SIGNIFICANT CYBERLAW TRENDS OF 2013

SIGNIFICANT CYBERLAW TRENDS OF 2013

BY

PAVAN DUGGAL
ADVOCATE, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
PRESIDENT, CYBERLAWS.NET
PRESIDENT, CYBERLAW ASIA

I propose to examine some of the important trends which are likely to have impact upon the growth and evolution of cyberlaw jurisprudence across the world.

1. In 2013, the increased usage of mobile devices in different parts of the world could give rise to more mobile crime related activities.

2. A variety of legal, policy and regulatory issues pertaining to the mobile system are likely to further arise in 2013.

3. Mobile apps and connected legal issues could become more relevant as mobile apps could increasingly play havoc with the personal details of any user.

4. Mobile adware or mad-ware is likely to continue to consistently grow in 2013

5. Appropriate enabling frameworks that will help, protect and preserve the rule of law in the mobile ecosystem are likely to emerge in national legislations in this year.

6. The year 2013 is likely to see an increased quantum of cybercrimes across the world

7. Cyber terrorism is likely to continue to grow as a significant tool to propagate political methodology.

8. Cyber war is likely to emerge as a priority for any defence force of any sovereign nation in 2013.

9. It is likely that countries could be pushed to come up with appropriate legislative framework so as to deal with emerging, new kinds of cyber crimes.

10. There could be increased international pressure to escalate efforts to come up with appropriate international mechanisms so as to prevent the occurrence of cyber conflict and cyber war.

11. Countries are likely to pay far more attention to legal, regulatory and policy issues pertaining to cyber security in 2013.

12. Appropriate frameworks pertaining to legal aspects concerning cloud computing are likely to emerge as increased adoption of the cloud is likely to continue to consolidate in the year 2013.

13. Issues concerning privacy and data protection in the cloud computing scenario are likely to continue to gain significance and importance, as time passes by

14. Online privacy and data protection are likely to continue to be important topics as far as growth of cyberlaw jurisprudence in the year 2013 is concerned.

15. Increased adoption and usage of social media are likely to bring forward various complicated legal, policy and regulatory issues.

16. It could be possible that some nations may also come up with appropriate mechanisms so as to regulate some portions of content on social media.

17. Inappropriate usage of social media is likely to engage the attention of the lawmakers globally.

18. Concept of privacy in the context of social media is further likely to be eroded in 2013.

19. Spam is likely to engage the attention of lawmakers in different countries , as spam in cyber and mobile environments pose increasing challenges to digital commerce and users/netizens.

20. There is likely to be significant increase in phishing and identity theft instances at a global level.

The aforesaid are some of more significant and important Cyberlaw trends that are likely to emerge in the year 2013. The aforesaid list is only illustrative in nature and is no by means exhaustive. The said list has been collated, based on existing tends on the ground. The present trends have been derived on analysis of the existing jurisprudence on Cyberlaw up-to-date.

The author Pavan Duggal is Asia’s leading Cyberlaw expert and authority. He can be contacted at pavan@pavanduggal.net and pduggal@vsnl.com

By mobilelawconf

INDIAN CYBERLAW HIGHLIGHTS -2012

INDIAN CYBERLAW HIGHLIGHTS -2012

BY

PAVAN DUGGAL
ADVOCATE, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
PRESIDENT, CYBERLAWS.NET
PRESIDENT, CYBERLAW INDIA
PRESIDENT, CYBERLAW ASIA

The year 2012 saw the emergence of various important issues which engaged the attention of the relevant stakeholders in the digital and mobile ecosystem.

1. The year 2012 saw unprecedented growth in the adoption of mobiles by sections of the Indian population.
2. This year saw the emergence of and further growth of new area of legal discipline known as “Mobile Law”.
3. The author wrote Asia’s and the world’s first treatise on mobile jurisprudence entitled “Mobile Law”, which was released in the beginning of 2012.
4. Throughout the year 2012, there was inherent tension amongst social media that efforts were being made so as to regulate and censor social media in India.
5. The year 2012 belonged to Section 66A of the Amended Information Technology Act, 2000
6. Various cases registered under Section 66A of the Amended Information Technology Act, 2000 including Prof. Ambikesh Mahapatra case, Karthi Chidambaram complaint case, employees of Air India case, Shaheen Dhada case, the birthday cake case.
7. The widespread rampant, arbitrary misuse and misinterpretation of Section 66 of the amended Information Technology Act, 2000 saw tremendous opposition to Section 66A of the amended Information Technology Act, 2000
8. Public Interest Litigations challenging the constitutionality of Section 66A were filed in the Madras High Court as also in the Allahabad High Court
9. Public Interest Litigation was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by a law student before the Supreme Court of India challenging the constitutional validity of Section 66A
10. Supreme Court quashed the proceedings against Avnish Bajaj, the then CEO of baazee.com under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 in the famous DPS MMS/ baazee.com case.
11. Various websites were blocked by orders issued by the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India
12. Annulment Motion was moved unsuccessfully in Parliament against the Information Technology Rules, 2011.
13. Cyber terrorism and mobile terrorism knocked the doors of Indian nation in very real terms
14. Cyber war was waged on India, in the manifestation of Bangalore SMS rumours, disseminated through digital and mobile networks
15. In a different context, the Northern Grid failure demonstrated to India the potential consequences that could visit India in the events its Critical Information Infrastructure like Grids were to be hacked or attacked from any outside computers or networks
16. Controversy surrounded Committee for Internet Related Policies (CIRP) proposal moved by India in United Nations.
17. WCIT Conference at Dubai held by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) , attended by India, created its own share of controversies.
18. Government of India also notified the guidelines for social media use in governmental agencies
19. The Nirmal Baba case judgment of the Delhi High Court demonstrated the ingenious methodologies adopted by Indian judiciary to deal with the challenges pertaining to cyberspace.
20. In an important case pertaining to Sri Sri Ravisankar’s defamation on the Internet, the Delhi High Court reiterated the liability of intermediaries in the context of online defamation and their obligation to remove such content
21. India continued to recognize the liabilities of intermediaries
22. There were significant developments in the area of John Doe/Ashok Kumar jurisprudence in India.
23. Planning Commission’s group, headed by Justice A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, gave its recommendations on the need for an Indian privacy legislation
24. Majority of Indians preferred not to report their cyber crimes to the police.
25. Further registration of FIRs in cyber crime cases were further less and far between.
26. Mobile crimes continue to grow in India
27. The year 2012 also created increased awareness amongst relevant stakeholders about inefficacy and inadequacy of Indian Cyberlaw to deal with various newly emerging challenges in the digital and mobile ecosystems.

The author Pavan Duggal is Asia’s leading Cyberlaw expert and authority. He can be contacted at pavan@pavanduggal.net and pavanduggal@gmail.com.

By mobilelawconf

Pavan Duggal Quoted by various National and International Media-

Times of India quoted Pavan Duggal Saying “though welcome, are merely a reactive response. What needs to be changed is the definition of offence under section 66-A”. “Prior approval brings checks against misuse of law,” said another lawyer, but Duggal added “unless the scope of the section is narrowed down, it may still be open to abuse.”
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fighting-for-free-speech-Law-needs-overhaul-not-cosmetic-job/articleshow/17422984.cms

New York Times quoted Pavan Duggal Saying “It leaves everything to the subjective discretion of the law enforcement authorities,”
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/conceived-in-haste-indias-internet-law-now-targeted-for-change/

The Hindu business line quoted Pavan Duggal saying “However, noted cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal said while the intention is noble, the move will not help achieve the desired motive and is like “repairing a leaking roof with a bandage during rain”.
“Only Parliamentary amendments in the IT Act can achieve the desired objective. The issuance of guidelines without amending the IT Act are cosmetic changes to satisfy the backlash from social media,”
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/government-and-policy/govt-to-issue-fresh-guidelines-to-prevent-misuse-of-sec-66-a/article4146082.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy

IBN Live quoted Pavan Duggal saying “However, noted cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal said while the intention is noble, the move will not help achieve the desired motive and is like “repairing a leaking roof with a bandage during rain”.”Only Parliamentary amendments in the IT Act can achieve the desired objective.”
5. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/govt-to-issue-new-guidelines-to-prevent-misuse-of-sec-66a-of-it-act/308066-3.html

Rediff quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Cyber law expert Pavan Duggal states that by making the superintendent of police or an officer above register cases under this section does not help the purpose one bit.
“It is like fixing a leaking roof with a band aid,” he says.
“However, the bigger worry is that if these guidelines come into play it would be directly in conflict with Section 78 and Section 80 of the IT Act. Section 78 states that notwithstanding anything in the Code of Criminal Procedure, a police officer in the level of an inspector shall investigate an offence under the IT Act. Further under Section 80 power has been given to conduct a search and arrest without warrant of any person found violating the act.
“Now if the amendment to 66 (A) gives the power to the SP or an officer above him, it would mean that both Sections 78 and 80 need to be amended,” Duggal points out.
“Moreover, these amendments would only mean we are reverting to earlier position. Under the IT Act of 2000 only an officer in the level of DSP or above could probe such cases. Further and amendment in 2008 stated that an officer in the rank of an inspector level could also probe such a case,” he notes.
Duggal points out that merely setting guidelines for investigation is not the need of the hour. “It is very important that Section 66(A) remains in sync with Article 19 (2) of the Indian Constitution which deals with free speech. The problem is that the definition of free speech under Section 66 (A) goes beyond the definition as envisaged in the Indian Constitution. This makes Section 66 (A) ultra vires of the Constitution. Clearly the need of the hour is much more work on the subject and if any change or impact has to be made then, the lawmakers should think of getting 66(A) in sync with Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India],”
http://www.rediff.com/news/report/why-govts-move-to-amend-draconian-it-act-isnt-enough/20121129.htm

DNA India quoted Pavan Duggal saying “I don’t think this step is enough. In fact, this is contrary to sections 78 and 80 of the act, which say that an officer of the rank of an inspector can not only register a complaint but also search a public place without any warrant,”
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_kapil-sibal-reins-in-section-66-a-with-a-rider_1771594

Mid Day quoted Pavan Duggal saying “An Act is created only by the parliament and only the parliament can amend it. Fundamental flaws under section 66 A, which already discriminates against online speech, are not being addressed. Section 66 A imposes far more restrictions on free online speech, as compared to the restrictions imposed upon free speech in the actual world by the Constitution. We clearly need to amend the IT Act, and make it more relevant and topical with the needs of technology.”
http://www.mid-day.com/news/2012/nov/301112-Mumbai-Make-act-more-relevant-to-the-needs-of-technology.htm

Abtak news quoted Pavan Duggal saying “66A is a black hole,” “It was drafted in very wide terms and is capable of distinctive interpretations, leaving a lot of discretion in the hands of the police,”
http://abtaknews.com/arrest-of-mumbai-girls-over-facebook-comments-sparks-anger-over-draconian-it-act

Zee News quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This is high time for the government for the review of the law. The government should amend the IT Act so as to narrow down its provisions as some of the these violate our constitutional right of free speech.”
http://zeenews.india.com/news/maharashtra/netizens-flay-mumbai-girls-arrest-over-facebook-post_811716.html

DW quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Grossly offensive or has menacing character are entirely subjective. Who are the police to decide? It will be a tool of harassment. Unless it is amended, every day there will be many committing offences in public life,”
http://www.dw.de/indian-internet-users-fear-trend-to-oppression/a-16408683

By mobilelawconf

PAVAN DUGGAL BEING INTERVIEWED BY VARIOUS NEWS CHANNELS

IBN LIVE- 12 tips to keep your Facebook account safe
http://goo.gl/KXyqy, http://www.youtube.com/pavanduggal

CNN IBN- India @ 9 with Rajdeep Sardesai-Talking Point- Is It Time to Re Write social Media LAW?
http://goo.gl/HXfrK

NDTV- News-Point
http://goo.gl/uOgqM, http://www.youtube.com/pavanduggal

NewsX- Govt’s new guidelines put onus on states, people
http://goo.gl/sIqlt, http://www.youtube.com/pavanduggal

By mobilelawconf

Pavan Duggal Quoted by various National and International Media-

The Hindu Business Line quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This is high time for the government for the review of the law. The government should amend the IT Act so as to narrow down its provisions as some of these violate our constitutional right of free speech.”
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/netizens-flay-mumbai-girls-arrest-over-facebook-post/article4112384.ece;

The New York Times quoted Pavan Duggal saying “The law is so broad, it gives unbridled power to the authorities to register a case. It leaves everything to the subjective discretion of the law enforcement authorities.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/world/asia/india-police-arrest-student-over-facebook-post.html
Daily Mail UK quoted Pavan Duggal saying “66A is a black hole. It was drafted in very wide terms and is capable of distinctive interpretations, leaving a lot of discretion in the hands of the police”.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2236084/Arrest-Mumbai-girls-Facebook-comments-sparks-anger-draconian-IT-Act.html;

Rediffnews quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This section is very broad and is capable of distinct interpretation by different entities. It could be called draconian due to the huge ambit of space that it covers. It speaks of sending information that is grossly offensive, menacing and information that causes annoyance.”
http://www.rediff.com/news/report/facebook-post-arrest-case-the-road-ahead-for-the-accused/20121119.htm

PC WORLD Australia quoted Pavan Duggal saying “There have not been any convictions so far under Section 66A, because its wording is vague. But the language that is used in the law is so “wide and broad” that it can be used by law enforcement agencies to target and harass people. Section 66A by its vagueness goes beyond the restrictions on free speech already in place under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. The interpretation of an offence under the section is largely left to the discretion of the complainant and the law enforcement agencies”.
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/442652/arrests_indian_facebook_users_raise_questions_about_india_cyberlaws/

Avashya quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Messages on a social networking can be used as electronic evidence under the IT Act”
http://www.avashya.com/articles/share/107799/

NVN news quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This is high time for the government for the review of the law. The government should amend the IT Act so as to narrow down its provisions as some of these violate our constitutional right of free speech. It would be a bigger challenge for the prosecution to prove that the statement could incite communal disharmony and violence”. http://www.nationalvisionnews.com/hdetails.php?nTId=MjEwMA==

Business-Standard quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This is just the tip of the iceberg and as the use of social networks will increase, you will see such abuse of power. The use of Section 505 of IPC is just not applicable”
http://business-standard.com/india/news/bail-to-students-arrested-over-facebook-post/493046/;

Sify news quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Section 66 (a) of the IT Act, which was introduced in 2008 after the Mumbai terror attacks is in direct conflict with Article 19 of the Constitution, which talks about freedom of speech and expression”. Section 66 (a) can be misused. It’s high time the government put its acts together. This section should be completely removed or its scope narrowed, else the current Act can act as a tool for oppressing freedom of speech”.
http://www.sify.com/news/facebook-comment-case-is-it-time-to-amend-the-it-act-news-columns-mlvbGDffbih.html;

Yahoo News quoted Pavan Duggal saying “My suggestion to all users would be, be careful about what they write, abstain from posting anything that can be interpreted as defamatory without any proof.”
http://news.yahoo.com/netizens-cry-murder-log-off-social-groups-225503925.html

MXM India quoted Pavan Duggal saying “when a person clicks on “Like” button on Facebook, it does not constitute an offence under Section 66A. Technically speaking, a person is only clicking the button of “Like” but is not per se either sending any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character. Neither is the said person sending any information which he knows to be false but which has been sent for the purposes of causing annoyance, inconvenience, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill-will.

http://www.mxmindia.com/2012/11/are-we-really-free-to-post-online/

CIOL quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Grossly offensive or has menacing character are vast terms. Legislation has left it to subjective disrection of the person,”
http://www.ciol.com/ciol/news/122177/fb-arrests-cyber-activists-india-democrazy/page/4

Data Quest quoted Pavan Duggal saying “While Section 66A talks about sending any information that is grossly offensive or having menacing character; the law does not give any guidance as to what is grossly offensive or information having menacing character. Thus, it is left to the subjective description of the law-enforcement agencies in this regard”
http://www.dqindia.com/dataquest/analysis/122304/the-deathly-hallow-section-66a-indian-it-act/page/1

Indiatvnews and livemint quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Section 66A tends to impose restrictions that go beyond resonable curbs under Article 19 of the Constitution, which provides for freedom of speech and expression. No doubt that this section is a potent tool in the hands of powerful to silence criticism against them.”
http://www.indiatvnews.com/print/news/outcry-netizens-man-arrested-tweeting-chidambaram-son-6715-4.html;
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/nSMOJy0NzUiK6N0e5M0f0N/Arrest-for-tweets-against-FMs-son-raises-new-fears.html?facet=print

Peoplematters quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Section 66A has the potential of becoming a dangerous tool that can be used to gag legitimate free speech online”.
http://peoplematters.in/articles/learning-curve/be-careful
Livemint quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Section 66A tends to impose restrictions that go beyond resonable curbs under Article 19 of the Constitution, which provides for freedom of speech and expression”. “No doubt that this section is a potent tool in the hands of powerful to silence criticism against them.”
“This law is liable to be abused,”
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/nSMOJy0NzUiK6N0e5M0f0N/Arrest-for-tweets-against-FMs-son-raises-new-fears.html

IBN Live quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This is high time for the government for the review of the law. The government should amend the IT Act so as to narrow down its provisions as some of the these violate our constitutional right of free speech.”
http://m.ibnlive.com/news/internet-users-flay-mumbai-girls-arrest-over-facebook-post/306360-3.html

India Today quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This (Act) has effectively become a tool in the hands of the mighty and the powerful to gag criticism,”. “Till such time as 66A is not clarified, and adequate parameters are not put in place to prevent its abuse, it will continue to be a tool of the mighty and could be used to muzzle free speech.”
http://mobile.indiatoday.in/story/crime-committed-harsh-punishment-democracy-mamata-pc-son-hijack/1/227282.html

Daily Mail quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This (Act) has effectively become a tool in the hands of the mighty and the powerful to gag criticism,” “Till such time as 66A is not clarified, and adequate parameters are not put in place to prevent its abuse, it will continue to be a tool of the mighty and could be used to muzzle free speech.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2226456/Revealed-Draconian-penalties-rise-India–And-punishment-doesnt-fit-crime.html

PC Advisor UK quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Rushed through by the government soon after terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, Section 66A of the IT Act is deliberately vague and can lead to a variety of interpretations, said Pavan Duggal, a cyberlaw expert who practices before India’s Supreme Court.
…… There have not been any convictions so far under Section 66A, because its wording is vague, Duggal said. But the language that is used in the law is so “wide and broad” that it can be used by law enforcement agencies to target and harass people, he added.
Section 66A by its vagueness goes beyond the restrictions on free speech already in place under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, Duggal said. The interpretation of an offence under the section is largely left to the discretion of the complainant and the law enforcement agencies, he added.”

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/internet/3412377/arrests-of-indian-facebook-users-raise-questions-about-indias-cyberlaws/;

By mobilelawconf

Disclaimer: This page, as also all posts thereon, or anything provided through this webpage, does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to constitute advertising or solicitation for legal services. This page is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing in this page should be construed by you as a source of legal advice.

By mobilelawconf

THINK AGAIN, BEFORE YOU POST

BY

               PAVAN DUGGAL

             ADVOCATE, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

               HEAD, PAVAN DUGGAL ASSOCIATES

In India, there has been a lot of controversy over the last few months over Section 66A of the Indian Cyberlaw being the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 on different occasions. In Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra case, Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra was arrested on account of forwarding of caricature/cartoons on Facebook.  Further, Ravi Srinivasan Twitter case showed how on a complaint, a person’s tweets could be brought within the ambit of Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000.

In  K V Rao case, two men K.V. Rao and Mayank from Mumbai, were arrested for allegedly posting offensive comments against some leaders on their Facebook group.

The recent case pertaining to Shaheen Dhada, where two girls were arrested for Facebook post and its liking respectively, has become the talking point for all users.

In the last few days, we have been seen various discussions about defective IT legislation in India and how there is a need for changing the same.

This article aims to explain in common man’s language what is Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 all about?

Salient Features:-

Section 66A makes it an offence when you send, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any of the following information:

1)      any information that is grossly offensive;

2)      any information that has menacing character;

3)      any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing annoyance;

4)      any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing inconvenience;

5)      any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing danger;

6)      any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing obstruction;

7)      any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing insult;

8)      any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing injury;

9)      any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing criminal intimidation;

10)  any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing enmity;

11)  any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing hatred; or

12)  any information which you know to be false but which is sent for purpose of causing ill will.

All the above as per (3) to (12) must be done persistently by using a computer resource or communication device. 

13)  any e-mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance;

14)  any e-mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing inconvenience;

15)  any electronic mail or electronic mail message to deceive the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages;

16)  any e-mail or electronic mail message to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages.

So if you are a social media user or even if you are a user of a computer system or mobile, be careful! You could be brought within the ambit of this Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000.

Illustrations:-

To help understand the scope of Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, let’s try to examine some common illustrations of acts, which could come under Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000. 

When you send either by means of a Computer, Computer System, Computer Network or using Mobile Phone, Smart Phone, iPhone, iPad, Tablet, Smart Devices, Personal Digital Assistants, BlackBerry or any other communication devices, the following kind of information, you could be covered under Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000:-

1)      If you swear or abuse somebody, the said swear words could be said to be grossly offensive. The same could also be said to be having menacing character and your act could come within the ambit of Section 66A(a) of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000.  

2)      Anything defamatory which affects the character, reputation, standing or goodwill of a person could also be deemed to be grossly offensive.

3)      Making false allegations against the character of a person or character assassination could also qualify as grossly offensive and having menacing character.

4)      Using insulting words or symbols which are obscene, could also qualify as grossly offensive and having menacing character.

5)      Calling someone names could also be brought within the ambit of being grossly offensive or having menacing character

6)      Posting the picture of a person in uncomplimentary situations and environments could also be said to be grossly offensive or having menacing character. For example, if you morphed the photograph of a girl/boy’s face on the face of erotic/nude model’s body, the same could not only be obscene but could also be grossly offensive and having menacing character.

7)      Electronic morphing which shows a person depicted in a bad light could also be seen as an example of information being grossly offensive or having menacing character.

8)      Using vernacular gallies or bad words in English alphabets could also qualify as grossly offensive or having menacing character.

9)      Threatening somebody with consequences for his life, apart from being separate offences, could be also construed as information which is grossly offensive or having menacing character.

10)  Threatening to expose the ill-deeds of somebody could also qualify as information which has menacing character.

11)  Information containing malicious, mischievous character assassination

12)  Information containing morphed pictures aimed at hurting religious sentiments.

13)  Information showing gods and goddesses of particular religions in an uncomplimentary light.

14)  Putting the picture of a person against a slogan/phrase/saying which does not depict his true character or personality.

15)  Deceiving the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages. For example, sending emails from a fake email account to another person, could qualify as an offence under Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000. 

16)  Further misleading the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages, e.g. sending e-mails and SMSs in the name of Reserve Bank of India for big lotteries, could also be brought under Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000.

17)  E-mail containing fake recruitment offers to unsuspected members of the public, could also qualify as an offence under Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000.

The aforesaid are just some illustrations to demonstrate how broad Section 66A of the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 is and how and in what particular comprehensive manner can it impact you and your life. The said illustrations are neither comprehensive nor complete but have been given as selective examples of the ambit of Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, for academic, research and review purposes only.

The language and scope of legal terms used under Section 66A are very wide and are capable of distinctive varied interpretations. Seen from another angle, Section 66A can be effectively used as a tool for gagging legitimate free online speech. The problem under Section 66A is that it comes up with extremely wide parameters which have not been given any specific definitions under the law. These parameters are capable of being interpreted in any manner possible, by the law-enforcement agencies. As such, while Section 66A talks about sending any information that is grossly offensive or having menacing character, the law does not give any guidance as to what is grossly offensive or information having menacing character. Thus, it is left to the subjective discretion of the law-enforcement agencies in this regard. All wide meaning terms used under Section 66A have not been defined, which itself provides huge amount of flexibility in Section 66A to be used in any circumstances perceivable. Thus, large portions of legitimate free online speech could also be brought within the ambit of Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000. Given the advent of technology and the way people are misusing the same, there could be millions of situations which could qualify as offences under Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000.

Learnings:

The learnings from Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 are that till such time Section 66A is either changed,  modified, varied or amended, it will be imperative that you exercise due diligence when you send information on the Internet, social media & mobile networks. Kindly note that the focus of the law under Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, is not on publishing information, the focus is on the offence of sending information. This assumes more significance, since whenever you are on the Internet or when you are sending e-mail or posting or publishing a blog or creating an SMS, as you are sending these electronic records from your computer system or communication device. Hence, be very careful before you send information on electronic platforms and computer networks.

Conclusion:

There are tremendous problems in the way Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 has been drafted.  This provision, even though has been inspired by the noble objectives of protecting reputations and preventing misuse of networks, has not been able to achieve its goals.  The language of Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 goes far beyond the reasonable restrictions on free speech, as mandated under Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India.  For India, being the world’s largest, vibrant democracy, reasonable restrictions on free speech need to be very strictly construed.  Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 has the potential of prejudicially impacting free speech in the digital and mobile ecosystems.  Section 66A of the amended Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 needs to be amended to made the Indian Cyberlaw in sync with the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India and also with the existing realities of social media and digital platforms today. 

If you require more information on the above, the author Pavan Duggal, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, could be contacted at pavan@pavanduggal.net and pduggal@gmail.com.    

© Pavan Duggal

By mobilelawconf

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MOBILE LAW AND INTERNET GOVERNANCE 1-2 MARCH 2012, New Delhi #mobilelaw #cyberlaw #cyberlaws #cyberlawsnet #cybercrime #mobilesecurity #cybersecurity

Welcome to the the 1st International Conference on Mobile Law and Internet Governance. This conference is being held in New Delhi, India from 1-2  March, 2012.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

The International Conference on Mobile Law is the 1st International Conference that is being organized and dedicated to the various aspects pertaining to mobile law. The conference would hope to unravel and discover various legal, regulatory and policy challenges impacting the mobile ecosystem as well as usage and adoption of mobiles and communication devices. The said conference would further aimed to collate various perspectives from different stakeholders who are all contributing towards the further growth, strengthening and maturity of the mobile environment and the digital ecosystem.

The conference will aimed to unravel some emerging legal and policy challenges that have been raised with the usage of the mobile devices. The conference would also provide an opportunity for the invitees to listen to some of the distinguished thought leaders in the area of mobile environment and their perspectives on how industry practices and consumer behaviours are beginning to throw up complex challenges which need to be duly addressed by law.

The conference is by invitation only and would be attended by various international delegates and speakers as also representatives from the national Diaspora representing the stakeholders in the digital ecosystem and live web.

These would include representatives from the Central Government & State Governments, various Ministries, Law Enforcement Agencies, Police, Business, Information Technology, Corporate Sector, Academicians, Scholars, Service Providers, International Organizations and distinguished thought leaders.

The said event is likely to be extensively covered by media, print, electronic and online.

The conference will focus on the emerging trends in the mobile ecosystem that are likely to have regulatory, legal and policy impacts. The conference would also further aim to look at the issues which need to be kept in mind by Governments and legislatures in order to further ensure the growth of mobile revolution.

SPEAKERS

The International Conference on Mobile Law is going to be addressed by distinguished speakers from various sections of the digital diaspora and the mobile ecosystem.  These are distinguished speakers who have had distinguished backgrounds and achievements in areas impacting different facets of the mobile ecosystem.

PROGRAM

March 1, 2012

09:00 am-9:30 am

Registration

09:30 am-10:45 am

Inauguration Session

10:45 am – 11:15 am

Tea

11:15 am – 1:00 pm

Session I: Mobile Revolution-Introduction & Technology

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Lunch

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Session II: Mobiles –  M-commerce, Crimes, Privacy & Social Media

3:30 pm – 4:45 pm

Tea

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Session III: Mobile Security


March 2, 2012

09:30 am-11:00 am

Session IV-Mobile Banking

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Tea

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Session V: Safe Harbour Protection for Mobiles Service Providers In India

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Lunch

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Session VI: Mobile Governance

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Tea

3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Session VII:  Internet Governance in the mobile ecosystem

5:30 pm

Conclusion


VENUE

The venue of the conference is at New Delhi, India. The venue is a sprawling conference facility in the heart of Lutians Delhi with latest conference facilities.

CONTACT US

For all further queries, please feel free to contact us at the following email addresses:

mobilelawconf@gmail.com

More details about Mobilelaw.Net are available at the website www.mobilelaw.net. Give link to the website.

About the Organizers

Cyberlaw Asia – www.cyberlawasia.com

Mobilelaw.Net – www.mobilelaw.net

Pavan Duggal Associates – www.pavanduggalassociates.com

GIGA

Useful linkswww.cyberlawasia.com, www.mobilelaw.net, www.mobilelawassociation.com, www.pavanduggal.com, www.pavanduggal.net, www.pavanduggalassociates.com, www.section79.net, www.intermediary.in, www.cyberlawindia.com, www.mobilaw.biz, www.mobilelawconf.com

What is Mobile Law? 

Mobile law is an emerging area of work in legal jurisprudence that is dealing with communication devices and mobile phones, which are becoming an integral part of our day-to-day lives in existence. The term “Mobile Law” has been defined by Pavan Duggal, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and President, Mobilelaw.Net in the following terms:

“Mobile Law refers to the emerging legal discipline and jurisprudence that impacts, pertains to, is associated with or has a bearing upon complicated legal issues concerning mobiles, communication devices of any kind whatsoever, mobile networks, mobile platforms, mobile computers and laptops, as also all data, and information, in any form, digital or otherwise, which is hosted, generated, sent, received or transmitted, in any manner whatsoever, using the said mobile devices and platforms.

 

The emerging area of mobile law encompasses, within its ambit, complex legal issues and challenges that would impact within the mobile ecosystem, any device, computer, computer system, computer network, computer resources as well as data or information in the electronic form.  Mobile law promises to become a much bigger discipline of law as the world progresses towards increasing penetration, adoption, and usage of mobile devices.” 

As a discipline of jurisprudence, mobile law is the new emerging cutting edge area. The use of communication devices and the data and information resident therein has led to various complex legal issues and challenges all across the world. Different countries of the world are waking up to the need for coming up with an enabling regulatory regime to govern aspects pertaining to use of communication devices, mobiles and data and information resident therein.

The area of mobile law is emerging and different complicated legal, regulatory and policy challenges concerning the use of mobiles and communication devices are coming to the forefront especially in countries where mobile penetration is exceedingly high e.g. India and China.

It is expected that over a period of time mobile law would emerge as a distinct area of legal practice and jurisprudence given the predominant use of mobiles, tablets, smart phones and other kinds of communication devices across the world.

“Mobile Law refers to the emerging legal discipline and jurisprudence that impacts, pertains to, is associated with or has a bearing upon complicated legal issues concerning mobiles, communication devices of any kind whatsoever, mobile phones, mobile networks, mobile platforms, mobile computers and laptops, as also all data, and information, in any form, digital or otherwise, which is hosted, generated , sent, received or transmitted, in any manner whatsoever, using the said mobile devices and platforms. The emerging area of mobile law encompasses, within its ambit, complex legal issues and challenges that would impact within the mobile ecosystem, any device, computer, computer system, computer network, computer resource, data or information in the electronic form. Mobile law promises to become a much bigger discipline of law as the world progresses towards increasing penetration, adoption, and usage of mobile devices.”

The concept of Mobile Law is a newly emerging concept. It incorporates within its ambit all legal issues pertaining to the use of mobiles, mobile handsets, mobile platforms, mobile applications, communication devices, personal digital assistants and such other devices as also computers, computer systems and computer networks that assist in the communication, transmission, receipt, sending, preserving retention and other related activities pertaining to data and information in the electronic form targeted at mobile devices, communication devices as well as mobiles and mobile handsets. This is an emerging field of a discipline which incorporates within its ambit newly emerging areas pertaining to mobile platforms.

As more and more people across the world are adopting the mobile platforms and as mobile handsets are becoming more and more popular, there are emerging a variety of legal issues pertaining to mobiles and mobile platforms as also data and information connected therewith. This emerging field of legal jurisprudence is known as Mobile Law.

NEED FOR MOBILE LAW

Considering that lot of development of Mobile markets and their frequent adoption is taking place in India and China, it is but natural to expect that China and India would contribute to a large extent in terms of first movers, to the growth of Mobile Law. Clearly this trend has been vindicated by the stands taken by the relevant governments of the relevant countries. As time is passing by, the need for treating mobiles as a separate distinct category in themselves has emerged. People are pretty unanimous that mobiles are a category unto themselves and that though the mobiles qualify as computers and computer systems, there is a need for distinct legislations to deal with mobiles, mobile devices, communication devices as also mobile platforms, data and information connected therewith.

Mobile Law is the new law of the coming decade. In this field of discipline, various complicated and complex legal issues will continue to arise. These issues will relates not just to the production, manufactures, sale, marketing, distribution and related activities pertaining to mobile handsets and mobile devices as also mobile platforms, but would also incorporate therein, all issues pertaining to data and information in the electronic form that is resident on these mobile devices or is transmitted, sent or received, preserved or retained in the said Mobile devices and mobile platforms. In this scenario, it is but natural that the mobile industry would need the enabling support of legislative and legal frameworks. These frameworks are critical to further give a boost to the constantly growing graph of growth, prosperity and adoption of mobiles and mobile devices amongst the population.

Mobile law as a legal discipline, is applicable throughout the world. Different countries have adopted different rules, regulations and notifications as also laws which have an impact upon legal issues pertaining to mobiles. A majority of these legislations are drafted in indirect manners well there are very few direct legislations pertaining to Mobile Law.

  • Mobile Phones while driving on the Road

How many car accidents do you think have been caused because someone was talking on the phone while driving? In reality this number has been shooting up at an alarming rate. Most of the world’s lawmakers seem to think that it’s quite a few because there are a lot of laws related to what you can and cannot do on the phone while you’re driving. The UK has a ban on cell phone use while driving which started off as punishable by fine but moved up to causing points against your driving record. The fines are $250 for talking on a hand-held cell phone and $100 for text messaging.

  • Mobile Phones in Hospitals

Reports indicate that cell phones might be a cause for cancer concerns, while other research studies say that there’s no danger to your body caused by using your cell phone. This has resulted into conflicting laws around the world about whether or not you can use cell phones while you’re inside of the hospital. UK Hospitals have been debating this issue for many years. Mobile phones interference with medical equipment can be a huge risk to hospital patients.

  • Gaming on Cell Phones

Many nations have banned cell phone gaming given the fact that online gambling is illegal and that there would be potential for online gambling through mobile broadband. The issue continues to be debated around the world.

  • Mobile Porn

UK phone service providers abide by a Code of Practice which labels adult mobile content as “18 and up”. The purpose is to prevent underage mobile phone users from having access to adult content. Switzerland has a ban prohibiting the sale of pornographic films and images through cell phones. People sending any sort of sexually explicit message or image through mobile devices in China – whether or not the individual receiving the message is eighteen – can be fine and even imprisoned for their lustful behaviour.

  • Rules regarding Camera Phone

The United States has a law called the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 which prohibits people from taking nude pictures of anyone else with their cell phone camera unless they have taken consent (and the person is of legal age to give that consent). Regulations limiting photography in the UK raised public concerns and drew petitions from people who want to be able to use their camera phones anywhere they want.

  • Phones in the Air

There is a lot of difference in opinion on whether or not you can use cell phones on airlines. The UK has loosened up and is testing out systems that allow both text messaging and voice conversations to take place in air.

  • Cell Phones in Schools

Most countries don’t have laws about this but there’s a lot of debate suggesting that some laws should be put in place to allow these kids to have their phones but to prohibit their use from disrupting class time.

  • Avoiding Cell Phone Spam

Spam on cell phones has been rising and has become a major problem compelling lawmakers around the globe for anti-spam law that requires people sending cell phone ad messages to offer an “opt out” option. Even Singapore says that cell phone spam should be illegal.

ABOUT THE MOBILE LAW BOOK

This book seeks to cover and explore various aspects pertaining to virgin area of mobile law.

This book is the first of its kind in its specialized category and has explored various hitherto unexplored areas of jurisprudence around the use of mobiles, cell phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants and all other kinds of communication devices, which are used to communicate audio, video, image or text of any kind whatsoever.

This book covers a variety of issues around mobile legalities and includes detailed legal discussion inter alia on:-

§  Various technical definitions

§  Legality of the mobile format

§  Mobile Contracts

§  Mobile Authentication

§  Mobile Banking

§  Mobile Crimes

§  Mobile misuse

§  Mobiles and Privacy

§  Mobiles and Intellectual Property Rights

§  Mobile Evidence

§  Mobiles and Child Protection

§  Mobile Law in India

In addition, the book has numerous rules, regulations and notifications which have an impact upon mobile jurisprudence. The said Book has 730 pages and has a total of 16 Chapters.  The book has ISBN No : 978-93-5035-041-6.

This book further provides an insight into the dark and hitherto unexplored side of the mobile ecosystem and aims to contribute in the future development of mobile law jurisprudence.

This book is an absolute must for all legal practitioners, law libraries, mobile companies, mobile service providers and operators, all companies offering their services in the mobile ecosystem and all users of mobiles, cell phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants and all other kinds of communication devices. This book is essential for any person or legal entity, who uses any component or service available on or through the mobile ecosystem, mobile environment and mobile networks.

Also give the link to www.universal.com.

By mobilelawconf

Welcome to the 1st International Conference on Mobile Law. This conference is being held at ASSOCHAM House, 47, Prithvi Raj Road, New Delhi, India  from 1-2 March, 2012.

By mobilelawconf

Hello World!

Welcome to the 1st International Conference on Mobile Law. This conference is being held in New Delhi, India from 1-2 March, 2012.

It is indeed remarkable as to how our lives have changed dramatically in the last one and a half decades. One of the most important catalysts of change in the last one and a half decade has been adoption and increased usage of mobile phones and cellular devices. Mobile phones have not only provided immense convenience of mobility but have also seen a progressive development in terms of their evolution. With the passage of time, mobiles have no longer remained purely as instruments of talking. Today, smart phones are representing a new paradigm shift in our lives. The said smart phones deal with amazing computing powers and applications.

The adoption of mobiles and communication devices in the last one and a half decade has started resulted in various complicated legal policy and regulatory issues. So much significant have the said challenges become that a new branch of legal jurisprudence is evolving known as “Mobile Law”. Mobile Law represents the yet to be traversed frontier of jurisprudence. Since this is an emerging area of jurisprudence, lot of work will still have to be done. To identify the landscape of what legal, regulatory and policy challenges are being raised across the world by the use of mobile phones, cellular phones and communication devices, the First International Conference on Mobile Law is being organized. This Conference is a first of its kind and would aim to discuss, discover and analyze various emerging legal policy and regulatory challenges that have been thrown up by the constant innovative use of smart phones, mobile phones and other kinds of communication devices.

Be a part of the cutting-edge action by listening to international speakers and the acknowledged thought leaders in the mobile ecosystem by attending the First International Conference on Mobile Law.

This conference hopes to bring together on one platform speakers from diverse backgrounds and hopes to present a body of knowledge and experience to the attendees of the conference which is hitherto not yet been assembled at one stage.

Come and join our continuing journey to discover the various legal and policy challenges being constantly thrown up by the increasing adoption and usage of mobile phones, cell phones and communication devices across the world.

By mobilelawconf