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India to get legal spam guard soon

The government is working on India’s first formal anti-spam law, reports Nandini R Iyer.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2007 03:44 IST
New Delhi
New Delhi
Hindustan Times

Do you tear your hair out every time you open your mailbox and see 29 new mails that are all spam? Or blush when you open your official inbox, only to discover invites to try out penis enhancers, generic viagra or porn sites? If yes, there’s hope in sight. The government is working on India’s first formal anti-spam law.

Spamming is defined as the abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages, and research on Internet security shows around 78 per cent of all mail originating in India is spam. “The operative word defining an e-mail as spam is that it is unsolicited,” says Anil Chakravarthy, head of research and development at leading Internet security vendor Symantec Corporation.

Section 66(A) of the Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2006, provides for a maximum of two years’ imprisonment and Rs 5 lakh in fine for offenders. An offender would be one who has a menacing character that he knows to be false and who sends content that is grossly offensive to purposely annoy, inconvenience, threaten, obstruct, insult, injure, intimidate or foster enmity, hatred or ill will. The government will redefine this to specifically include the word “unsolicited”, sources in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology told HT.

The draft IT Act Amendment Bill is pending in Parliament. Sources said it would come up in the next session of Parliament and hopefully become law by the year-end.

First Published: Oct 06, 2007 03:41 IST