With a view to checking cyber crimes like publishing sexually explicit material in electronic form, Government on Friday introduced a bill in Lok Sabha to amend the IT Act to enable service providers to set up and maintain e-signature facilities.
The Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, piloted by Minister of State for Communications Shakeel Ahmed, said a rapid increase in the use of computer and internet has given rise to new forms of crimes like sexually explicit material in electronic form and video voyeurism.
Breach of confidentiality, leakage of data by intermediary, e-commerce frauds, identity theft and offensive messages through communication services have also risen.
Hence, penal provisions were required to be included in the IT Act, the IPC, the Indian Evidence Act and the CrPC to prevent such crimes, the Minister said.
Under provisions of the bill, service providers can be authorised by the Central or state governments to set up, maintain and upgrade computerised facilities.
These providers can also collect, retain and appropriate service charges for giving such services at a specified scale.
Ahmed said since digital signatures are linked to a specific technology under the existing provisions of the IT Act, it had become necessary to provide for alternate technology of electronic signatures.
This step was aimed at bringing harmonisation with the Model Law on electronic signatures adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in 2001.
The UN General Assembly in December that year recommended that all states accord favourable consideration to this Model Law.