Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cyber Laws And Cyber Security Trends In India 2011

Cyber law in India and cyber security in India was all over the news in the year 2011. However, they were in the news for the wrong reasons. Incidences of increased cyber crimes and cyber attacks were reported from time to time in India. The cyber law trends in India 2011 and cyber security trends in India 2011 were not promising at all but we can expect better results in the year 2012.

Many crucial issues pertaining to cyber law, cyber security, Internet censorship, websites blocking, social media control, cyber law due diligence, social media due diligence, corporate cyber law due diligence, enhanced banking due diligence, Internet intermediaries liability, phone tapping, etc took place in India in 2011. Collectively they pointed towards a negative approach on the part of Indian government.

Similarly, initiative towards strengthening of information and communication technology (ICT) usages in India also proved lack of insight and proper management. For instance, the proposed electronic delivery of services bill 2011 (EDS Bill 2011) failed to address the crucial issues like mandatory e-governance services in India.

Crucial issues like electronic discovery (e-discovery) in India, use of cyber forensics in India, establishment of e-courts in India, use of online disputes resolution (ODR) in India, formulation of critical ICT infrastructure protection policy in India, formulating implementable cyberspace crisis management plan of India, formulating dedicated and suitable e-commerce laws in India, enacting whistleblowers protection laws in India, etc have still to be addressed by Indian government.

On the positive side, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tried to streamline the cyber security infrastructure of Indian banks. It made appointment of chief information officers (CIOs) mandatory in banks of India. But all such initiatives of RBI proved futile as cyber security in Indian banking sector is still missing. For instance, online banking systems in India are still insecure. Internet banking cyber security in India is still missing. ATM frauds in India are still in abundance.

An integrated modern banking law of India is in pipeline and that may establish the cyber law and cyber security due diligence for banks in India. In fact, mobile banking transactions in India have already been liberalised. However, mobile governance policy of India is still missing.

On the corporate front, financial frauds and cyber crimes in Indian companies are increasing. However, corporate IT frauds and cyber crimes investigations in India are still maturing. Although attempts to strengthen the corporate laws of India were made in the form of introduction of Indian companies bill 2011 in the Parliament yet the same could not see the light of the day. Also, the bill gave statutory recognition to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) that was expected to give wider powers to investigate corporate frauds and white color crimes. This proposal is also postponed for the time being.

Reports of violation of human rights in cyberspace by Internet intermediaries like Google, Facebook, etc were also made. Concerns regarding Facebook emerging as the worst e-surveillance serving platform also expressed. Reports of Facebook engaging in censorship of its users account were also surfaced.

Incidences of manipulation of Blogspot blogs by negative SEO and competitors were also reported. Similarly, apprehensions regarding manual action penalty and censorship by Google were also raised.

Research in motion’s (RIM) Blackberry messenger services in India have now become an e-surveillance tool. However, this arrangement does not extend to the enterprise Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution, provided through the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) product.

Overall the year 2010 saw the cyber law, cyber security and civil liberties protection in Indian cyberspace in bad light. Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) hope the year 2012 would bring positive and reformative changes in this regard.

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