Cyber-law is related to e-commerce, which includes all forms of transactions relating to commercial activities of both organisations and individuals that are based upon the processing and the transmission of digitized data including text, sound and visual images.
Parliament recently passed the Information Technology Law 2000 with the main objective of providing a legal infrastructure for recognition of transactions carried out by the means of E-commerce.
Utility of Law:
(i) Today corporate world thrives on e-mail not only for communication outside the company but also for intercompany communication. With the passing of the cyber law, now employees can file a litigation in court based on e-mail as proof with which he is unhappy. Similarly, company may file litigation against its employee on the basis of e-mail sent by that employee to some other person which contains defamatory or objectionable material.
(ii) an Infinite amount of information is being stored in the computer not only by the governments but also by corporate and other bodies. Earlier, there was no law to punish a person who causes damage to the information but now it is possible with the passing of the Cyber Law. The data recorded in the computer has become safer as any person intending to cause any damage will think twice as he may be imprisoned for 3 years or fined up to Rs. 20,000.
(iii) Now, it is possible to fill any form, application or any other document with any office, authority controlled by the government inappropriate electronic form as prescribed by the government.
(iv) The act also opens the doors for the entry of corporate in the business of being certified authority for issuing the digital signature certificates.
(i) The law provides for filling any document in e-form but it is not given as a right (i.e.) if authority refuses to accept it, a person cannot get it accepted. The act actually bureaucratizes the entire process which is likely to result in delays and other related problems.
(ii) Enforcement of Cyber Law is very difficult as national boundaries cease to exist in cyber-space. There is no clear provision to punish an offender if the offence is carried from outside the country.
(iii) Cyber-offences like Cyber-theft, Cyber-stalking, Cyber harassment and Cyber-defamation are not covered under the act.
(iv) The law empowers government agencies to intercept any information transmitted through any computer resource. It is in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India. This provision is likely to be misused by the government to suit their political motives and also for the purpose of victimisation.
(v) The law gives unrestricted power to investigating officers, not below the rank of D.S.P. for preventing the commission of a Cyber-crime. For example, he can enter any public place and search or arrest without a warrant any person found therein, who is reasonably suspected of having committed any offence under this act.
(vi) The biggest concern about the new Indian Cyber-Law relates to its implementation. The said Act does not lay down parameters for its implementation. Also when Internet penetration in India is extremely low, and government officials are not computer savvy, it is very difficult for them to trace any offence.