India's Information Technology Act, By Pavan Duggal (editorial advisor, link-marketing.info, and advocate, Supreme Court of India). India's first cyber law makes . An Act further to amend the Information Technology Act, BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows: PARTI. Commentary on THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, She then uses specialised software to convert the document into a PDF (Portable.
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President on the 9th June, , and is hereby published for general (1) This Act may be called the Information Technology Act, Short title. PDF | 55+ minutes read | The communication deals with E-Commerce in the backdrop of Information Technology Act, In the last decade. amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, , the Bankers' (1) This Act may be called the Information Technology Act,
Chen Eds , Terrorism Online: Any person who sends by any means of a computer resource any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine. It also established a Cyber Appellate Tribunal to resolve disputes rising from this new law. Hidden categories: This is a criminal conduct in the cyber space to disrupt peaceful governance.
Even though the media had highlighted the phenomenal terrorist attack on crucial business and Jewish settlements in Mumbai, the Indian Ministry of Home affairs in their annual report had released a detailed nexus between digital technology and the mis use of the same by extremists.
Oh, Agrawal, and Rao and LaRaia and Walker had corroborated the usage of cyber technology to extremist use to present the scenario of cyber terrorism which engulfed India as well as the whole world. Both Oh et. For the purposes of this section, "Critical Information Infrastructure" means the computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which , shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety.
Substituted vide ITAA- 2 The appropriate Government may, by order in writing, authorize the persons who are authorized to access protected systems notified under sub-section 1 3 Any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system in contravention of the provisions of this section shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term, which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
There are several reports on the hacking and defacement of Indian government websites. The website was affected, but not the regular emailing services. The media stated that the experts hoped that it was a mere defacement and not the case data vandalizing because the server hosting the website was different from the one, which managed confidential correspondences NDTV Correspondent, During the period of January to June , a total of government websites had been defaced Saxena, Some important websites like the website of National Investigation Agency NIA was also affected, but it was temporarily disabled and not hacked.
Investigation on these offences is still going on. Experts had suggested that regular cyber security audits could prevent such attacks NDTV Correspondent, Such types of attacks actually fulfill the qualities of cyber attacks against government.
In July , the digital technology was further used for bomb blasts in a crowded city market in Jhaveri Bazaar, Mumbai. The Varanasi blast case also saw the usage of cyber communication wherein the Indian Mujahiddin claimed responsibility for the blast. Awakened by this, the Government of India took strong steps to strengthen the cyber security, including prohibition of terrorist activities through cyber space by way of amending the existing Indian information Technology Act, The provision that was specifically inserted in this legislature for this purpose was section 66F which defines and describes cyber terrorism.
Section 66F mentions that 1 Whoever,- A with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people by — i denying or cause the denial of access to any person authorized to access computer resource; or ii attempting to penetrate or access a computer resource without authorisation or exceeding authorized access; or iii introducing or causing to introduce any Computer Contaminant.
These are gruesome acts which is done with an intention to threaten the security, sovereignty and integrity of India or strike terror in the minds of people or a section of people; and which may result in death and injury to people, damage to properties, disruption of civil services which are essential to the life of a community, and also affects the critical information infrastructure. The intercepted messages that were availed by the Government of India during the prosecution of the Mumbai attack case would clearly show the extremists were communicating purely on the basis of their personal freedom of speech.
However, when looked at the communication in total, it could be seen that this speech was carried on to disrupt the peace, security and sovereignty of India and thereby it looses its nature of a protected speech under Art 19A of the Constitution of India. At the same time, it is an act of terrorism. In the definition provided by section 66F, this particular aspect is glaringly absent. The Information Technology Act, amended in had painstakingly taken efforts to secure protected systems, which is defined by Section This is very much evident from the two specific provisions which are dedicated to define and describe cyber security under section 2 nb ; and unauthorized access to computer and computer network system and contamination etc under section 43 of the Information Technology Act, amended in Further, to strengthen these two sections, section 69, 69A and 69B were also enacted.
Section 69 speaks about powers to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource; section 69A speaks about power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource, and section 69B speaks about power to authorize to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for Cyber Security.
All these sections may signify the communicational aspect of cyber terrorism, which is missing in the definition of cyber terrorism in section 66F.
The unfortunate truth is that this legislation could not come out of the basic scope of legal recognition of electronic commerce that was laid down at the time of the birth of this law. This scope was further enhanced in the Information Technology Amendment Bill, to cover e-governance, e-commerce, e-transactions, protection of personal data and information and protection of critical information infrastructure.
Even though the amended Act in had included provisions, which would protect personal data, prevent financial frauds and restrict offensive communication, the purpose of preventing extremist usage of the cyber communications was not properly satisfied. However, the definition was not stagnated in this meaning alone. Various researchers have attempted to define the term from various angles, which include the usage of the term to mean using information technology with political motivation to attack on civilians Pollit, cited in Krasavin, This term has further gained popularity due to the media, who interpreted the term from mischievous pranks to terrorize others Krasavin, , to even serious attacks like the Mumbai attack NDTV Correspondent, As I had mentioned earlier, cyber terrorism is a holistic term.
This includes general usage of the cyber space, which would also aide to terrorist purposes. Oh et. Most of these posts were made in connection of warning people about sensitive areas, blood donation camps that were set up to supply blood to the wounded, information for friends and relatives. Apparently, these posts were well within their constitutional limits; however, they fed unconstitutional missions.
This failure had further motivated more cyber usage for terrorist purposes.
The Javeri Bazaar blast, again in Mumbai is a glaring example. It could further be seen that due to this lacuna in the legislation, the prosecution pays minimum heed to the application of this law in the course of prosecuting the accused. After the amended version of the Information Technology Act was brought in, section 69F was sparingly used to nip the bud of cyber terrorist acts.
In most cases, cyber reliance by the terrorists or extremists was used for forensic evidences NDTV Correspondent, However, I refuse to call Pakistan cyber army hacking and defacement case as a case of cyber terrorism.
Such attacks on government websites could be vital as this may actually hamper the machine, the congenital government data as well as the network. However, this attack neither affected the confidential data NDTV Correspondent, , nor created extreme threat to the sovereignty and integrity of nation, neither threat to population of a targeted area as was done in Mumbai attack, and thereby failed to attract the core characteristics of cyber terrorism.
These are cases of Terrorists use of Internet and not Cyber Terrorism per se. The cyber smart extremists prefer to avoid private internet connections through home computers, as the internet protocol address I. P address may easily disclose the location data. Conclusion Apparently a legislation made to safeguard the e-commerce, cannot be pulled in to protect non-commercial issues including extremist communications and ideologies that are hatched in the cyber space.
In India, extremist activities which are carried out to disrupt the sovereignty and integrity are strictly regulated the Prevention of Terrorism Act, repeal ordinance, , besides various provisions under the Indian Penal code, especially chapter VI, which deals with offences against the State. The prime focus of these legislations is to restrict terrorist activities in India. As such, they also emphasize on the forensic evidences that could trace the motive, the master plan as well as the master planner and the executers of such plans.
With the growth of digital communications, the Indian Evidence Act has also adopted the cyber forensic specimens as evidences for the extremist ideologies and activities.
A minute analysis of the Information Technology Act, would show that the language of the provisions, especially section 69 F, fails to recognize the inherent meaning of terrorism through cyber space.
Rather, this law remained a shadow of the existing anti terrorism legislations.
Vandalizing the cyber space could definitely be termed as cyber terrorism, but cyber communication carried out to vandalize the peace of civil society must not be ignored. Nothing but a focused law could be the only answer for preventing cyber terrorist activities in India. It could be seen that Information Technology Bill had a larger holistic statement of objects and reasons.
Para 1 and 2 of the statement of objects and reasons of this Bill stated as follows: The Information Technology Act was enacted in the year with a view to give a fillip to the growth of electronic based transactions, to provide legal recognition for e-commerce and e-transactions, to facilitate e-governance, to prevent computer based crimes and ensure security practices and procedures in the context of widest possible use of information technology worldwide. With proliferation of information technology enabled services such as e-governance, e- commerce and e-transactions, protection of personal data and information and implementation of security practices and procedures relating to these applications Chapter published in: Further, protection of Critical Information Infrastructure is pivotal to national security, economy, public health and safety, so it has become necessary to declare such infrastructure as a protected system so as to restrict its access.
However, the amended Act of does not show case these objects and reasons. Here lies the pivotal focus of my argument. A law meant for safeguarding electronic commerce could go to save the personal data of the individuals, but it may not successfully envelop the issues of terrorism, even though such terrorist move could disrupt the commercial transactions through cyber space and thereby cause financial loss to the nation.
In order to make the present Information Technology Act, a focused legislation to prevent cyber atrocities, especially cyber terrorism, the following recommendations could be adopted: The statement of object and reasons must be stretched to cover crimes committed in the cyber space, and not limited to safeguard electronic commerce and related communications only.
Cyber terrorism must be broadly defined to include the usage of cyber space and cyber communication. The language of Section 66F must be stretched to cover cyber communication that is carried out with intent to fulfill terrorist missions. Further, the provisions of section 69, which speaks about power to issue for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource, must be included in the ambit of section 66 E.
This could form a new chapter dedicated for cyber terrorism and extremist speeches in the main legislation. References Collin, B. The Future of CyberTerrorism. Denning, D. Activists and Terrorists turn to cyberspace. How the Internet is transforming Terrorism. Yar Eds. Willan Publishing. Duggal, P. The next day it was passed by the Rajya Sabha. It was signed into law by President Pratibha Patil , on 5 February List of offences and the corresponding penalties: The appropriate Government may, by order in writing, authorise the persons who are authorised to access protected systems.
If a person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system, then he is committing an offence. From its establishment as an amendment to the original act in , Section 66A attracted controversy over its unconstitutional nature:.
He was supported by D. P Rajeev pointed that cartoons and editorials allowed in traditional media, were being censored in the new media. He also said that law was barely debated before being passed in December Rajeev Chandrasekhar suggested the 66A should only apply to person to person communication pointing to a similar section under the Indian Post Office Act, Shantaram Naik opposed any changes, saying that the misuse of law was sufficient to warrant changes.
He also said that a similar provision existed under Indian Post Office Act, However, P Rajeev said that the UK dealt only with communication from person to person. They said that the section was vague and frequently misused.
She argued that the Section 66A was vaguely phrased, as result it violated Article 14, 19 1 a and Article 21 of the Constitution. The PIL was accepted on 29 November The court said that Section 66A of IT Act is "arbitrarily, excessively and disproportionately invades the right of free speech" provided under Article 19 1 of the Constitution of India.
But the Court turned down a plea to strike down sections 69A and 79 of the Act, which deal with the procedure and safeguards for blocking certain websites. The data privacy rules introduced in the Act in have been described as too strict by some Indian and US firms. The rules require firms to obtain written permission from customers before collecting and using their personal data. This has affected US firms which outsource to Indian companies. However, some companies have welcomed the strict rules, saying it will remove fears of outsourcing to Indian companies.
The Section 69 allows intercepting any information and ask for information decryption.
To refuse decryption is an offence. The Indian Telegraph Act, allows the government to tap phones. But, according to a Supreme Court verdict the government can tap phones only in case of a "public emergency". But, there is no such restriction on Section On 2 April , the Chief Minister of Maharashtra , Devendra Fadnavis revealed to the state assembly that a new law was being framed to replace the repealed Section 66A.
Fadnavis was replying to a query Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe. Gorhe had said that repeal of the law would encourage online miscreants and asked whether the state government would frame a law to this regard.
Fadnavis said that the previous law had resulted in no convictions, so the law would be framed such that it would be strong and result in convictions. On 13 April , it announced that the Ministry of Home Affairs would form a committee of officials from the Intelligence Bureau , Central Bureau of Investigation , National Investigation Agency , Delhi Police and ministry itself to produce a new legal framework.
This step was reportedly taken after complaints from intelligence agencies that, they were no longer able to counter online posts that involved national security matter or incite people to commit an offence, such as online recruitment for ISIS. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Information Technology Act, the Act to provide legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as "electronic commerce", which involve the use of alternatives to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information, to nusta editing electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies and further to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, , the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, and the Reserve Bank of India Act, and favour matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
See also: Mandatory decryption. Indian Penal Code. Eastern Book Company.
Retrieved 14 April Essentials of Information Technology Law. Notion Press. Centre for Internet and Society India. The Indian Express. That was the time our MPs spent on Section 66A. How they played". The Telegraph India. Retrieved 6 May The Hindu. Retrieved 8 May Retrieved 7 May Offences Archives - Information Technology Act". Information Technology Act. Retrieved Outlook India. The Guardian. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc. Hindustan Times.
India Today. Retrieved 23 April Court scraps charges against Palghar girls". The Times of India.