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    It Act and Grey Areas Essay (818 words)

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    Information Technology Act The Information Technology Act 2000 (ITA-2000)(IT ACT) is an Act of the Indian Parliament (No 21 of 2000) notified on October 17, 2000. History of the Act The United Nations General Assembly by resolution A/RES/51/162, dated the 30 January 1997 has adopted the Model Law on Electronic Commerce adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. This is referred to as the UNCITRAL Model Law on E-Commerce. Following the UN Resolution India passed the Information Technology Act 2000 in May 2000 and notified it for effectiveness on October 17, 2000.

    The Information technology Act 2000 has been substantially amended through the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 which was passed by the two houses of the Indian Parliament on December 23,and 24, 2008. It got the Presidential assent on February 5, 2009 and was notified for effectiveness on October 27, 2009. A Complete history of how the current version of the Information Technology Act -2008 version evolved over a period of time between 1998 to 2009 is available at the reference link given under external links below. Specifics of the Act Information technology Act 2000 consisted of 94 sections segregated into 13 chapters.

    Four schedules form part of the Act. In the 2008 version of the Act, there are 124 sections (excluding 5 sections that have been omitted from the earlier version) and 14 chapters. Schedule I and II have been replaced. Schedules III and IV are deleted. Essence of the Act Information Technology Act 2000 addressed the following issues: 1. Legal Recognition of Electronic Documents 2. Legal Recognition of Digital Signatures 3. Offenses and Contraventions 4. Justice Dispensation Systems for Cybercrimes ITA 2008 as the new version of Information Technology Act 2000 is often referred has provided additional focus on Information Security. t has added several new sections on offences including Cyber Terrorism and Data Protection. The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 The Government of India has brought major amendments to ITA-2000 in form of the Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008. Criticism The amendment was passed in an eventful Parliamentary session on 23rd of December 2008 with no discussion in the House. Some of the cyber law observers have criticized the amendments on the ground of lack of legal and procedural safeguards to prevent violation of civil liberties of Indians.

    There have also been appreciation about the amendments from many observers because it addresses the issue of Cyber Security. Section 69 empowers the Central Government/State Government/ its authorized agency to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource if it is necessary or expedient so to do in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence or for investigation of any offence.

    Notification Of IT Act 2008 The Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 (IT Act 2008) has been passed on 23rd December 2008 and received the assent of President of India on 5th February, 2009. The IT Act 2008 has been notified on Oct 27 2009 GREY AREAS OF IT ACT 2000 1. The IT Act, 2000 is likely to cause a conflict of jurisdiction. 2. Electronic commerce is based on the system of domain names. The IT Act, 2000 does not even touch the issues relating to domain names.

    Even domain names have not been defined and the rights and liabilities of domain name owners do not find any mention in the law. 3. The IT Act, 2000 does not deal with any issues concerning the protection of Intellectual Property Rights I the context of the online environment. Contentious yet very important issues concerning online copyrights, trademarks and patents have been left untouched by the law, thereby leaving many loopholes. 4. As the cyber law is growing, so are the new forms and manifestations of cyber crimes. The offences defined in the IT Act, 2000 are by no means exhaustive.

    However, the drafting of the relevant provisions of the IT Act, 2000 makes it appear as if the offences detailed therein are the only cyber offences possible and existing. The IT Act, 2000 does not cove various kinds of cyber crimes and Internet related crimes. These Include:- a) Theft of Internet hours b) Cyber theft c) Cyber stalking d) Cyber harassment e) Cyber defamation f) Cyber fraud g) Misuse of credit card numbers h) Chat room abuse 5. The IT Act, 2000 has not tackled several vital issues pertaining to e-commerce sphere like privacy and content regulation to name a few.

    Privacy issues have not been touched at all. 6. Another grey area of the IT Act is that the same does not touch upon any anti- trust issues. 7. The most serious concern about the Indian Cyber law relates to its implementation. The IT Act, 2000 does not lay down parameters for its implementation. Also, when internet penetration in India is extremely low and government and police officials, in general are not very computer savvy, the new Indian cyber law raises more questions than it answers. It seems that the Parliament would be required to amend the IT Act, 2000 to remove the grey areas mentioned above.

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