Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Aadhar Project Of India Is Unconstitutional Says Praveen Dalal

Aadhar project of India or unique identification project of India (UID project of India) is a project that is a classic example of lack of management and planning. Aadhar project has been launched despite numerous shortcomings and deficiencies and as a futile project. Techno legal experts of India have been warning against the continuance of Aadhar project and have suggested that it should be scrapped.

The futility of Aadhar project and UIDAI was very apparent from the very beginning but Indian government and unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) kept on wasting crores of public money without any benefit. Finally, Aadhar project of India may be scrapped.

According to experts like Praveen Dalal, managing partner of techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law and a Supreme Court lawyer, there is no second opinion about the fact that Aadhar Project and UIDAI are “Unconstitutional” in the absence of a “Constitutionally Sound Law” in this regard. This is more so when there are no dedicated Privacy Laws in India and Data Protection Laws in India, opines Praveen Dalal.

Even after the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 (NIDAI Bill 2010) would have become an applicable law, both Aadhar and UIDAI would have remained “Unconstitutional”. This is so because the “Constitutional Safeguards” that are required to make Aadhar/UIDAI Constitutional were still missing from the proposed Bill.

In fact, a parliamentary committee has rejected the NIDAI Bill 2010, inflicting a severe blow to UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani and raising doubts about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's pet project. This decision of parliamentary committee seems to be an acceptance of suggestions of experts like Praveen Dalal.

The parliamentary committee has recommended that the government should review or reconsider the project by a bringing in a fresh Bill. The committee has said that the Bill and the project are not acceptable in the present form.

Privacy laws in India and privacy rights in India have always been ignored. We have no national privacy policy in India as well. Data protection laws in India are missing and so are data privacy laws in India. Privacy, data protection and India seem to be separable and unrelated concepts.

Indian government launched projects like Aadhar, National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid), Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Central Monitoring System (CMS), Centre for Communication Security Research and Monitoring (CCSRM), etc. None of them are governed by any Legal Framework and none of them are under parliamentary scrutiny. It must be appreciated that intelligence gathering is not above privacy rights in India.

In reality, Aadhar project and UIDAI are booty sharing mechanisms meant for few companies. Praveen Dalal has been constantly suggesting that Aadhar project must be supported by a Techno Legal Framework that must be supplemented by robust Cyber Security, Privacy Protection and Data Protection.

Indian government, Aadhar project and UIDAI are hiding truth from Indian citizens and are fooling them. However, sooner or later the truth was bound to be revealed. Besides experts in India now even the home ministry of India has been opposing the Aadhar project and UIDAI.

Aadhar project is the most evil project of India that aims at strengthening illegal and unconstitutional privacy violation and e-surveillance in India. Internet censorship in India has already increased multifold. Censorship of Internet in India is a hint towards the growing hunger for e-surveillance by Indian government.

The truth of Aadhar project and UIDAI is too frightening to elaborate. Aadhar project and UIDAI have evil intentions that are executed under the façade of welfare and social good. Both Indian government and UIDAI are fooling Indians by using the façade of benefits and welfare. Aadhar project and UIDAI are big troubles. Still the PMO is supporting the unconstitutional Aadhar project and UIDAI.

Aadhar project and UIDAI are big brother project. Nandan Nilekani is wrong regarding Aadhar project. It is high time that Aadhar project of India and UIDAI must be scrapped. There is no sense in wasting any more time and money on a project like Aadhar that has no legal and constitutional basis to continue.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Aadhar Project Of India May Be Scrapped

Aadhar project of India or unique identification project of India (UID project of India) is one of the projects that have been imposed upon India and Indian citizens by Indian government. From the very beginning the futility of Aadhar project of India and UIDAI was apparent. However, Indian government kept on wasting crores of hard earned public money for the sake of commercial benefits of few Indian and foreign companies. In reality, Aadhar project and UIDAI are booty sharing mechanisms meant for few companies.

Techno legal expert and Supreme Court lawyer Praveen Dalal who is managing partner of techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law has been constantly suggesting that Aadhar Project must be supported by a Techno Legal Framework that must be supplemented by robust Cyber Security, Privacy Protection and Data Protection.

In the absence of these Procedural and Constitutional Safeguards, both Aadhar Project and UIDAI are Unconstitutional, says Praveen Dalal. So much so that even after the passing of the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 (NIDAI Bill 2010), both Aadhar Project and UIDAI would “Remain Unconstitutional”, opines Praveen Dalal. We need an altogether different law than NIDAI Bill 2010 suggests Praveen Dalal.

Indian government, Aadhar project and UIDAI are hiding truth from Indian citizens and are fooling them. However, sooner or later the truth was bound to be revealed. Besides experts in India now even the home ministry of India has been opposing the Aadhar project and UIDAI.

Aadhar project is the most evil project of India that aims at strengthening illegal and unconstitutional privacy violation and e-surveillance in India. Internet censorship in India has already increased multifold. Censorship of Internet in India is a hint towards the growing hunger for e-surveillance by Indian government.

The truth of Aadhar project and UIDAI is too frightening to elaborate. Aadhar project and UIDAI have evil intentions that are executed under the façade of welfare and social good. Both Indian government and UIDAI are fooling Indians by using the façade of benefits and welfare. Aadhar project and UIDAI are big troubles. Still the PMO is supporting the unconstitutional Aadhar project and UIDAI.

Aadhar project and UIDAI are big brother project. Nandan Nilekani is wrong regarding Aadhar project. It is high time that Aadhar project of India and UIDAI must be scrapped. Sensing the gravity of the situation a parliamentary committee is set to reject the NIDAI Bill 2010, inflicting a severe blow to UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani and raising doubts about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's pet project. This decision of parliamentary committee seems to be an agreement with the suggestions of experts like Praveen Dalal.

Parliament's standing committee on finance, headed by Yashwant Sinha of the BJP, held deliberations on the controversial NIDAI Bill 2010 for a year. It considered the suggestions and recommendations of various experts in this regard. The committee's draft report giving the thumbs down to the NIDAI Bill 2010 is ready.

Sources in the panel indicated that the decision to recommend that the government should withdraw the present NIDAI Bill 2010 and bring a new one was taken "unanimously". Even Congress members found the project "directionless". It is learnt that the draft report has recommended that the government should review or reconsider the project by a bringing in a fresh Bill. The committee has said that the Bill and the project are not acceptable in the present form. The PMO must seriously think about continuation of Aadhar project now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Google Outcry Lack of Proper Internet Intermediary Law In India

Internet intermediaries in India have started showing their dissatisfaction towards the draconian policies and rules of Indian government pertaining to Internet and its use. E-surveillance in India and surveillance of Internet traffic in India have increased to a considerable limit that now requires judicial scrutiny. Censorship of Internet in India should be challenged as soon as possible in the larger interests of Indian Internet users.

Intermediaries liability for cyber law due diligence in India has been extended to such levels that Internet intermediaries are now finding it difficult to comply. Internet censorship in India has become a big nuisance for these Internet intermediaries. Naturally these Internet intermediaries cannot remain silent anymore.

In fact, Yahoo has filed a petition raising the questions regarding the right to privacy of a company that stores sensitive data of its customers and users and to what extent authorities can coerce it to part with the information considered necessary to either track terror perpetrators or thwart future attacks.

Now Internet intermediaries in India have been asked to pre screen contents before they are posted on their websites. India wants companies like Google and Facebook to censor users’ contents before they are posted. Naturally this is an unreasonable and impractical demand that Internet intermediaries cannot fulfill.

Google has reacted to this dictate by responding that they follow the law regarding removal of illegal contents. It has also clarified it stand that when content is legal but controversial it do not remove it because people's differing views should be respected, so long as they are legal. Further, even where content is legal but breaks Google’s own terms and conditions, it is removed once Google is notified about the same.

Internet intermediaries are now complaining that India has no clear guidelines about what constitutes offensive and hateful contents. Sources from Indian government claims that the officials had got instructions to draw up the guidelines in this regard soon. Indian government is working upon the guidelines that may take three/four months to formulate. Let us hope that Indian government would formulate suitable and sensible guidelines in this regard.

Censorship Of Internet In India

Internet censorship in India has crossed all the limits. Firstly, we have a bizarre cyber law of India that provides for Internet censorship without any procedural safeguards. Secondly, India has formulated rules that have prescribed stringent Internet intermediary liability in India. Thirdly, there are no dedicated data protection and privacy rights in India.

All these loopholes are allowing Indian government and its agencies to ask for data, information and records from Internet intermediaries of India. Surprisingly, no court order is required to ask for such sensitive and personal information from Internet intermediaries in dominant majority of cases.

Intermediaries liability for cyber law due diligence in India has become very stringent after the information technology amendment act 2008 has been notified. Information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000) now carries many e-surveillance, websites blocking and Internet censorship provisions.

Surveillance of Internet traffic in India has become a nuisance for internet intermediaries of India. In fact, Internet intermediaries like Yahoo has already dragged Indian government to court to resist illegal and unconstitutional e-surveillance demands of Indian government.

In its petition, Yahoo has raised questions on the right to privacy of a company that stores such sensitive data and to what extent authorities can coerce it to part with the information considered necessary to either track terror perpetrators or thwart future attacks.

It is high time for constitutional courts of India to take notice of these unconstitutional developments and stop the initiatives of Indian government and its agencies before it is too late.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Is SCADA The New Cyber Attack Battlefield For India?

The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) has been in limelight these days. This is because malware are specifically designed these days to target SCADA systems. It is not the case that malware were not used in the recent past to target SCADA systems but their sophistication and intensity has increased tremendously these days.

SCADA generally refers to industrial control systems (ICS) like computer systems that monitor and control industrial, infrastructure, or facility-based processes. The SCADA systems may involve a human machine interface (HMI), a supervisory system managing the processes, remote terminal units (RTUs) interacting with the supervisory systems, programmable logic controller (PLCs) usable as field devices, etc.

An attack upon SCADA is essentially an attack upon the critical infrastructure of a nation. Recently, cyber criminals used SCADA to burn out a public utility water pump in United States. Malware like Stuxnet and Duqu have further created nuisance for US and other nations. These incidences have also forced the defense advanced projects research agency (DARPA) of US to further strengthen its offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.

In the Indian context, the critical infrastructure protection of India is not in good shape. There is neither an implementable cyber security policy of India nor there is any critical ICT infrastructure protection policy of India. Even the Indian nuclear facilities may not fully cyber secure.

As more and more ICT would be used for critical infrastructures like SCADA, the risks of cyber attacks sabotaging the same are great. India has already received enough hints about the possible cyber warfare, cyber espionage and attacks upon its critical infrastructure. It is high time for India to protect its critical infrastructure from local and foreign cyber threats.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Indian Higher Legal Education Needs Reforms

Higher education in India is suffering from many deficiencies and irregularities. These include lack of practical training, academic nature of education, absence of skills development, corruption, lack of research capabilities, etc.

Universities and colleges are engaging in all sorts of undesirable behaviours and practices and this is affecting the higher education and research oriented courses like PhDs. Indian government is also not very much enthusiastic in curing these deficiencies and eliminating the irregularities.

This guest column is analysing all these irregularities and illegalities happening in the higher education field in India. Law minister Salman Khurshid and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal must urgently intervene to save higher education in India in general and higher legal education in India in particular.

There is no second opinion about the fact that legal education in India needs urgent reforms. This is more so regarding higher legal education in India that is in really bad shape. Despite many suggested measures, higher legal education in India is still in a very poor state.

This is also the reason why continuing professional legal education in India has failed miserably. Further, this is also the reason why PhDs in India are almost extinct as far as legal education is concerned.

Naturally, higher legal education in India is in doldrums. Vast spread corruption has destabilised the higher education in India. These are serious issues that must be resolved by both the education minister and law minister of India.

Higher legal educational reforms in India must comprise of many essential elements. Transparency to support for higher legal research and education in India are essential components of the same.

These days news of international cooperation in the field of education between India and other nations is in abundance. However, that is just stressing upon the outer shell without curing the diseased inner core of decaying educational system of India.

India needs to urgently take care of the fallacies and deficiencies of its educational system that is not serving any purpose except brain drain. The sooner we do this the better Indian education system would be.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Is Corruption Undermining The Higher Education In India?

India is projecting itself as a global education hub. This claim seems to be exaggerated and far from realities. Before claiming India as a global educational hub we must have a reality check. Do we have qualitative education in India? Do we encourage research and novelty in India? Do we discourage corruption and arbitrariness in India so that education can be qualitative?

The answers to these questions seem to be in negative. Neither have we qualitative education in India nor our educational system is free from arbitrariness and corruption. Our educational system is academic in nature that is far from developing skills and practical acumen in our educated masses.

The truth is that PhDs in India are dying despite our boastful claims. Higher education in India needs to be rescued from arbitrariness, lack of transparency, corruption and other vices.

Take the example of higher legal education in India. The truth is that higher legal education in India is in jeopardy. The same is so tardy, troublesome and difficult to be successfully achieved that a majority of researchers do not wish to engage in the same. Even if some dare to go for higher education in India, the flawed educational system of India does not allow successful completion of the same.

While India is making lots of efforts to make Indian educational system qualitative in nature yet till corruption and arbitrariness is eradicated all such efforts would be futile.

Time has come to question and punish those who have made Indian educational system a menace and breeding ground for corruption. Unless this is done, all educational development initiatives of India would fail.

Higher Legal Education In India Is Dying

In this guest column, Praveen Dalal, managing partner of India’s exclusive techno legal ICT and IP law firm Perry4Law, has shared his recent communication with Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid. This communication has drawn the attention of these two ministers towards the decaying standards of higher legal education in India.

Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid are two of the most Important and Learned Politicians of India. If we have to take care of the “Deteriorating Conditions” of Higher Legal Research and Education in India, their “active participation and continuous attention” is a must.

While Kapil Sibal has been working hard in the field of Higher Education Cooperation with United States and other Countries, yet in our own Nation Higher Education Standards are not upto the mark and are prone to various “Corrupt Practices” and “Arbitrary Decision Making”.

Recently, I sent E-Mails to both Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid and brought to their notice the deteriorating conditions of Higher Legal Education in India. This is the excerpts/relevant portion of the same.

“I hope this E-Mail would find you in the best your Health and Strength.

Although I can wish a Good Health for You but I am afraid I cannot expect the same from our Dying Educational System, especially our Legal Educational System. I am personally acquainted of this decaying of our Legal Education in India.

Higher Legal Education is a must for Country like India. Being a Pioneer in Legal Fraternity and then as a Productive and Useful Member of Parliament, You are Yourself aware of the importance of Legal Education in India. However, Higher Legal Education in India is in “Doldrums”.

Corruption and Lack of Transparency has eaten up the Good Legal Standards and quality that was once a “Benchmark” of our Legal Education. Whether it is the “Funds” for PhD Candidates or other Financial and Non Financial Facilities, Legal Researchers are finding it really difficult to do PhD except by “Compromising” with Moral and Ethical Standards.

A person like Me, who believes in Transparency and Lack of Corruption, is seldom satisfied with the Legal Education of India. While I would prefer a Foreign University to do my PhD due to these “Irregularities” yet I hope You would not allow this “Negative Precedent” to repeat in the future. I hope You can do a “Great Service” to this Nation by eliminating the “Factors” that are responsible for the deaths of PhD in India”.

If PhD is a “Breeding Ground” for Corrupt Practices and Irregularities, there is no scope for Higher Legal Education in India. I hope the two Learned Ministers would take an immediate and urgent note of this “Precarious Situation”.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Civil Liberties And National Security Must Be Reconciled

Nations across the world are ignoring civil liberties for the false claims of national security. This is a disturbing trend especially when the United Nations is silent on the protection of human rights in cyberspace. This applies to India as well that has draconian laws like information technology act 2000 to violate civil liberties in cyberspace.

Unfortunately, UN has not been able to formulate a universally acceptable legal framework of cyber law and human rights protection in cyberspace. The obvious result is that different jurisdictions have different cyber laws. The only thing common in these cyber laws is that virtually none of them is protecting human rights in cyberspace.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based ICT and IP law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India, there is need to have “Reconciliation” between National Security needs of India on the one hand and Protection of Fundamental Rights on the other. I have also sent a communication in this regard to Government of India in the past, informs Dalal.

It seems some segments of Indian government agree with this “reconciliation theory” suggested by techno legal experts of India. For instance, the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Shri Kapil Sibal has said that adequate balance needs to be maintained between needs of ‘privacy of individual’ and ‘genuine security concerns of state’ while dealing with challenges of cyber security.

Another area that deserves the attention of Indian government in general and UN in particular pertains to Human Rights Protection in Cyberspace. According to techno legal experts like Praveen Dalal, presently UN and Human Rights in Cyberspace are two separate issues although they need to be one. Similarly, we have no International Cyber Law Treaty, International Cyber Security Treaty, International Cooperation in Techno Legal fields, etc, informs Dalal.

Interestingly, Kapil Sibal appealed to the global community to collaborate and evolve global protocols in security of information and network. Sibal assured that India stands committed to contribute and cooperate with international community on this issue. It seems at least Kapil Sibal is aware of the details of techno legal issues and that is good news for India.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ravi Shankaran’s Extradition To India Is Now Doubtful

Today information and communication technology (ICT) is involved in almost all crimes. Today’s era belongs to cyber crimes and the corresponding cyber forensics capabilities and cyber forensics skills development to solve the same.

Law enforcement agencies, security agencies and intelligence agencies of India need to have good techno legal cyber forensics trainings. However, we have very few cyber forensics research, education and training institutions in India. As a result our law enforcement agencies, security agencies and intelligence agencies are not well equipped to deal with cyber crimes and cyber forensics cases.

Even lawyers and judges are not well versed with techno legal issues and this at times results in acquittal of the accused. While lawyers in India can affords to take techno legal issues lightly yet this casual approach may prove fatal if a well versed and technologically sound lawyer is pitted against them.

This is exactly what happened in the Naval war-room leak case’s investigation. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now facing a setback in the extradition of Naval war-room leak case accused Ravi Shankaran.

The secret evidence provided by CBI has been declared to be shaky by the experts appointed by London court. This has demolished the case of CBI to a great extent. The case appears to be falling apart as the UK court-appointed cyber forensic expert has raised doubts over the secret evidence provided by Government of India.

The prosecutors of India had earlier presented secret evidence about an e-mail with an attachment of Sir Creek sent by Commander Virender Rana to a person called Vic Branson of Inmaty company in Belgium, which they claimed was owned by Shankaran.

These attachments they alleged had material which compromised the integrity of India. The Judge noted that the alleged e-mail by Vic Branson to Rana, produced by the prosecution as the main evidence against Shankaran, had no date and time and an independent court approved expert has confirmed that it is not possible to create an email, type 11 words, attach 8 documents and then save it all in 2 seconds only.

Cyber forensic expert Jason Coyne has, according to the judge, stated that such an e-mail could not have been sent based on the evidence produced by Government of India.

Earlier James Lewis, representing Shankaran, pointed out that Coyne's conclusion on the e-mail in question "has completely destroyed the Indian Government's case" against Shankaran. The Judge at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court put off the hearing after a plea from the Crown Prosecution Service John Hardy, who sought time to consult Government of India. The hearing about admissibility of the extradition case against Shankaran, will be held for two days from October 10, District Judge Nicholas Evans said.

In the past as well, the CBI has failed to act in a timely manner while investigating the case of defacement of its website.

Editorial Comments

We just came across some media reports after our posting. Hence the editorial comments. If possible, we would also come up with techno legal expert’s testimony in this regard very soon.

Dismissing reports of a setback in the extradition case involving Ravi Shankaran, main accused in the Naval War Room leak case, the CBI today claimed that a UK-based cyber expert has "wrongly considered" the creation time of email, presented as evidence by it in a London court. The agency said there was "no setback" to it in the case and it will present its views before the Westminster Court on October 10.

CBI will present its argument that the expert has wrongly considered creation time of the 'Temporary' internet file, related to email in question; which is actually an automatic process in the computer system to cache open files, which can be recovered in case of any crash" a senior CBI official said.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Will Indian Courts Accept Technology Ever?

Technology is most often used in civil cases especially matrimonial cases. Even in criminal cases, video conferencing is frequently used by courts for various purposes. This is the beginning of a larger effort known as e-courts.

We have no e-courts in India till September 2011. This means there is something grossly wrong with our management and expertise in this regard. For instance, we have a single techno legal e-courts research, training and consultancy centre in India.

It is managed by Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB), the premier techno legal segment of Perry4Law, the exclusive techno legal ICT and IP law firm of India and world wide. We need more such techno legal e-courts centers in India.

Further, there is also reluctance on the part of Indian courts to use technology for legal and judicial purposes. This is also the reason why e-courts could not be established in India till now.

Police, lawyers and judges are finding it difficult to deal with cyber crimes. More sophisticated fields like cyber forensics have yet to be introduced in Indian legal and judicial system. Here is an urgent need to develop cyber skills of police, lawyers and judges in India.

Take the example of a very recent case in this regard. A man who filed his divorce petition through a video conference from Canada has been directed to make a personal appearance in the court on December 15. Second additional family court judge G Manjula passed the order. Personal appearance is a concept that strikes at the very concept of e-courts and video conferencing.

This means courts and judges in India are still not comfortable with the use of technology. However, technological issues would be required to be taken care of by courts and judges in future.

Police, lawyers and judges must stress upon cyber skills development in India. E-learning for lawyers in India must be strengthened. Similarly, techno legal training and courses like cyber forensics trainings in India must also be undertaken by our police force, legal fraternity and judicial community.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Futility Of Aadhar Project Of India And UIDAI

The Aadhar project of India and unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) have never been considered to be legal and constitutional. This is because both Aadhar project and UIDAI have been imposed upon India that also without any parliamentary oversight.

In fact Aadhar project and UIDAI are both undemocratic and unconstitutional as they are openly violating various fundamental rights of Indian citizens that also without following the constitutional procedure. Form time to time, experts have been suggesting that Aadhar project and UIDAI must be scrapped.

Indian government, Aadhar project and UIDAI are hiding truth from Indian citizens and are fooling them. However, sooner or later the truth was bound to be revealed. Besides experts in India now even the home ministry of India has been opposing the Aadhar project and UIDAI.

Neither Aadhar project nor UIDIA have been able to provide the mandatory legal framework under which they can operate. Further, both Aadhar project and UIDAI are openly violating various civil liberties like right to privacy in India.

Realising that Aadhar/UIDAI may be challenged in the Indian Courts; a façade was created in the form of National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 (Bill). The Bill is still to become an applicable law as it has not been approved by the Parliament of India.

However, according to experts like Praveen Dalal, a Supreme Court lawyer and leading techno legal expert of India, even after the Bill becomes and applicable law, both Aadhar and UIDAI would remain “Unconstitutional”. This is so because the “Constitutional Safeguards” that are required to make Aadhar/UIDAI Constitutional are still missing from the proposed Bill.

The Home Ministry has now further identified flaws in the enrolment process followed by the UIDAI, citing cases where people have got UID numbers on the basis of false affidavits. None can doubts that fake UID cards has made Aadhar project further vulnerable to misuse. What is surprising that our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has failed to take notice of these unconstitutional and illegal irregularities in the functioning of Aadhar project and UIDAI.

In a note written to the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the home ministry has questioned the security of the biometric data captured by the UIDAI and pointed out uncertainties in its revenue model.

The UIDAI has sought an additional 15,000 crore to do biometric scanning of all residents of the country through its own registrars, a proposal that is being opposed by the home ministry and the planning commission, as the government has already tasked the census office with the primary responsibility of collecting biometric data of all Indian residents for a National Population register card.

The data collected by the census office is supposed to be shared with the UIDAI and every NPR card will carry the UID number of the card holder. The census office is part of the home ministry and so far has collected biometric data for 30 lakh individuals. The home ministry has urged the Cabinet to restrict the authority's multi-registrar model of biometric enrolment to the already decided level of 20 crore by March 2012.

"The home ministry, the Planning Commission and others have given their comments," Home Minister P Chidambaram said about the UIDAI proposal for more funding recently. He also said that the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI (CCUIDAI) would take a call on the overlap between the NPR and the UIDAI. Why CCUIDAI is allowing futile Aadhar project and UIDAI to continue is still a big mystery?

Monday, August 29, 2011

An Ideal Jan Lokpal Authority Of India

In this Guest Column, Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of New Delhi based Techno Legal ICT Law Firm Perry4Law and leading Techno Legal Expert of India, has shared his views about the Jan Lokpal Authority of India. He maintains that the proposed Jan Lokpal Authority of India must be Techno Legal in nature to be most effective.

Till now it is absolutely clear that the proposed Jan Lokpal Law of India must be Techno Legal in nature. The existing Bills are suffering from many “Deficiencies” and absence of “Techno Legal Aspect” is one of them.

For instance, Technology is the Best Whistleblower and a Jan Lokpal Authority or Law that does not believe in this “Technological Use” is bound to be another Authority with practically little benefits and uses. That is why a Strong and Effective Whistleblowers Protection Law in India is urgently required.

However, I wish to cover another related aspect of the proposed Jan Lokpal Law of India. The “Real Strength” of the proposed Jan Lokpal Law of India would be the “Jan Lokpal Authority of India”. If we have a Weak or Ineffective Jan Lokpal Authority in India, the proposed Law cannot serve its purpose.

The first aspect that must be resolved is what should be the “Composition” of the proposed Jan Lokpal Authority of India. I believe that the composition of the proposed Jan Lokpal Authority of India must essentially involve Experts representing fields like Judicial, Legal, Technological, Social Justice, etc.

No matter how many Experts from each field are made part of the Authority, the Authority must be Techno Legal in nature. Preference must be given to Experts who have knowledge of both Technical and Legal aspects.

Another aspect that needs to be considered is the “Nature” of such Authority. Should such authority be a “Constitutional Authority” or can it be a “Statutory Body” under the proposed Jan Lokpal Law of India? If it is a Constitutional Body, what additional efforts we need to make to make it “Functional” immediately? If it is a Statutory Body, it can be Constituted along with the passing of the Jan Lokpal Law of India.

These issues require immediate deliberations before the Parliamentary Standing Committee and they must be resolved while passing the Jan Lokpal Law of India by the Parliament.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Law Students Of India Are Not Getting Practical Training

Legal education in India is not up to the mark and it requires serious reforms. At the moment, the legal education is not professional in nature as it suffers from being excessive academic in nature and is producing law graduates who lack good research and analytical skills.

This fact came to the knowledge of Justice Markandeya Katju, a judge of the Supreme Court, while addressing an audience of law students at the Dr Ambedkar Law University. Justice Markandeya Katju posed a simple question before the law students who found it difficult to answer.

The question was “what will you do if a client approaches you alleging that the cop refused to register his complaint?". The law students failed to give a satisfactory answer to this question. Justice Markandeya Katju showed his dissatisfaction with the practical knowledge of Indian laws on the part of law students. He also showed his dissatisfaction with the Bar Council of India (BCI), the statutory body governing legal education in the country, for prescribing the syllabus which did not include practical training.

Justice Markandeya Katju opined that mere theoretical classes would not bring the result, unless it is supported by practical training classes. The students should get to know the day-to-day legal problems of common man and the way to get rid of them if the students were imparted practical training by way of participation in free legal clinics. Justice Markandeya Katju further said that the legal education system of India needs radical change. Answering a valley of questions posed by the students, Justice Markandeya Katju at times also complemented them for their brilliant queries and their up-to-date knowledge.

The law students and law graduates need to undergo practical legal training in India. They must stress hard upon legal skills development . In the present era of information technology, e-learning can greatly assist them in achieving this task. Online skills development in India is now possible for legal professionals.

There are some very good online legal research, education and training institutions in India. In fact, institutions like Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) are even providing research, education and training in techno legal fields. PTLB is the exclusive techno legal research, education and training institution of India and world that provides online education and training in the fields like cyber law, cyber forensics, e-courts, legal research, legal drafting, digital evidencing, etc.

Law students, law graduates, lawyers, corporate counsels, etc must take full advantage of the research, education and training courses of PTLB so that they are not only well versed with the practical aspects of Indian and foreign laws but also well equipped to deal with techno legal issues like cyber law and cyber forensics.

Indian Whistleblowers Protection Laws Needed

Now the Indian government has finally shown some interest in bringing the jan lokpal bill of India, it is high time to move towards making it a strong, effective and robust law. Experts have been claiming that the present jan lokpal versions are neither strong nor effective. In fact, they have claimed that the present versions of jan lokpal bills do not address many important issues that must be combined to make the jan lokpal law strong and effective.

Although there are many areas that need to be included in the proposed jan lokpal bill of India yet extending a strong and effective protection to the whistleblowers, who raise their voices against the corruption in India, needs a specific mention and adoption.

In fact, in the year 2004/2005 itself a techno legal whistleblowers protection code was suggested by Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India. The code was complete techno legal solution till a proper law was formulated by Indian parliament.

However, even after 6 years of providing of such code, Indian parliament has not deemed it necessary to protect the lives of our heroic whistleblowers that have been loosing their lives one by one.

Till now we have no whistleblowers protection law in India and this is making other laws weak and ineffective. Either people are not willing to come forward or if they come forward they loose their lives.

We have to develop Techno Legal Mechanisms that can safeguard the Information provided by and Details of Whistleblowers, opines Praveen Dalal. If lives of Whistleblowers cannot be Safeguarded, Corruption in India can never be eliminated, suggests Dalal.

India has a bad reputation of “Ignoring Formulation of Essential Laws” and Jan Lokpal and Whistleblowers Protection Laws are classic examples of the same. If Parliament of India keeps on functioning only through “Public Disruptions and Agitations”, that would be a death knell of Democracy and Parliamentary Supremacy, opines Praveen Dalal.

It would be better if parliament of India enacts a strong and effective whistleblowers protection law before this cause is also picked up by Indian masses and it forces again the parliament to succumb to its pressure. This is not the way any Parliament, especially the Parliament of the largest Democracy of the World, should function, says Dalal.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Whistleblowers Protection Law In India

Just like anti corruption laws, whistleblower protection laws in India have been long ignored by Indian government and Parliament of India. Of course, if the Parliament of India fails to fulfill its constitutional duties of law making, the balance between the three organs of Indian constitution would be disturbed. This also raises the doubt about the very existence of separation of powers under the constitution of India.

Absence of whistleblower protection requirements from various drafts Jan Lokpal bills presented by civil society and Indian government is also the reason why experts are not considering them as ideal and strong. In fact, experts have openly claimed that the suggested Jan Lokpal Bills are not strong and effective. The proposed drafts of Jan Lokpal Bills have failed to incorporate many good suggestions of experts that could have made the proposed law more comprehensive, robust and effective.

One of the areas that require an “Immediate and Urgent Attention” of the Parliamentary Standing Committee constituted in this regard is to ensure a Strong, Robust and Constitutionally Sound Jan Lokpal Law, opines Praveen Dalal, a Supreme Court Lawyer and leading techno legal expert of India. A Strong and Effective Whistleblower Protection Law in India is “Mandatorily Required” for the successful application and functioning of many other Laws, including the proposed Jan Lokpal Law, suggests Dalal.

Presently, whistleblowers are at the mercy of hard core criminals who are least afraid of the law and order of India. This is evident from the killing of many Indian whistleblowers in the past that have raised their voices against the corruption existing in governmental dealings.

It would be a prudent exercise to involve maximum intellectuals and experts by the Parliamentary Standing Committee so that a national consensus in this regard can be obtained.

By confining the Jan Lokpal Bill to the version of either the civil society or government version, the Parliamentary Standing Committee would be doing injustice to India. Further, a Jan Lokpal law without whistleblowers protection is nothing but wastage of time, money and resources. I hope the Parliamentary Standing Committee would consider all these aspects before coming out with the final draft of Jan Lokpal law of India.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cyber Crime Investigation In India

Modernisation of police force of India is need of the hour. We need modern police forces that can easily deal with technology related crimes and its misuses. With growing cases of cyber crimes in India, people are finding themselves helpless as they are unable to get justice in a timely and proper manner.

This is happening as Indian police force lacks the cyber crime investigation capabilities. Even the cyber crime cells of India lack expertise in fields like cyber law and cyber crimes. The truth is that police in India needs urgent cyber law training and a trained cyber police force of India is urgently needed.

There is no ready reference for cyber crime investigation in India. Recently, Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB), the techno legal segment of exclusive techno legal ICT and IP firm of India Perry4Law, informed that a cyber crime investigation manual for various stakeholders of India would be available very soon.

This is the exclusive techno legal cyber crime investigation manual of India. The manual is in the final phase of preparation and it may be available to governmental departments and general public after few months. You may also download the first cyber crime investigation manual of India if an electronic version of the same is also released by Perry4Law and PTLB.

Police in India urgently needs good techno legal trainings in the fields like cyber law, cyber forensics, digital evidencing, etc. PTLB has been providing techno legal trainings to police officers for long and the cyber crime investigation manual is a part of this initiative.To improve the cyber crimes investigation skills of police officers of India as well as to help in the successful prosecution and punishment of the cyber criminals, Perry4Law and PTLB are also imparting exclusive online techno legal trainings in the fields like cyber law, cyber forensics, digital evidencing and much such other training.

With these pro active initiatives, cyber crime investigation and prosecution would be successful in India to a great extent. However, the government of India needs to take the issue seriously. Techno legal issues like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc needs a national level policy decision. The sooner it is done the better it would be for the interest of India.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jan Lokpal Bill Of India 2011 Is Not Strong And Effective

Jan Lokpal bill of India has become a bone of contention between Anna Hazare group and Indian government. Finally, after lots of protest and anti corruption movement, Indian government finally decided to bring a law in this regard.

However, Anna group is not convinced with the law suggested by the government and has been adamant to get its own bill introduced in the Parliament.

In this tussle between both these groups, very few have appreciated that it is not the law that is enough but an effective, strong and robust anti corruption law that alone would serve the purpose.

Unfortunately, both the versions of Jan Lokpal Bills are not adequate to cover all the aspects of anti corruption movement in India. Experts like Praveen Dalal, a Supreme Court lawyer and leading techno legal specialist of India, have opined that the proposed Jan Lokpal Bills are not strong and effective to deal with the deep rooted problem of corruption in India.

So what are the aspects that have been missed by both the parties regarding a strong and effective Jan Lokpal Bill of India? According to Praveen Dalal, if Jan Lokpal Act 2011 of India has to be successful it must incorporate many more issues like Technology, Whistleblower Protection, Harmonisation between Judicial and Lokpal fields, Right to Information, Mandatory E-Governance Services, etc. These issues are very relevant to make Lokpal law effective, flexible and robust. Unfortunately, none of these issues are covered by either version of the Bill or independently by a separate anti corruption law.

The Jan Lokpal Bill 2011 itself requires numerous “Improvements and Additions” suggests Dalal. The Jan Lokpal Bill 2011 must be Techno Legal to be most successful. In short, the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill 2011 must be Strong and Effective. By confining it to either the Governmental version or the version of Civil Activists, we are not going to achieve anything, suggests Dalal.

We do not need a Code that contains Ineffective and Weak Provisions. On the contrary, we need a “Holistic Law” in this regard that covers all the aspects of Anti Corruption in India, suggests Dalal.

Indian Jan Lokpal Bill Is Not Ideal And Strong Says Expert

The initiatives of Prime Minister and Anna Hazare camps are worth praising. However, the versions proposed by both camps are myopic in nature and are at best a reflection of their respective ideology.

Firstly, Jan Lokpal law in itself would not be a panacea for all corruption related problems in India unless the same is constitutional, robust, effective and strong. To be an ideal Jan Lokpal law, the same must encompass many more issues that have been ignored by both camps even after they have been suggested by many experts.

Secondly, according to experts like Praveen Dalal, if Jan Lokpal Act 2011 of India has to be successful it must incorporate many more issues like Technology, Whistleblower Protection, Harmonisation between Judicial and Lokpal fields, Right to Information, Mandatory E-Governance Services, etc. These issues are very relevant to make Lokpal law effective, flexible and robust. Unfortunately, none of these issues are covered by either version of the bill or independently by a separate anti corruption law.

The Jan Lokpal Bill 2011 itself requires numerous “Improvements and Additions” suggests Dalal. The Jan Lokpal Bill 2011 must be Techno Legal to be most successful. In short, the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill 2011 must be Strong and Effective. By confining it to either the Governmental version or the version of Civil Activists, we are not going to achieve anything, suggests Dalal.

Let us not enact an impotent law that has no impact at all upon corruption and faulty governmental machinery. Let us insist upon a robust and strong anti corruption law that provides protection to anti corruption crusaders and whistle-blowers. If you are interested in this version of anti corruption law, read on and contribute.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Home Ministry Of India Banned Google And Facebook For Its Employees

Restricting access to social networking sites at governmental offices is a common feature. This is done to prevent compromise of crucial government computers at such departments.

It has now been reported that the home ministry of India has banned its officials and staff from opening social networking sites such as Google, Facebook, etc and the websites of free online games on official government computers after it has received fresh reports of cyber espionage attacks on sensitive government installations, including the home ministry.

While this is not an absolute measure to prevent compromise of Government Computers yet it can reduce the numbers of compromised computers to a great extent, says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based ICT and IP law firm Perry4Law and the leading techno-legal expert of India.

The home ministry advisory warns that attackers have used “Google, Facebook and some other social networking web portals” to “identify critical individuals” to “steal information and passwords for further espionage from the infected computer”. Ministries and departments, particularly the home, defence and external affairs ministries and the Delhi police, need to take extra precautions, an MHA official said.

MHA officials have also been told not to access personal emails on the Internet from an official computer. There should be a restricted usage of USB computer storage media such as pen drives, memory sticks and external hard disk drives. Officers, moreover, should not visit any website “not connected” to his/her work, the advisory said.

The officials have also been directed not to use personal email accounts such as those on Yahoo, Rediffmail, Gmail, Hotmail, etc for official matters, even for drafting concept notes, and use only NIC email accounts to send official information. The MHA also asked its officials to change passwords every 15 days and not disclose these to anyone.

Law Firms Are Giving Cyber Law A New Shape

A few years back law firms in general and lawyers in particular were not aware of the concepts like cyber law. However, now the trend is changing with lawyers and law firm updating their knowledge about cyber law and technological issues.

As far as India is concerned, the awareness of cyber law among judges, lawyers and law firms is still at infancy stage. In this situation Perry4Law, the exclusive techno legal ICT and IP firm of India and world wide has emerged as a good tend setter.

While other law firms across the globe are struggling to deal with even the basics of cyber law, Perry4Law has emerged as a global leader in the techno legal field. It has crossed the frontiers of cyber law to areas like cyber forensics, cyber security, ICT and telecom policy, etc.

Further, Perry4Law also maintains a blog on international ICT policies and strategies that no other law firm of the world is maintaining. The blog carries good and qualitative discourses upon techno legal issues like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, data protection, lawful interception, privacy protection, data security, intelligence gathering, e-governance, phone tapping, e-courts, etc.

It seems law firms are realizing the potential of technological fields and firms like Perry4Law are not only leading the race but are also paving path for other firms to follow.

If this is not enough, the leading techno legal segment of Perry4Law known as Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) is providing world class techno legal trainings in fields like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc.

Clearly, Perry4Law and PTLB have crossed the frontiers that are even difficult for technology firms to achieve. Let us see how the journey of Perry4Law and PTLB goes from here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Legal Immunity To US Armed Forces At Foreign Jurisdictions

A question was asked at the social platform Linkedin to the following terms “Does anyone know whether data transmitted from a server at a US Army Post Office (APO) and Fleet Post Office (FPO) location overseas is subject to the data privacy laws of the country in which the server sits, or is considered a US transfer?".

I personally believe it is subject to jurisdiction and laws of the nations where such APO/FPO has been based. Further, I also believe that if a crime like cyber espionage has been committed by such unit or any person stationed therein, that nation can take cognizance of such matter.

However, the matter must be elaborated further. I believe that a US military base/facility would not become automatically entitled to diplomatic or legal immunity from host country’s civil and criminal laws and US laws would not apply to it in such circumstances. There is nothing like automatic immunity, implied immunity or absolute immunity that is available to US armed forces, including US APO/FPO.

Armed forces immunity can be claimed either under the international law and in a member country alone that is also part to any treaty in this regard to which US is also a member or it must be claimed through an executive agreement with the concerned country where US armed forces are stationed.

Until the post-World War II era, status of forces agreement (SOFAs) addressed this conflict between sovereigns and US policy was to rely heavily on the concept of immunity from host nation criminal jurisdiction created by the host nation's implied consent in expressly consenting to US forces being stationed there. The US policy of insisting on complete immunity from foreign criminal jurisdiction continued in the early post-World War II period, but ultimately gave way to the negotiation of systems of "concurrent jurisdiction" in SOFAs and bilateral supplementary agreements.

With the exception of the multilateral SOFA among the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries, a SOFA is specific to an individual country and is in the form of an executive agreement.

It is not correct that no matter whatever criminal acts US APO/FPO commits, it or people behind the same would not be punishable in the host country, especially if it has nothing to do with the official duty as mentioned by me earlier through the cyber espionage example.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Parliamentary Scrutiny For Intelligence Agencies Of India

Intelligence agencies of India are not governed by any legal framework and parliamentary oversight. Legal experts in India have been stressing upon existence of such parliamentary scrutiny for intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies of India for long. In fact, intelligence infrastructure of India is in big mess.

However, for one reason or other, Indian government has ignored this much required constitutional mandate. Now the problem has taken a serious dimension, so our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh found the situation alarming. He has commissioned a new law to be drafted that would make India’s intelligence agencies accountable to the parliament.

According to Praveen Dalal, the leading techno legal expert of India and a Supreme Court lawyer, till now we have no laws that govern the functioning of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Agencies of India, etc. The draft Central Bureau of Investigation Act 2010 has proposed a law for CBI and the draft Intelligence Services (Powers and Regulations) Bill, 2011 has been suggested for Intelligence Agencies of India.

Since the PM has commissioned a new law to be drafted for intelligence agencies, it seems the proposed law would be independent of the recent proposed Bill 2011. It would be appropriate if techno legal issues are covered by the proposed law as suggested by our PM.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Software Patent Trolls In India

Patent trolls are people or organisation that acquires a patent with the primary objective of non use of the same. Their main objective is to get maximum commercial benefit through licensing mechanism. They also intend to sue others for patent infringement and derive monetary benefits through compensation for the alleged patent infringement.

Software developers in US are frequently targeted by such patent trolls through cease and desist orders by alleging patent infringement. So bad has become the situation that software developers in US have threatened to leave US unless they are duly protected from such trolls.

So what is the position regarding the same in India. Patent Trolls and their Regulations in India is well founded says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law. Indian Patents Act 1970 “Prohibits” Unfair Trade Practices of Hoarding a Patent by not using the same and hindering its availability to general public, informs Dalal

If a cease and desist order is issued in respect of such a “Hoarded Patent”, the very grant of Patent can be challenged. This is sufficient “Deterrent” for Patent Trolls operating in India, opines Dalal.

It seems Indian patent law is well founded to protect software developers as software is not a patentable product or process in India. If something cannot be patented in India, there are practically no chances of its violation in India hence there cannot be any litigation as well.

So the chances of software patent trolls to flourish in India are not much provided people are aware of the intellectual property rights (IPRs) laws of India, especially the patent law of India.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

United Nation’s Regional Economic Commissions And India

While discussing the regional initiatives of United Nations regarding economic development, i asked myself about the true nature of such regional initiatives. Are these regional initiatives truly regional in nature or can they cooperate and collaborate among themselves or with other individuals and organisations residing beyond their regions?

In other words, does the charter of such institutions or commissions allow them to engage at international level directly or indirectly? If these regional initiatives are strictly regional in nature, this may hamper their effectiveness.

For instance, recently I came across the activities of United Nation’s Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) regarding intellectual property rights (IPRs). I found this initiative really impressive. However, can India be a part of UNECE directly or indirectly?

According to Geeta Dalal, partner at New Delhi based ICT and IP law firm Perry4Law, UN-ECE is one of five regional commissions of United Nations, working for economic integration and growth in Europe primarily. For Asian countries/ India, UN regional commission is Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).

Does this mean professionals and organisations working as members or otherwise of UNECE and UNESCAP have to essentially confine their initiatives and efforts to their regional initiatives alone?

This may not necessarily be the case. For instance, the International PPP Center for Excellence by UN-ECE, to my understanding, is global initiative having much wider objectives useful for all countries although it is primarily designed as a regional initiative, suggests Geeta Dalal.

Considering the ever increasing scope of engaging PPP model in growth map of Asian countries like India particularly in infrastructure projects such as road, transport, telecom, ICT etc, initiatives like UN-ESCAP and UN-ECE could play a possible pivotal role. In any case, it should engage experts from all over the world as there is nothing that restricts this exercise, suggests Geeta.

.It seems, although many UN initiatives have been launched as regional, their public private partnership (PPP) model may help in expanding their expertise and scope. At the end of the day, any regional initiative that helps in achieving a global objective is always welcome irrespective of its mandate.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

EU India FTA, Data Exclusivity And Foreign Direct Investment

European Union (EU) is actively working in the direction of strengthening the regional and international intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection for its member States. Working in this direction, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has recently held a two day meeting to increase IPRs awareness throughout the Europe.

Similarly, EU and India would also sign a letter of understanding which will ensure that EU countries would not seize Indian medicines passing through Europe on the ground of violation of IPRs.

These are positive developments despite some initial hiccups like EU decision to withdraw the generalised system of preferences (GSP) scheme where India was on the receiving end, says Geeta Dalal, partner at Perry4Law a New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm. Now Indian government has made it clear that the “data exclusivity” provision would not form part of the proposed EU India foreign trade agreement (FTA), informs Geeta Dalal.

Asia is a very important market for EU companies and by adopting a very strict attitude this market could have been jeopardised. Similarly, India is also a very important market for pharmaceutical companies of Europe. The proposed EU India FTA may open new markets for these pharmaceutical markets.

By adopting a flexible approach, both EU and India can be benefited. Indian would get good foreign direct investment in the pharmaceutical and allied fields and European companies may get access to Indian pharmaceutical market, informs Geeta Dalal.

The proposed FTA would be concluded within this year and many trade related issues would be discussed there. Let us wait for the final version of the EU India FTA.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Renewal Of An Expired Trademark

Trademark registration in India is well founded and properly regulated. The trademarks act 1999 of India regulates the registration and management of trademarks in India. It protects trademarks, well known marks and brands.

Once registered, a trademark is granted for a period of 10 years and can be subsequently renewed for another 10 years period. During the registration period the trademark holder can enjoy the benefits of registration that prevents others from using the registered mark.

At times a trademark is not renewed and this makes the mark in question susceptible to registration by others. Thus, it is very important that trademarks are renewed at appropriate time. The questions is can we re-register a trademark whose duration has expired?

Even if the mark has been expired, one can apply for its re-registration. And in case, someone else applies for registration of expired trademark as per the prescribed procedure, owner of expired trademark can file objections at the registry, tribunal or appropriate forum, says Geeta Dalal, partner at New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law.

It is a good strategy to keep a close watch at the registered trademarks as renewal of a trademark is definitely less cumbersome as compared to opposition and re-registration efforts, suggests Geeta Dalal.

So even if your trademark registration period has expired do not loose heart and approach a good lawyer or law firm to get it renewed or registered as soon as possible.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Indian Government Would Clarify New Data Protection Rules Soon

Indian government is planning to clarify the nature and scope of the newly proposed data protection rules very soon. These rules have raised lots of concerns in India and abroad, especially among the outsourcing industry.

There has been some confusion over the interpretation of Sec 43 A of the information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000), the sole cyber law of India.

.IT Act 2000 has been in controversies ever since the information technology amendment act 2008 (IT Act 2008) was notified in India. The IT Act 2008 incorporated many provisions that are not in conformity with the spirit of Indian constitution. In fact, experts like Praveen Dalal have suggested the repeal of the IT Act 2000 so that a better and constitutional law can be formulated.

The new data protections rules have raised many concerns for foreign companies and outsourcing players. They believe that under section 43A, an Indian outsourcing provider would be required to obtain written consent from each individual of an organisation whose outsourced work it would manage. They fear that such a consent requirement will potentially put a huge additional financial burden on these companies and thus affect their profitability.

The new Rules for Data Protection need to be “analysed in detail” and these issues must be sorted out so that outsourcing industry can work in an effective manner, suggests Dalal. This is exactly what the Indian government is planning to do.

On the one hand India needs to ensure privacy and data protection laws whereas on the other hand concerns of outsourcing industry have also to be accommodated. Let us see how things would come up finally as the matter is of utmost importance.