Sunday, January 16, 2011

Income Tax Department Of India And Cyber Forensics Trainings

Of late, I have come across lots of news where income tax (IT) department of India has shown its willingness to use and adopt latest technologies and innovative methods. Whether it is e-filing or use of cyber forensics for resolving tax related offences, IT department is all set to give its best shot. The creation of directorate of criminal investigation (DCI) within the department is the latest proposal of IT department.

If we leave aside the constitutionality aspect of DCI for the time being, another issue that remains unresolved is the development of cyber forensics capabilities among the IT department in general and DCI and its officers in particular.

India has been negligent regarding enacting good and effective cyber laws and cyber forensics laws. In the name of lawmaking it is adopting a piecemeal approach. The sole cyber law of India is contained in the information technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) that is at best a piecemeal legislation. The present cyber law of India must also be repealed and it must be substituted with a new and better cyber law.

Similarly, there is no awareness regarding use of cyber forensics in Indian legal and judicial system. Cyber forensics is also not used in our governmental purposes. The main reason for this non use of cyber forensics is that India lacks good and effective cyber forensics capabilities. India has a single techno legal cyber forensics research and training centre (CFRTCI) managed by Perry4Law.

Further, on the front of techno legal cyber forensics training and education as well, we have a single cyber forensics training and education centre managed by Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB). This e-learning and online platform provides trainings and education in the fields of cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, malware analysis, e-courts, etc. It is also the exclusive repository for cyber security and cyber forensics tools and software in India. It is also providing best practices for cyber security, cyber forensics, etc.

Finally, DCI would also be required to tackle the data security cyber security issues. Data and information collected by DCI must be tamper proof and immuned from leakages and cyber crimes. Good and effective cyber security must be put at place to keep the sensitive and secret data out of the reach of cyber criminals.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee must ensure all these requirements before DCI is finally launched. Even otherwise there is no harm in developing good cyber law knowledge and effective cyber forensics capabilities among the revenue officers.