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IT experts want to refresh current cyber laws
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 20:52:32 -0500 (CDT)


By Sanjay Anand
6 June 2001 

NEW DELHI: The law, they say, is an ass. Indeed, seven months after
the country's cyber laws were put in place, a few `cyber crimes' have
hit the headlines--and attracted criticism. Be it a school boy
punished for posting obscene material on the Net, or an official of a
web-hosting company imprisoned for blocking the site of his client for

It goes without saying that the country's brand-new cyber laws will
face challenges. And to discuss the first few brushes of the law with
`cyber-society', IT experts are slated to meet for two days in the
capital to raise implementation issues vis-a-vis the IT Act.

The focus of the meet, they say, will be on several instances of
``misinterpretation, mishandling and inadequacy'' of cyber laws that
have come up over the past few months in cases involving e-commerce,
hacking and harassment, indicating a need for the amendment of the IT

``We are very happy with the speed at which the government has framed
and passed the IT Act. Now, it is time for us to inform managers,
enforcement agencies and the public about the need for quick and
effective implementation of the provisions of the Act and, where
necessary, call for appropriate changes,'' said DN Khurana, DG, AIMA
(All India Management Association), which is organising the two day
event (Cyber Laws & Security) from Friday.

According to cyber law expert Pavan Duggal, certain clauses of the IT
Act need to be changed and so do certain other laws of the land for
effective implementation the Act.

Venkatesh Prasad, attorney at Mumbai-based J Sagar and Associates
agreed. ``Cyber laws are fairly new and quite in line with what is
prevalent in US and Singapore. There are related laws covered in the
Evidence Act and IPC, for instance, that need to be fine tuned to make
IT Act more effective,'' he said.

Prasad expressed concern over area that have been left out of the Act.
``By not addressing the issues of cyber-squatting and tax implications
of e-commerce related transactions, the Act does not emerge as
comprehensive or holistic and I'm sure amendments are bound to
happen,'' said Prasad.

Specifically, it is the delay in enforcing of digital signatures that
seems to be bothering IT experts the most, although the government has
said that the certifying authorities (CAs) would be in place soon.
``There has been little action on CAs and unless they are in place,
there can be little progress in areas like e-commerce,'' he added.

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