Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cyber Crime Policy Of India

Cyber crime is an area that requires policy formulation at the national level. In the Indian context, there is no national cyber crimes policy of India. In fact, cyber crime policy and strategies of India is so important that the issue must be taken up by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of India. The present cyber law of India is not effective and PMO must ensure a new cyber law for India.

India needs to do extensive research on the legal and policy related issues pertaining to regulation of cyber crime at the national and global levels. Although India is not a signatory to the EU Convention on Cyber Crimes yet there is no reason for it to remain aloof from International Norms and Standards, says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and a Supreme Court lawyer.

India has been lax regarding policy formulation for techno legal issues. For instance, there is no cyber security policy and strategy in India, no national security policy of India, no national security and ICT policy of India, no ICT policy in India, no national ICT crisis management plan of India, etc.

In this background, it is no surprise that we have no cyber crime policy in India as well. When issues like Cyber Terrorism, Cyber Warfare, Cyber Espionage, etc are troubling India, having no Cyber Crime Policy is not a good indication, cautions Dalal.

We must urgently formulate a good and effective Techno Legal Cyber Crime Policy for India, suggests Dalal. It is for the government of India to take the initiative as sooner or later it has to adopt ICT related policies for India. The sooner these policies are adopted the better it would be for the national interest of India.

EU Convention On Cyber Crime

European Union’s Convention on Cyber Crime is the first international treaty on cyber law. The treaty endeavours to regulate cyber crimes at international level by harmonising national laws, improving cyber crimes investigative techniques and increasing cooperation among nations. The treaty came into force on 1 July 2004.

On 1 March 2006 the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime came into force. The additional protocol requires the States to punish as a criminal offence the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material through computer systems, as well as of racist and xenophobic-motivated threats and insults.

Among other things, the convention deals with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and lawful interception.

Although the objectives of the convention are praiseworthy, they have been by and large remained unfulfilled, says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India. For instance, lawful interception laws are missing in most countries including India. Similarly, protecting children in cyberspace from various cyber crimes like cyber stalking, sexual abuses, etc is still an unfulfilled dream, informs Dalal. The truth is that cyberspace is still an unfriendly place for juveniles, says Dalal.

Similarly, on the front of civil liberties in cyberspace as well the convention failed to make much difference. For instance, there should be a balance between law enforcement requirements and civil liberties. However, in the name of national security, human rights are very frequently and openly violated by various nations, including India, informs Dalal.

International cyber law harmonisation is still an unfulfilled dream as various nations are not willing to cooperate in this regard. All nations have their own agendas and priorities that are preventing adoption of an internationally acceptable cyber law treaty.

Online Cyber Law Courses In India

Cyber law is one of the emerging career options. It can be pursued by computer professionals, lawyers, management students, corporate executives, etc. Cyber law is also a very important aspect of legal training and corporate management. Legal and management professionals regularly enroll for cyber law training in India these days.

Cyber due diligence requirements in banks, companies, firms, etc has also increased the scope of cyber law professionals in India. Further, cyber law professionals would also be much required for legal management system of India in future. Cyber crime professionals are also in demand for conducting cyber crime investigations in India.

The present cyber law education trends in India show that online cyber law education in India would be the norm in the near future. Cyber law education through e-learning and online mode has many advantages over the traditional learning model. Professionals from any part of the world can enroll and get good quality cyber law training and education through e-learning method.

In India, Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) is the exclusive techno legal online cyber law education and training provider. It provides a good combination of technical as well as legal cyber law education for various professionals.

The online platform of PTLB enables any professional from any part of the world to get enrolled and successfully complete the cyber law and other courses. Once the basic level courses are successfully undertaken, professionals can enroll for higher and specialised techno legal courses of PTLB.

However, professionals should not confine themselves to selective few courses alone. They must develop a habit of engaging in lifelong learning so that their cyber skills can be developed on a continuous basis.

Cyber law is a dedicated field and it requires good aptitude and practical skills. It cannot be practices by getting academic qualifications like diplomas etc. A person must possess practical knowledge to be a successful cyber law professional. Prospective cyber law professionals must keep this aspect in mind while choosing a cyber law education institution.

International Cyber Crime Treaty And India

Cyber law is no more confined to the limits of a nation alone. Being extra territorial in nature, the cyber law of a nation often travels far beyond the territorial jurisdictions of a nation. Realising the practical difficulties of this extra territorial nature of various cyber law, an International cyber law treaty was formulated at the international level.

However, there is no relationship between this international cyber crime treaty and India as India is not a signatory to the same. India is still governed by its distinct cyber law incorporated in the information technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000).

Recently, efforts were made at the United Nations (UN) to adopt a “more comprehensive” and “truly global” International cyber crime treaty, informs Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India. However, the proposal was rejected by UN and till now there is no globally acceptable cyber crime treaty in existence, informs Dalal.

Even the Indian cyber law is far from perfect and it has decayed. It has been amended by the information technology amendment act 2008 (IT Act 2008) that made the sole cyber law of India a big mess. There are no stringent provisions to punish cyber criminals as almost all the cyber crimes have been made bailable by this amendment.

Presently, India is neither following a good model cyber law based upon international standards nor is legislating an effective law that can meet the challenges of contemporary digital economy.

The present cyber law of India is worst than no cyber law at all and it must be repealed as soon as possible. This is more so when India has decided not to sign any international cyber crime treaty and stick to its own domestic legislation.