The Law of the Land
As the concern for information security rises so does the need to pin ownership
for electronic actions. In view of the weak cyber laws in India, the Indian
Merchants' Chamber held a session to discuss the 'Controversies in Cyber Law',
on March 2, 2005.
Nanik Rupani, President IMC, opened the discussion with the remark that India
is now accepted as the knowledge centre of the world. With large amounts of
data in the country, it is important to have a sound law to protect it, he said.
The issue of ownership began with the Julian Greene case, in which the pornographic
visuals stored on Greene's PC were excused because they were attributed to a
Trojan. Courts have also heard cases where the Trojan self destructs once it
finishes its task.
P K Jain, Joint Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, said, "It will take time
for the law to evolve, even though the police cyber cell, with the help of specialists
from the IT industry, is working towards solving such crime."
To that Vijay Mukhi, Chairman IT, IMC, added, "This gathering to identify
the loopholes in cyber law ought to be conducted every month so that the Indian
law can benefit from it and evolve into foolproof regulations."
A significant point brought up in the discussion was that the IT Act 2000 was
a means to bring e-transactions on the records and not to regulate electronic
Both N S Nappinai, Advocate and Tushar Ajinkya, Manager, DSK Legal pointed out
that the definitions in the IT Act were too convoluted and ambiguous. "A
person who physically dismantles a floppy drive can be termed a hacker according
to the current definitions," explained Nappinai.
The slow judicial process too was deemed as a cause for concern
in the forum. To solve it, Satish Maneshinde, Advocate suggested that there
should be a separate court to settle Cyber crime cases.
(Left) Venugopal Iyengar, Practice Director, E-security
(Right) N S Nappinai, Advocate
(Left) P K Jain, Joint Commissioner of Police. (Middle)
Nanik Rupani, President, IMC. (Right) Satish Maneshinde, Advocate
Enforcement agencies and the Indian industry are now aligning their processes
in accordance with international standards. The Mumbai Police has a BS7799 certified
call centre that gives security-related information.
When questioned about the need for security laws, Mukhi said, "The lack
of a law puts an aggrieved company without a recourse to a remedy. Complying
with regulations is a preventive step, but the industry needs a law that it
can lean on in case there is a problem."