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Friday, July 01, 2005

Brilliant Article by Urvashi Kaul. Govt. soft on cyber crime

This blogger is very stingy with praise generally. BUT, this is a brilliant article that nails Dr. K.K.Bajaj (Dy Controller of Certifying Authorities and Director CERT-IN), the head cyber crime honcho for India. All ManMohan Singh's empty rhetoric can't disguise that our cyber enforcement sucks BIG TIME !! Sarbajit Roy

Cyber crime: PM wants strict laws
- By Urvashi Kaul

New Delhi, June 30: Whether or not Mr Karan Bahree, who was involved in UK tabloid sting, has committed a criminal offence is a hard question to answer.

It becomes even harder to initiate prosecution by the specialised cyber enforcement and investigating authorities (like controller and adjudicating officer), when no Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal has been constituted to try cyber crime cases, as required under the Indian Information Technology Act 2000.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday had directed the Union information technology ministry to make changes in cyber laws to make illegal transfer of data a punishable offence. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s directive comes in the wake of a recent media sting operation by a British newspaper involving the employee of a private data processing company where allegation of breach of data secrecy have been levelled.

The IT Act, which came in to existence in October 2000, required the Central government to establish an appellate tribunal headed by a nominated presiding officer.

While details about presiding officer’s term in office, salary, removal procedures and other conditions have been duly notified in the Act, the government, so far, has not appointed the presiding officer.

Confirming that no tribunal has been formed, a senior officer in the IT ministry said, "If at all a presiding officer is nominated, he would sit in the Electronics Niketan."

While the adjudicating officer of a particular state, takes decisions on whether a particular case relates to cyber crime, he forwards the case to the tribunal only after determining the maintainability of the case under the IT Act. The case is then transferred to the magistrate through the tribunal’s presiding officer. In the absence of the presiding officer and the tribunal, cyber crime cases cannot ordinarily be transferred to the magistrate. Prosecution becomes impossible when the adjudicating officer, too, derives his power from the tribunal.

Highly-placed sources in the BPO industry are aggrieved about government’s soft approach to cyber crimes.

"Government is not serious about cracking cyber crimes," said a source in the BPO industry.

Under the IT Act, the only criminal offence under which Mr Bahree can be booked by the police is the one mentioned under Section 66 relating to hacking with computer system.

Section 66 of the Act requires the investigating officers to prove that "the wrongful act was done with an intent to cause loss or damage to the public or any person, damage or destroy or alter any information residing in a computer resource or diminish its value or utility or affect it injuriously by any means, commits hacking." Official sources in the industry point out that in the particular case of Mr Bahree, the police cannot issue an arrest warrant in Mr Bahree’s name unless they obtain the CD, which the Sun reporter claims to possess.

trackback : Government soft on cyber crime india


Anonymous Anonymous said...


We Indians are known to possess one big attribute which 'we' think demarcate us from the outside world - emotions (collectively gathered through our society, environment and daily problems of survival in the ever-increasing costs) with practicality.

We see this as our strength and our counterparts sitting in their high-end, technology-driven countries with better economy than ours consider this as the greatest flaw in us. This flaw has been exploited by many people in the history of our country. Fellows turning against their own people because of an outsider without comprehending the intricacies involved with the statements and disclosures.

The Bahree case has yet again proven it clearly that the Indian psyche can be very easily played with, by any foreigner. Multitudes working in the Indian BPO industry would accept that despite brilliant performance and knowledge standards followed here, the levels of hostility rooted in the minds of their 'customers' living in a different time-zone, has not gone down much since all these years.

Already much has been speculated and opinions expressed upon the case overblown in proportions by the Indian media on the reports of a news paper known for its similar stunts. The media failed to complete its home-work and only presented the distorted fact-figures in the race of gaining viewership.

Many have successfully failed to acknowledge the role of one Samir Asim in the whole event. The role of one Fayaz Rizvi, who later came out in the story as the freelance journalist for The Sun in New Delhi, needs a clear explaination.

Under the prevailing monsoon of sting operations, the Briton has played down the BPO community with his past history of such similar 'sting' mockery operations. The whole chronicle had been pushed through by the Anti-oursourcing lobby in the UK and the Amicus group with the prime objective of hitting the BPO industry.

It is pertinent to highlight the fact that Bahree had left the Daksh eServices back in 2004 - almost an year and a half before this story arose. The center of storm, Bahree, apparently was 'used' plainly to project the face of Indian BPO. The significant fact that the classified information such as the security answers (the TPIN, HPIN, etc. in India) for the bank accounts is not realistically feasible, given the technology integrated in any of the banks and the measures implemented into the services. Hence, the media should have observed this and shooted at this point instead of already down Bahree.

In the current market scenario, and the high-plunging costs, any Indian could be lured by the better job prospects and facilities - the trick these developed nations have been deploying since long - to create disruptions in our steadily stabilizing economy.

Instead of criticizing the human, who had been an excellent performer at his organization (Daksh) - the Best Employee for his process, 2004 and the holder of first Employee Appreciation Award for the first back-office project in Daksh - the focus must be directed at identifying the vieled directives upon which the Briton operated and ultimately shook away the confidence from the BPO industry.

The case could have been handled in a more intelligent manner, but it seems that even after 50 years of independence, we Indians are not able to surpass the Briton influence - who is still working successfully with the divide and rule policy.


3:53 PM  

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