India once again failed to cater the growing contemporary demands of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and their legal and judicial applications. The predominant reason for the same seems to be lack of political will to achieve the needful.
The ICT Trends in India 2009 are as follow:
(1) Cyber Law Of India: The cyber law of India received a fatal blow in the form of Information Technology Act 2008 (IT Act 2008). The IT Act 2008 amended the original Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000) and made almost all the cyber crimes “Bailable”. This has made India a safe heaven for cyber criminals and cyber crimes are increasing in India at a speed that India cannot not control.
(2) Cyber Terrorism: The IT Act 2008 has enacted a single provision for meeting the menace of cyber terrorism in India. Although this is a good step in the right direction yet the government of India (GOI) needs to enact a separate and comprehensive legislation in this regard as a single provision would not prove sufficient in the long run.
(3) E-Courts In India: The judicial reforms have finally received the attention of the GOI. However, the quality of judicial services in India cannot be improved till we have E-Courts in India. Till the end of December 2009 India does not have even a single E-Court despite contrary media reports and rumours. Further, there is also an emergent need of e-courts training of judges and lawyers in India.
(4) Online Education And E-Learning In India: Online education in India received two fatal blows this year. Firstly there was a failure of the online examination conducted by IGNOU and then India witnessed the collapse of Common Admission Test (CAT) exams. This shows that India is still not ready for online education and e-learning in India. Even the legal framework for the same is also not conducive and is counter productive.
(5) Unique Identification Project Of India: India adopted Unique Identification Project and constituted Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI) this year. However, the same is not legitimate in the absence of proper legal framework in this regard that is presently missing. The project also fails to meet the requirements of "Human Rights Protection in Cyberspace".
(7) National Security Issues: International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers assumed great significance this year and the GOI banned Chinese mobiles having no IMEI numbers. Even arrests were made to enforce this ban. How mere absence of IMEI numbers alone would prevent enforcement of national security is still unclear.
(8) Crime Reporting By Media: The Delhi High Court has constituted a committee to formulate guidelines for crime reporting by the media. The GOI also constituted a task force for the Broadcasting Authority of India. The choice between self regulation or government enacted laws is still not clear. There is an emergent need of broadcasting laws and regulations in India.
(9) Internet Banking Frauds: Internet Banking frauds are increasing in India at an alarming rate. With a weak cyber law, lack of cyber security awareness and increasing e-surveillance initiatives in India, Internet banking disputes are bound to increase in India. The government is least bothered about these issues and ultimately the account holders would have to bear the financial losses.
(10) Cyber Security Of Defense Forces: The defense forces of India also need cyber security and cyber forensics capabilities. The digital life is an altogether different segment where traditional methods are ineffective. The cyber war and cyber terrorism threats are not only real but also very dangerous. India must upgrade its cyber security and national security capabilities as soon as possible. Repeated cyber security breaches have been reported in India from time to time but the attitude of Indian government has not yet changed.
(11) Cyber War And India: Cyber War and Cyber Terrorism are matters of grave concern to all countries. Equally important are the issue pertaining to cyber security of defense forces in India. These issues are important as they strike at the very root of the critical ICT infrastructure protection in India. While countries like US and Russia are negotiating to limit the impact of cyber wars, India is not doing the needful in this regard.
Briefly speaking, Indian efforts for streamlining use of ICT have further degraded from 2008. The year 2009 saw some major ICT pitfalls and bad decisions were made by the GOI. Overall the year 2009 can be said to be “Blunder ICT Year” of India that was really bad for "Human Rights" of Indian netizens.
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