Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008: A New Vision through a New Change
9 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2010
Date Written: March 17, 2010
[enter Abstract Body]The Information Technology Bill, 2008 has been passed both the houses of Parliament in the last week of December, 2008 and was signed by the President of India on February 5, 2009 and became the Amendment Act. The Amendment Act aims to make revolutionary changes in the existing Indian cyber law framework, including incorporation of Electronic Signature i.e. enable authentication of electronic records by any electronic signature technique. There are insertions of new express provisions to bring more cyber offences within the purview of the Information Technology Act, 2000. There are various provisions in the new amendment relating to data protection and privacy as well a provision to curb terrorism using the electronic and digital medium. The original Act i.e. Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 is the legislation to provide legal recognition for e-commerce and e-transactions, to facilitate e-governance, to prevent computer based crimes and ensure security practices and procedures in the context of widest possible use of information technology worldwide. The amendment has defined “intermediary” so as to bring clarity in the legislation when it comes to deciding the onus of offence. Now, Intermediaries are required to remove unlawful data or content on receiving information about it. Definition of Communication Device and Cyber Cafe has also been incorporated in the amendment act. The upper limit of compensation for damage to computer, computer system etc has now been removed and now it can go to any just compensation. In Section 43 two new offences have been added i.e. destroying, deleting or altering information in a computer resource to diminish its value and stealing concealing or destroying any computer source code with intention to cause damage. The responsibility of body corporate Data protection is greatly emphasized by inserting Section 43A in the Amendment Act whereby corporate bodies handling sensitive personal information in a computer resource are under an obligation to ensure adoption of reasonable security practices and procedure to maintain its secrecy. The failing in performing such obligation by such body corporate will make them liable to pay damages by way of compensation, to the person so affected. Sections 66A to 66F have been added to include 8 more offences as cyber crime. The offence includes sending offensive electronic message, identity theft, cheating by impersonation using computer resources, violation of privacy and cyber terrorism. Incorporation of Sections 67 A to 67 C i.e. publishing or transmitting material in electronic form containing sexually explicit act, Child pornography and obligation of intermediary to preserve and retain such information as may be specified by central government. Section 69 has been redrafted enabling Government agencies to intercept, monitor or decrypt any electronic information with the help of subscribers, intermediary or person incharge of computer resources. With amended section 79, Intermediaries are not liable for third party data if they can prove they have only limited function as access, do not initiate the transmission or do not select receiver and finally taken all due diligence. They are required to remove unlawful content on receiving “actual knowledge”. In section 81 of the principal Act, the following proviso has been inserted at the end, which provides that nothing contained in this Act shall restrict any person from exercising any right conferred under the Copyright Act, 1957 or the Patents Act, 1970. So, the rights under patents act and copyright act may always be exercised.
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