Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Indian IT Act 2006 to be reviewed to tackle Cyber Crimes

Stung by criticism by a Parliamentary panel over the draft of Information Technology Act 2006, the government is planning to review the whole act for tackling cyber crime.

The proposed amendments would address a number of concerns such as data protection, data theft, e-commerce frauds, child pornography, identity documents theft, privacy issues among others.

The ministry is holding discussions with various stakeholders to evolve the amendments, a senior official in the Department of Information Technology said. "Discussions are being held with the stakeholders including private companies, CBI and other investigative agencies," the official said. DIT would put the draft act for public comments once the review process is over.

"The law pertaining to IT should be self-containing and easily comprehensible to the global village community. Despite the experience gained in about seven years in the administration of the IT Law, no effort has been made to bring a new and exclusive legislation," the Standing Committee on Information Technology said in a report.
The Committee observed that the term 'cyber terrorism' has not been defined anywhere in the IT Act, 2000 or in the proposed amendments. Similarly, 'child pornography' has also not been mentioned anywhere in the section on pornography.

"In view of the several manifestations of sexual abuse of children and its loathsome ramifications, the Committee desires that the act of grooming the child for sexual relationship through online enticement or distributing/showing pornography or through any online means should also be made a criminal offence," it said.

Noting the complex language of legislations on monitoring the cyber space, the Parliamentary panel which was constituted to look into the proposed changes in the IT Act 2000 (which is in the form of Draft IT Act 2006), had criticised the government for not preparing a new set of laws and instead taking a "short-cut route" of making changes in the existing norms.

Source: PTI

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