ್ತು ಬಯಲಿಗೆ ಬರಲಿದೆ. ದೇಶದ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಪ್ರಗತಿಗೆ ಮಾರಕವಾಗಿರುವ ಈ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ನಿಷೇಧ ಮಾಡುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ವರ್ಷದ ಹಿಂದೆಯೇ ಬಿಲ್ ಮಂಡಿಸಿದ್ದರು.

ಆದರೆ ಈವರೆಗೂ ಅದನ್ನು ಪಾಸ್ ಮಾಡಿ ಜಾರಿಗೆ ತರುವಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ತಲೆ ಕೆಡಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿಲ್ಲ. ಒಬ್ಬ ಭಾರತೀಯನಾಗಿ ನನ್ನ ದೇಶ ಉಳಿಸುವ ಹಂಬಲ. ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯಾಗಿ ನಾನು ಪತ್ರ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದೇನೆ ಎಂದು ಅವರು ತಿಳಿಸಿದರು.

ದೇಶದ ಉಳಿವು ಅಳಿವು:

ಅಧಿಕಾರಸ್ಥರು, ಉದ್ಯಮಿಗಳು ತಮ್ಮ ಆಸ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಈಗ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್, ಕ್ರಿಪ್ಟೋ ಕರೆನ್ಸಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಗ್ರಹಿಸಿ ಇಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇವಲ ಒಂದು ಮೇಲ್ ಮೂಲಕ ಎಷ್ಟು ಸಾವಿರ ಕೋಟಿಯನ್ನು ಬೇಕಾದರೂ ನಿರ್ವಹಿಸಬಹುದು.

ಇನ್ನು ಈ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಯಾವುದೇ ದೇಶದ ಅಧಿಕೃತ ಕರೆನ್ಸಿಯೂ ಅಲ್ಲ. ಇದರ ಮೇಲೆ ಯಾರಿಗೂ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಣ ಹಾಕುವ ಹಕ್ಕು ಇಲ್ಲ. ಹೀಗಾಗಿ ಇವತ್ತಿನ ದಿನಮಾನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಗಳು ತಮ್ಮ ಅಕ್ರಮ ಸಂಪತ್ತನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಮೂಲಕ ರಕ್ಷಣ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇದನ್ನು ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದೇ ಆದಲ್ಲಿ, ಕನಿಷ್ಠ ಪಕ್ಷ ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ರೂಪಾಯಿ ನಾಣ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಪರಿವರ್ತನೆ ಮಾಡಲು ಅಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಹೀಗಾಗಿ ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಉಳಿವಿಗಾಗಿ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ನಾ. ವಿಜಯಶಂಕರ್ ತಿಳಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಭ್ರಷ್ಟರೇ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಪ್ರೇಮಿಗಳು:

ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಹಿಂದೆ ಆರ್ ಬಿಐ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಿತ್ತು. ಕಪ್ಪು ಹಣದ ಶಕ್ತಿ ಮುಂದೆ ಆರ್‌ಬಿಐ ಆಟ ನಡೆಯಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಹೀಗಾಗಿ ಆರ್ ಬಿಐ ಮೇಲಿನ ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಇಲ್ಲದಾಗಿದೆ.

ಇನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿಷೇಧ ಹೇರುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಸುಪ್ರೀಂಕೋರ್ಟ್ ಮಹತ್ವದ ತೀರ್ಮಾನ ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಲಿದೆಯಾ ಎಂಬ ನಂಬಿಕೆಯೂ ಇಲ್ಲ.

ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಭ್ರಷ್ಟ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳು ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಪ್ರೀತಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಯಾಕೆಂದರೆ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಮೂಲಕ ಲಂಚ ಸ್ವೀಕರಿಸುವುದು ಅತಿ ಸುಲಭ.

ಇನ್ನು ಭಯೋತ್ಪಾದನೆ ಕೃತ್ಯ ಎಸಗಿರುವ ಉಗ್ರ ಸಂಘಟನೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಸುಲಭವಾಗಿ ಹಣ ಪೂರೈಕೆ ಮಾಡಲು ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬಳಕೆಯಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ದೇಶ ವಿರೋಧಿ ಕೃತ್ಯಗಳಿಗೆ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ನೆರವು ನೀಡಲು ಈ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬಳಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬಳಕೆ ಮಾಡುವ ನಿಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆನಡಾ ಮೊದಲ ಸ್ಥಾನದಲ್ಲಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ, ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಆಸ್ಪದ ನೀಡಿದರೆ ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ನಾಶ ಮಾಡುತ್ತದೆ.

ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ನಿಷೇಧ ವಿಚಾರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಮೌನ ವಹಿಸಿರುವುದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆ ಯಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ವಿವರಣೆ ನೀಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಡ್ರಗ್ ಗಿಂತಲೂ ಅಪಾಯ ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ :

ಡಿಟಿಟಲ್ ಬ್ಲಾಕ್ ಮನಿಯನ್ನು ರದ್ದು ಮಾಡದೇ ಇದ್ದಲ್ಲಿ, ಕಪ್ಪು ಹಣದ ವಹಿವಾಟು, ಸೈಬರ್ ಅಪರಾಧಗಳನ್ನು ತಡೆಯಲಾರದ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಿ ನಿಲ್ಲುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ , ಕ್ರಿಪ್ಟೋ ಕರೆನ್ಸಿ ರದ್ದು ಮಾಡುವ ಗಟ್ಟಿ ನಿರ್ಧಾರವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಧಾನಿ ಮೋದಿ ಅವರು ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು. ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಬ್ಯಾನ್ ಮಾಡುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಜಾಗತಿಕವಾಗಿ ಅದರನ್ನು ರದ್ದು ಮಾಡುವ ನಾಯಕತ್ವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಧಾನಿಯಾಗಿ ನೀವು ಮುಂದಾಳತ್ವ ವಹಿಸಿ.

ಬಿಟ್ ಕಾಯಿನ್ ಮಾದಕ ಜಾಲಕ್ಕಿಂತಲೂ ಅಪಾಯಕಾರಿ. ದೇಶವನ್ನೇ ಇದು ಸರ್ವ ನಾಶ ಮಾಡಲಿದೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೂ ಮುನ್ನ ಅದನ್ನೇ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಣ ಮಾಡಿ. ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಆರ್‌ಬಿಐ ಮಾನ್ಯತೆಗೆ ಒಳಪಟ್ಟು ಡಿಜಿಟಲ್ ಕರೆನ್ಸಿಯನ್ನು ಜಾರಿಗೆ ತನ್ನಿ ಎಂಬ ಸಲಹೆಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಮಂತ್ರಿಗಳ ಕಾರ್ಯಾಲಯಕ್ಕೆ ನಾವಿ ರವಾನಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

Read more at: https://kannada.oneindia.com/news/business/bengaluru-cyber-expert-writes-letter-to-pm-modi-to-ban-bitcoin-to-control-black-money/articlecontent-pf189492-215924.html

RBI Governor Mr Shaktikanta das has echoed similar sentiments today in his article in economic times.


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Toolkit Jurisprudence by Justice Dharmender Rana

Criminal Justice System and Criminal Jurisprudence is being re-written by one Additional Session Judge Sri Dharmender Rana of Delhi while granting bail to Disha Ravi a lady from Bangalore who was accused of having aided and abetted the Delhi Republic Day attack on Red fort.

Magistrate Dhamender Rana granted bail to the lady and in the process passed critical comments on the Government and substantially strengthened the resolve of the Urban Naxalites who are putting all their intelligence at destroying the country.

Copy of the Judgement

The judgement refers to the accused as a “22 years old young lady” with “Absolutely” blemish free criminal antecedents. It also makes a statement that “The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of Governments”.

The toolkit contained the following:


1. Share solidarity Photo/Video Message by email to scrapfarmacts@gmail.com, preferably by 25th January (solidarity messages for farmers at Delhi’s border)

2. Digital Strike: #AskindiaWhy Video/Photo Message On or Before 26th January.

3. Tweet Storm­ 23rd January onwards­11.30 pm UTC/5 pm IST­ Feel free to tag @ PMOIndia@nstomar ( Minister of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare), your own heads of state & others who ought to take note, like the IMF, WTO, FAO, World Bank (Tweetbank).

4. Zoom session ( Ask your Questions) with a Greens with Farmers’ Coalition representative from Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture on 23rd January,
2020( We will be happy to organize another session. Write to us at scrapfarmacts@gmail.com)

5. XR Global Insta Live at 9.30 am UTC/3 pm IST*on 26th January(India’s Republic Day) with farmers at the borders of Delhi and environmental workers & activists worldwide.

6. Physical Actions – Near Indian Embassies, Govt. offices, Media houses ( or even Adani­Ambani offices) globally­ 26th January.

7. Watch out or (or Join) the Farmers’ March/Parade ( a first of its kind)into Delhi and back to the borders on 26th January.

8. Call/Email any of your govt representatives and ask them to take action, Sign online Petitions and take action to Divest from monopolists and oligopolists like Adani­ Ambani.
(* tentative time) Get a complete picture through the Farmers Protests’ Cheat ­sheet. (#AskIndiaWhy)

Disha Ravi had admitted that she had the editing rights for this document and had edited it and also shared it with people like Greta Thunberg. She had also admitted that later she had deleted many WhatsApp messages (electronic evidence) to hide her involvement in the editing and distribution of this toolkit. She had also expressed apprehension that she would be considered as having committed an offence under UAPA etc.

The magistrate however, in his wisdom goes on to state that in his “considered opinion” Disha Ravi deserves to be released because sufficient evidence has not been provided .

I leave it to the readers to go through the entire judgement and decide for themselves if they agree or disagree with the “Considered” opinion of the honourable magistrate.

However it is necessary to remember that this judgement expects that at the pre-trial stage of an international conspiracy, the Police have to produce all the evidence to prove the accused guilty to claim custody for further investigation. This could very well be quoted in many other similar cases.

It is necessary that the Police should oppose the grant of bail and go on appeal. If this judgement is not over turned, we will have more anarchist attitude in the country and the Tukde Tukde Gang will get a big boost.

It is a black day for Indian Judiciary as an upholder of national integrity.


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Legal Metrology Act and its impact on ITA 2000

The legal aspects of the use of electronic documents were first introduced in India through the Information Technology Act 2000 which therefore became the mother of all legislations related to electronic documents. The forth coming Personal Data Protection Act will be one of the major laws that will be an extension of the ITA 2000. In between there have been many other laws like UIDAI act which have touched upon some aspects of electronic documents.

The Arbitration Act and the Companies act has also made references to use of electronic documents in their own domains.

In terms of compliance it becomes important for organizations to keep track of such secondary sectoral laws since these laws need to be implemented without conflict with the main Act. One such instance occurred when state Government in Karnataka tried to amend the Registration Act and the Government of Kerala tried to amend the Police Act.

It is possible that similar amendments can be expected in media laws also in due course.

While there will always be a debate on whether laws related to the use of Electronic documents should be made only by the Central Government and more particularly by the MeitY, it is necessary to point out that there is also a tendency which is not considered ideal to make significant amendments to the Information Technology Act through the notification of “Rules” under another Act.

We refer to the rules under the Legal Metrology Act described below as one example of such a development. It would be preferable for the Central Government to introduce some system where by such amendments are introduced only through Acts and not through rules.

However, for the sake of record we give below the details of this Legal Metrology Act so that it remains within the radar of ITA 2008 compliance as applicable to the E Commerce companies.

With effect from March 1, 2011, Government of India notified the “Legal Metrology Act”.

The copy of the Act is available here

This act was meant to establish and enforce standards of weights and measures, regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure or number and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Ministry of Consumer affairs has also issued the rules in 2017  and the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 became effective from 1st January 2018.

The rules defined several terms in E Commerce which

Clause 2

‘(bd) “E-commerce” means buying and selling of goods and services including digital products over digital and electronic network;

(be) “E-commerce entity” means a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 or the companies Act, 2013 or a foreign company covered under clause (42) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013, or an office, branch or agency in India covered under sub-clause (ii) of clause (v) of section 2 of the foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) owned or controlled by a person resident outside India and conducting e-commerce business;

(bf) “marketplace based model of e-commerce” means providing of an information technology platform by an ecommerce entity on a digital and electronic network to act as a facilitator between buyer and seller;’;

Rule 4(10) has also been added stating

“(10) An E-Commerce entity shall ensure that the mandatory declarations as specified in sub-rule (1), except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed, shall be displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions: Provided that in case of market place model of e-commerce, responsibility of the correctness of declarations shall lie with the manufacturer or seller or dealer or importer if,-

(a) the function of the e-commerce entity is limited to providing access to a communication system over which information made available by the manufacturer or seller or dealer or importer is transmitted or temporarily stored or hosted; or

(b) the entity does not- (i) initiate the transmission; (ii) select the receiver of the transmission; and (iii) select or modify the information contained in the transmission;

(c) the entity observes due diligence while discharging its duty as an intermediary under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and also observes such other guidelines as the Central Government may prescribe in this behalf: Provided further that there shall not be any protection to the market place e-commerce entity if,-

(a) the entity has conspired or abetted or aided or induced, whether by threats or promise of otherwise in the commission of the unlawful act;

(b) upon receiving actual knowledge, or on being notified by the appropriate Government or its agency that any information, data or communication link residing in or connected to a computer resource controlled by the entity is being used to commit the unlawful act, the entity fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to that material on that resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner. Explanation.- For the removal of doubts it is hereby clarified that the provision of this sub -rule shall not provide exemption from from the declarations required to be made under these rules on pre-packaged commodities delivered to the consumers.”.



Article in print.com

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Australian Content Law is disturbing

The war that has erupted between FaceBook and the Australian Government has opened up a can of worms as regards the future of Internet. The proposed law envisages that news producers get rewarded for the news to be picked up by other content aggregators. Google appears to have negotiated a price and accepted it but Face Book has resisted it. It is understood that the Australian PM has sought the assistance of other Global leaders to support his move to make Tech Companies pay news generators.

The issue is however not simple and has its roots in the Copyright law and the argument on free speech and the status of Internet in the global information dissemination system.

When Internet was born, it was a “Free” medium of information. People voluntarily put up content accessible to others and it was considered an “Information Super Highway”. It soon acquired the status of “Free Speech” and “Fundamental Right”. The “Search Engines” like the old Alta Vista helped news to be accessed in an orderly fashion by the general users and the popularity of Internet exploded.

However “Money” started spoiling the beauty of Internet. Commercialization corroded the principle on which World Wide Web was set up and things got sour. Initially “Advertising” appeared to help bring Internet free. There were browsers which displayed advertisements on the top and internet access  credits were provided when the internet access was expensive. That was the time when 14.4 kbps access was available at Rs 16000/- per year from VSNL in India. The access was so slow that the volume of data accessed was not a criteria for charging.

As time passed, internet access became less and less expensive, speed of access increased and the payment system switched to time plus data based costing. Comparatively we  have today Fiber connections at enormous speed (200 Mbps+) and 1000 GB plus data access per month around Rs 1500-2000.

As Users did not need the support of advertising to defray cost of access, they started looking at it as an intrusion to their browsing experience. Since then, “Advertising” is only considered as an unavoidable evil.

Today the dispute has arisen between content owners and the tech companies like Google and Face Book whether news access by Google and FaceBook should be paid for. This is a “Copyright” issue similar to the “Deep Linking” disputes that erupted in the NewsBooster.com case in 2002.

There is no doubt that publishers have a point that they have a cost in producing content and the platforms like Google or Facebook are making what they consider “Disproportionate” profit.

But the entire system of content generation and delivery to the end user is a chain of services  and different people are making different profits. The concept of Copyright was to ensure that the first generator of a literary content gets the right to license and every body else pays for the use. But “Data” is not static and is like a growing organism in which different people add value and therefore claim benefit. Hence progressively the data value has to be shared by different persons. The search engines and platforms like Face Book have their own contributions to make in the last mile delivery of news.

(Please refer to the Theory of Data propounded by Naavi on the life cycle hypothesis and Additive Value hypothesis)

Hence it is difficult to summarily reject the claim of these platforms that they also have a claim on the profits of business. We can always discuss the fairness of distribution of profits and ultimately there has to be a commercial equilibrium established.

Today technology permits a content publisher to block search engines and hence Google has decided to go along with the proposal to pay for content. But Face Book where content is contributed by the users has resisted the claim for payment. Perhaps Face Book can claim that it is not pulling the content and therefore it is different from a search engine. Content is being pushed into Face Book platforms by the users and hence Face Book may not be willing to take on the responsibility to make payments to the publishers for content published on its platform.

We need to wait and see how this controversy develops further.

But we also need to understand that this controversy while providing incentives for the publications, can also result in them becoming more commercialized. In due course they will become greedy. If content is paid by the advertiser whose only value perception is the “Viewership”, then porn and semi-porn content will have more value than serious content of use to the society. This will encourage “News Creation” based on how many clicks it would get. There will be more fake and speculative news than real news. This is not good for the society.

There is an example right here in the form of naavi.org which is driven by the passion of the content creator and though revenue by way of advertising is welcome, it cannot be allowed to dilute the cause. There are a number of requests for “Paid Articles” to be published on this website which would provide a good flow of revenue. But most such articles would like to promote products and services which may not be keeping with the general principles to which Naavi.org is committed and hence are being refused.

The so called “News Papers” once were developed by philanthropists with similar principles but have lost their commitment today and succumbed to the pressure of commercialization.

This degeneration started with Times of India introducing soft porn content and even converting the front page to an Advertisement.

It is better that we continue to resist the temptation to commercialize news creation. It was such a tendency that promoted Rihanna to tweet against India. Naavi.org therefore is apprehensive about the content law of Australia for the possibility that it  may corrupt the content creators by a direct commercialization.

Let true journalism be driven by principles and not by money.

At the same time, platforms that distribute the news should be encouraged to pay a fair price to the content generators through persuasion and negotiation.

(A more detailed explanation of a suggested system that could contribute towards finding a solution to this controversy would be provided in the follow up articles..Naavi)

Let us watch how this controversy develops. India should not jump into taking position in this regard at this juncture irrespective of the differences we may otherwise have with Mark Zuckerberg. While the arrogance of FaceBook to take on a sovereign nation has its own implications like the controversies surrounding Twitter in India, the issue of Twitter Management being biased against Indian Government and Face Book resisting the content legislation in Australia are driven by different basic issues. We need to focus on issues rather than personalities if we want to avoid coming to wrong conclusions.



Reference Articles

BBC.com :: MSNBC :: Diginomica.com

Old article at Naavi.org on Newsbooster.com

Copyright aspects of hyperlinking and framing-Wikipedia

Theory of Data

The Journey to the development of a New “Theory of Data” begins

Theory of Data and Definition Hypothesis

Reversible Life Cycle hypothesis of the Theory of Data

Additive Value hypothesis of ownership of data

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