Friday, February 3, 2012

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Etc Must Appoint Nodal Officers In India

The Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 of India prescribe stringent provisions regarding Internet intermediary liability in India. However, till now foreign companies and websites have not followed the Guidelines and Rules issued by Indian government in this regard. In fact, they are avoiding compliance with Indian laws.

Legal liability of foreign websites in India is now well established after the matter has been brought to the attention of Indian judiciary. A criminal complaint has been filed against companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc before a Trail Court for non observation of cyber due diligence by them. Even the Delhi High Court has not quashed the criminal complaint against these companies so far and in the absence of the same the representatives of these foreign companies would now personally appear before the Trail Court on 13th March 2012.

Another related problem that has to be addressed is that foreign companies and websites have not established a procedure that can deal with complaints and notifications arising out of the Information Technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) and Rules made there under. This is so even though companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc have subsidiary companies and offices in India.

When these foreign companies and websites and their subsidiaries are deriving financial gains out of Indian operations, non following of Indian laws seems to be a grave disregard to Indian laws and regulations. These foreign companies and websites must follow Indian laws and this is the right time to do so.

We at Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) suggest that the best method to do so is to appoint a nodal officer who is responsible for managing cyber law due diligence issues arising out of Indian transactions. By not doing so, companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc are heading towards a big trouble. The sooner these nodal officers are appointed the better it would be for the larger interest of Internet intermediaries in India.

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