Serving a Notice to VSNL on spam mail

When we receive spam mails we often wonder what we do with them. Many of these mails are “Phishing” Mails trying to drop a trojan into your computer for committing a more damaging fraud. If you donot notice, you may have to regret your ignorance later. But even when you identify the fraudulent mail, you get irritated because you feel helpless that you can do nothing other than deleting them.

An “Attempt to drop a trojan” is a cognizable offence under ITA 2000/8 and all of us as citizens of India who observe a “Cognizable offence” have a duty to report it to the law enforcement authorities.

In some of these cases, Phishing mails emanate from an ISP who can take steps to block such mails at least prospectively.

Hence there is a public service value in reporting such incidents. Naavi has created a facility/service for this purpose through www.cyber-notice.in where such public notices in cyber space can be published.

I give here an example of how such a service can be used.

I  received today an e-mail which was apparently from the VSNL team of TATA DOCOMO threatening shutting down of my account unless I do an Account validation for which an in-mail link was provided.

The header information contained an IP address indicating  that the e-mail had originated from Nigeria. However the e-mail ID was autoflex@vsnl.com and hence the sender was a customer of VSNL.

I have therefore placed a Cyber Notice addressed to VSNL that one of their customers is indulging in such a criminal activity and demanding that the account autoflex@vsnl.com be blocked. At this point of time, I am not confident that VSNL will respond.

(See the copy of the notice at www.cyber-notice.in)

However, as a citizen of India I have done my duty to keep them informed and triggering the requirement of “Due Diligence” under ITA 2008. Legally, if no action is taken, some victim can hold VSNL and its executives responsible under Section 79 of ITA 2008.

Being a public notice this also keeps the police at various places informed so that they can take their action as they find it necessary.

At present, such public interest notices will be published by Cyber Notice.in as a free public service.

The service Cyber-Notice.com has been started as a support to the legal requirements where by “Notices” often are released under Court proceedings in prominent print media. In the currrent generation, the purpose of such services would be served only if they are published in Cyber Space and are available for search engines to pick up. Just as many ideas of Naavi, this may also take time to get accepted by the community. But it is expected that in due course, Cyber-Notice.in will be an essential tool of every advocate who has to publish notices in support of any litigation.

I suppose it will be extensively used to defend against phishing and to give notices to ISPs who fail to take action against spammers and contribute to the proliferation of phishing frauds.

Comments are welcome.

Naavi

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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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