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Dec
30

The face of Indian cyber law in 2013

From: Business Standard

Cyber crime conviction rates remain low, even as cyber fraud continues to increase

Pavan Duggal

Indian cyber law is still ineffective in delivering cyber crime convictions, even as cyber fraud continues to increase

The year 2013 has seen a lot of events as far as cyber law jurisprudence  in India is concerned. It has been an eventful year that demonstrated how cyber legal challenges are increasingly becoming relevant.

The CMS, the news of which came in post Snowden revelations, is supposed to be an omnipotent system for monitoring, decryption and surveillance and has immense capacities to carry out surveillance of audio, video, image or text. The CMS brought to the forefront the complex challenges pertaining to its legality and also its direct infringement upon people’s fundamental right to privacy as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India

Given the fact that CMS goes far beyond the accepted norms of surveillance, monitoring, interception and much beyond the scope of Section 69 of the Information Technology Act,
2000, it is thus clear that CMS does not really fall within the ambit of the limited permissible circumstances of monitoring, interception, decryption and blocking as detailed under Section 69, 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

As per the Google’s Transparency Report, 2013, in the case of India, the number of user data requests rose by 16 per cent to 2,691 in January-June this year from 2,319 in the same period in 2012.

As per the information reported to and tracked by Indian Computer Response Team (CERT-In), a total number of 308,371 websites of which 78 belonged to government were hacked between 2011 and 2013 (up to June). Hackers of the Pakistan Cyber Army (PCA) breached and defaced seven websites owned by the Indian government.

Year 2013 also witnessed the implementation of the Indian National Cyber Security Policy. The Policy, although it came a bit late in the day, aims to provide the legal basis for promoting the cause of cyber security in India. However, the National Cyber Security Policy, still at the time of writing, remains a paper document as it has not yet been effectively implemented.

The year 2013 has seen great increase in the incidence of cybercrimes in India. This becomes specifically apparent from the fact that Norton report has described India as the ransomware capital of Asia Pacific.

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