Author Topic: Cyber Law Of India  (Read 1221 times)

PTLB

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Cyber Law Of India
« on: February 11, 2017, 05:27:27 PM »
       This article would be regularly updated from time to time.
 
Cyber law of India was enacted in the year 2000 in the form of Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000) (pdf). It was primarily enacted to strengthen e-commerce and electronic transactions. Till the year 2008, Indian government realised that cyber law of India needs to address issues of cyber crimes and related issues as well. As a result Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 (pdf) was introduced to address new challenges. However, the 2008 amendment also brought many e-surveillance and civil liberties violating provisions that are further strengthened by issuance of successive rules and regulations from time to time.

The net result of the piecemeal approach and introduction of e-surveillance and civil liberties violations provisions is that the current cyber law of India is fit case for repeal. We need a new and better cyber law for India and the old one must be discarded as soon as possible. Further, dedicated laws for cyber security, privacy, data protection, cyber forensics, etc are also need of the hour.

The worst affect of the present cyber law of India is that it has been made base for many more regulations and laws of India. As a result, the illegalities and unconstitutionality of these provisions also crept in other provisions of various statutes. One such provision was section 66A of the IT Act 2000 that was struck down (pdf) by the Supreme Court of India as unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court created more problems than solutions by reading down  section 79(3)(b) and Rule 3(4) of the IT Act, 2000.Such reading down by Supreme Court would be counter productive in the long term and is a big blow to the requirement of cyber law due diligence in India. Even Indian government has been negligent in bringing suitable provisions to strengthen cyber law due diligence (pdf) in India.

Nevertheless, the IT Act, 2000 has enacted few good provisions pertaining to e-commerce, e-governance and cyber crimes. The problem with these provisions is that they cannot provide a holistic legal framework for their respective fields. For instance, we do not have a comprehensive and holistic legal framework for e-commerce even in 2017. So is the case regarding e-governance and cyber crimes. We have some provisions for some fields and this is the real problem as we do not have real laws for fields like cyber law, cyber security, e-commerce, e-governance, cyber forensics, etc.

Let us consider the deficiencies and unconstitutionality of the provisions under the IT Act, 2000 via-a-vis digital India and Aadhaar projects of Indian government. The digital India project would usher digitalisation across India on mass scale. However, neither IT Act, 2000 nor any other law of India is capable to manage the techno legal issues of digital India, including privacy, data protection (pdf) and cyber security issues. Similarly, the Aadhaar project managed by UIDAI and Indian government has its own cyber security, data security and privacy issues that have been neglected by Indian government for many years. The combination of digital India and Aadhaar has made India the biggest digital panopticon of the world and Indian Parliament and Judiciary are mere moot spectators.

So the cyber law of India is very poor when it comes to protection of civil liberties and privacy in cyberspace. It actually encourages e-surveillance and privacy violation without any sort of procedural safeguards and legal remedies. Vast powers have been given to government authorities and agencies without any accountability and transparency. The colonial mindset has been adopted while imposing e-surveillance and civil liberties violation provisions under the cyber law and Telegraph Act of India.

Due to surveillance promoting laws and many more factors, India has become the worst big brother nation of the world. Indians are now forced to use self defense mechanisms to protect their civil liberties in cyberspace and otherwise. However, considering the intentions and projects of Indian government, these self defense mechanisms must be used by Indians in their day to day cyberspace and physical activities.

These negative developments would also affect the smart cities project launched by Indian government. For instance, smart cities civil liberties and cyber security issues are still unresolved in India. Cyber law of India would further create problems for the smart cities project of India.

Further, use of Internet of things (IoT) in India is also risky in these circumstances. Who can trust wide scale use IoT when we have weak cyber law, cyber security and missing privacy laws? The privacy, data protection and cyber security issues of Internet of things (IoT) in India have yet to receive attention of Indian government.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 07:36:48 PM by PTLB »