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The prime objective of this book is to introduce its readers to the subject of cyber laws, elucidate key operative principles and to discuss the key developments in the field of Cyberlaws across many important jurisdictions— India, United States and European nations. The book not only explains the fundamental concepts in cyberspace laws but also aims to present a fair overview of the evolution of cyberlaws across many jurisdictions. The book discusses pertinent e-contracting and e-commerce issues, and describes popular e-payment systems and taxation regimes which are indispensable to e-commerce businesses. It elucidates the key principles for determining jurisdiction in cyber law disputes, significance of electronic signatures and admissibility of e-evidence, which are subjects of interest to readers world over. This book also presents an insight into other interesting cyberspace issues such as online privacy, defamation, freedom of speech on internet, intellectual property piracy on internet, and cybercrime issues with case studies and landmark precedents from different parts of the world. It provides practical tips on safeguarding one’s security and privacy in the online world and will enlighten readers on their legal rights and obligations in cyberspace and legal implications of their actions on theInternet.
The book contains comparative assessment of cyber laws across different jurisdictions and critically comments on positive and negative traits of existing statutory framework, legal and policy framework and important judicial precedents in information technology law and regulation. Appendices of existing cyber laws, international conventions, treaties and guidelines framed by International Organisations pertaining to cyber law and intellectual property, important EU Directives and cyber legislations of India, US, UK and other foreign countries are also given for easy reference.
“Perhaps, the greatest impact that IT has had is on blurring the time and geographical divide. Through one computer station installed in a part of the world we are able to connect and transact business across borders and physical territories. Huge amounts of data can be stored and processed and retrieved through use of computers. Computers are also being increasingly used to store confidential data of political, social, economic or personal nature. To a certain extent, the use of computers haveintroduced time saving processes and faster output generation, apparent in new outsourcing wave that has hit the Indian sub- continent. It does make social interaction and working environment easier, cost effective and dilute time and geographical limitations.”
“The quandary over application of traditional rules to online transactions has brought a common consensus on atleast few basic principles that are accepted worldwide to regulate the cyberspace. Firstly, equivalence of traditional and electronic transactions. Much of the legislative reform across nations is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law of Electronic Commerce 1996. Secondly, establishing trust in e-transactions. In 1995, the EU responding to the concerns over the invasive nature of internet and its dramatic capability to trace and profile individual identity promulgated the European Directive on Data Protection. Thirdly, there is a universal consensus on encouraging the participation of non governmental entities in regulation of e-commerce (eg, operation of WIPO domain name dispute resolution policy), and fourthly, preserving the openness of channels of e-commerce and maintaining free competition.”
“In the last decade, India witnessed an unprecedented index of cyber crimes, inter alia, trojan attacks, salami attacks, e-mail bombing, DOS attacks, information theft, or the most common offence of hacking. Despite technological measures being adopted by corporate organisations and individuals, the frequency of cyber crimes has increased over the last decade. Reliable sources report that during the year 2005, 179 cases were registered under the Information Technology Act 2000 as compared to 68 cases during the previous year, reporting the significant increase of 163 percent in 2005 over 2004. One of the first cases where the accused was convicted under the IT Act provisions was the case of State of Tamil Nadu v Suhas Kutty. The case related to posting of obscene massage about a divorcee woman in the yahoo message group. The accused was found guilty and convicted for offence under ss 469 and 504 of IPC and s 67 of the IT Act.”
“India’s IT Act is comprehensive legislation, but contains many lacunae. The passage of the IT Amendment Act 2008 will resolve many practical difficulties faced in the implementation of the Act. The IT Amendment Bill 2008 aims to bring significant changes in extant cyber laws in India,inter alia, introducing legal recognition to electronic signatures, data protection obligations and mechanisms, provisions to combat emerging cyber security threats such as cyber terrorism, identity theft, spamming, video voyeurism, pornography on Internet, and other crimes. With growing dynamics of technology in India, the legal matrix needs to be strengthened from time to time to fill up lacunae that remain in information technology law”
“With the enforcement of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, India would become technologically neutral due to adoption of electronic signatures as a legally valid mode of executing signatures. This includes digital signatures as one of the modes of signatures and is far broader in ambit covering biometrics and other new forms of creating electronic signatures.” “The electronic wallet is based on smart card technology, which is used to store data about the customer’s funds. Money is loaded into the e-wallet by transfer from the cardholder’s account. In this way, bank is not involved in the transaction at the moment of purchase. Smart cards target mainly the market of micro-payments. At present, they can be used at points of sale, vending machines, parking meters and ticket machines, public payphones, set-top boxes for interactive TV, etc. The integration of this system into Internet payments requires installing on the customer side smart card readers. The simplest and the most realistic way to achieve it is to build such readers into mobile phones. Such a solution can accelerate the development of pay-as-you-use services, such as online games, e-gaming,music, ticketing or mass transit systems.” “According to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the online taxation system needs to qualify many thresholds, including being equitable, simple, definite, enforceable, clear, flexible and dynamic. To whatever extent possible in OECD’s view the online tax system needs to synchronise with existing conventional offline tax system. In general, the e-commerce should not be more heavily taxed than the offline commerce and the online sales should be taxed at the place of destination of sale irrespective of the fact that the seller may or may not have physical presence in a state.” “In the Tata.org case the WIPO administrative panel instructed the Network Solutions Inc to transfer the domain name ‘tata.org’ to the complainant, namely Tata Sons Ltd. The panelists relied on, inter alia, the decisions that had been earlier given in favour of the complainant by the Indian courts providing protection to the trademark ‘Tata’ from abusive registrations. The panel held that the fact that the respondent had not even activated web site was indicative that it was a case of bad faith registration.”
“The magnetic stripe on the back of your card has all information about your card encoded on it. Sometimes, when the card is handed over, or gets out of sight of the cardholder, fraudsters will use small pager-size devices called ‘skimmers’ or readers/writers to copy the information on the magstripe of the card. This information can be then put on other cards having a magnetic stripe. These cards then become and behave like an exact replica or clone of the cardholder’s existing card”
“Article 21 of the Constitution of India covers the right to privacy as a fundamental right to protect the autonomy interest. Further, the IT Amendment Bill 2008 introduces s 66E to specifically deal with menace of video voyeurism and MMS scams. According to this section, whoever intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent under circumstances violating the privacy of that person shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding 2 lakh rupees or with both. Section 72 of the IT Act 2000 protects the informational privacy interests, by prohibiting disclosure of information received by a person in pursuance of the powers conferred under the Act. Such disclosure is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and or fine which may extend to 1 lac rupees.”