The government will introduce in parliament next month changes to the country’s information technology law framed in 2000 to aid a crackdown on cyber crimes, a senior official from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology told
Industry experts calling for a comprehensive law to deal with a wide gamut of issues including defamation, terrorism and identity theft over the Internet are sceptical on how far the changes would go, as proposed changes have been slow in coming and mired in red tape.
“We will move special amendments in the IT Act of 2000 in the upcoming Lok Sabha session on December 10,” said Jainder Singh, secretary in the ministry.
The IT Act of 2000 in its existing form provides legal recognition to online activities such as e-commerce and e-mail. The IT Ministry had introduced an IT Amendment Bill in December 2006 to address issues related to cyber crime to which a standing committee further submitted its recommendations in September 2007.
“The current IT Act deals with a limited category of cyber crimes such as hacking. However, issues like cyber terrorism, defamation and identity theft should also be a part of the legislation,” said Pavan Duggal, a leading lawyer specialising in IT issues. “The industry should not have high hopes. Going by the amendments proposed in 2006, we cannot be optimistic.”
The draft amendments in 2006 said the quantum of punishment related to cyber crime should be reduced.