Friday, June 10, 2011

Legal Enablement Of ICT Systems In India

Information and communication technology (ICT) is both a boon and bane. It is a boon as it facilitates e-governance, e-commerce and e-delivery of public services. It is a bane as it has a darker side as well. ICT is very frequently used for committing various cyber contraventions and cyber crimes.

This is the reason why we must have a strong and stringent legal framework to regulate ICT dealings. Legal enablement of ICT systems ensures formulation of legal framework for various cyberspace dealings.

Legal enablement covers areas like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, critical ICT infrastructure protection, anti cyber warfare steps, anti cyber espionage steps, anti cyber terrorism steps, etc.

Legal enablement also includes policy issues like cyber law policy, cyber security policy, cyber forensics policy, etc. At the same time legal enablement also ensures a legal framework for all these components. A cyber crisis management plan is also an essential part of the legal enablement initiative of any nation.

In the national context we have no legal enablement of ICT systems in India. We have information technology act 2000 as the cyber law of India that is trying to give some legitimacy to cyberspace dealings in India. However, in the desire to get everything at a single place, the cyber law of India has failed to achieve even a single aspect of legal enablement.

There is no deterrent for cyber criminals in India as almost all the cyber crimes are bailable. Mandatory e-governance services in India are missing and the cyber law of India has imposed a blanket ban upon asking such services by Indiana citizens. The e-commerce environment of India is also not safe and sound. Lack of cyber security and encryption usage makes e-commerce of India highly vulnerable to cyber attacks.

India must repeal the cyber law of India and come up with separate laws on these aspects of legal enablement. As far as cyber security law and cyber forensics law are concerned, India has none.

It would be safe to presume that we have no legal enablement of ICT systems in India. India is not a part of international cyber law treaty and there is also no international cyber security treaty in existence. Thus, India is lax regarding legal frameworks, policy issues and cyber security requirements and the same need to be changed as soon as possible for the larger interest of India.

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