Virtual Special Interest Group on Amendments to ITA 2008

This has reference to the detailed note “Special Interest Group in Amendment to ITA 2008”.

It is proposed that a Virtual Special Interest Group of Cyber Law specialists is formed through this page in order to collate ideas on how Information Technology Act 2000 can be further amended now.

The need for amendment has been felt after the Supreme Court recently scrapped Section 66A in the Shreya Singhal verdict and subsequently observed that we still need a law to regulate misuse of Social Media.

However the need to amend ITA 2008 goes beyond the need to regulate Social Media and we are concerned that this point may be missed by the Government when it attempts to suggest amendments for which an Expert Committee has already been formed by the Government of India.

We feel that India is pursuing a policy of “Digital India” as a vision and placing ICT use in the center of economic development. Such “Digital India” needs to address issues such as a legal framework for Smart Cities, Smart Grids, Internet of Things, Big Data etc and the change of law which we are now contemplating should support the vision of Digital India as it emerges around 2019 and beyond.

At the same time, any proposed changes should be “Citizen Centric” and should be perceived as such. Otherwise, it can be unfairly criticized by political opponents for their personal gains and the general public out of their ignorance.

The Cyber Law specialists in the private sector who understand the emerging technologies better than the people who are close to the powers that be in Delhi will not be able to contribute their thoughts directly to the Government. Even if the Government’s “Expert Committee” places the recommendations before the public for comments, it may turn out to be another “Draft Encryption Policy” which may bring more harm to the reputation of the Government than achieving any positive results.

Hence it is proposed that those who have an interest in contributing their thoughts on shaping the new Cyber Law for Digital India may come together in this platform as a “Virtual Special Interest Group” (VSIG) and contribute their thoughts which hopefully will also be picked up by the Government in due course.

We already have the CLCC  initiative to help  better compliance of ITA 2008 as it exists today . The VSIG is a continuation of this effort to ensure that Government passes laws that the public find reasonable and desirable to comply with. We believe that If the law is considered unreasonable, the compliance levels will be low. Hence we need to tackle the compliance issue right at the source by ensuring that Government itself makes laws in such a manner that it will be respected ab-initio and voluntarily complied with rather than being pushed through enforcement.

If you think you can contribute in this direction, you may send an e-mail to Naavi.



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