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Information Technology Act of India

May 2000 saw the rise of IT Bill, it received assent of President in August 2000 and became an Act. Cyber laws are contained under the IT Act, 2000.

  • AIM- to provide legal infrastructure for e-commerce in India.
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 also aims to provide for the legal framework so that legal sanctity is accorded to all electronic records and other activities carried out by electronic means. The Act states that unless otherwise agreed, an acceptance of contract may be expressed by electronic means of communication and the same shall have legal validity and enforceability. Some highlights of the Act are listed below:
  • Chapter II deals with Use of Digital Signature to authenticate an electronic record.
  • Chapter-III of the Act details about Electronic Governance and provides inter alia amongst others that where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be made available in an electronic form; and accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference.
  • Chapter-IV of the said Act gives a scheme for Regulation of Certifying Authorities. The Act recognizes the need for recognizing foreign Certifying Authorities and it further details the various provisions for the issue of license to issue Digital Signature Certificates.
  • Chapter-IX of the said Act talks about penalties and adjudication for various offences. The penalties compensation not exceeding Rs.1,00,00,000 to affected persons. The Act talks of appointment of any officers not below the rank of a Director to the Government of India or an equivalent officer of state government as an Adjudicating Officer who shall adjudicate whether any person has made a contravention of any of the provisions of the said Act or rules framed there under. The said Adjudicating Officer has been given the powers of a Civil Court.
  • Chapter-X of the Act talks of the establishment of the Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal, which shall be an appellate body where appeals against the orders passed by the Adjudicating Officers, shall be preferred.
  • Chapter-XI of the Act talks about various offences and the said offences shall be investigated only by a Police Officer not below the rank of the Deputy Superintendent of Police. These offences include tampering with computer source documents, publishing of information, which is obscene in electronic form, and hacking.
  • The Act also provides for the constitution of the Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee, which shall advice the government as regards any rules, or for any other purpose connected with the said act. The said Act also proposes to amend the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, The Bankers’ Books Evidence Act, 1891, The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to make them in tune with the provision of IT Act.

The Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008:

The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 an act to amend the IT Act 2000 received the assent of the President on 5th February 2009. It dealt with various changes as summarized below-

  • DATA PROTECTION –with no specific reference to Data Protection in 2000 Act, the ITA 2008 introduced two sections addressing Data Protection, Section 43A (Compensation for failure to protect data), and Section 72A (Punishment for disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract.
  • INFORMATION PRESERVATION- Section 67C refers to the Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries. According to Central Government, any intermediary who intentionally or knowingly contravenes the provisions shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years and shall not be liable to fine.
  • Section 69 gives power to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer source.

Section 69B authorizes to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for Cyber security.

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