Information Technology Act 2000

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Information Technology Act, 2000
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An Act to provide legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as "electronic commerce", which involve the use of alternatives to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information, to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies and further to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Citation Act No 21 of 2000
Enacted by Parliament of India
Date enacted 9 June 2000
Date assented to 9 June 2000
Date commenced 17 October 2000
Amendments
The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008

The Information Technology Act 2000 (also known as ITA-2000, or the IT Act) is an Act of the Indian Parliament (No 21 of 2000) notified on October 17, 2001. This act is being opposed by Save Your Voice campaign and other civil society organizations in India. User-review and consumer social networking site MouthShut.com has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India to repeal and nullify parts of IT Act 2000.

History[edit]

The United Nations General Assembly by resolution A/RES/51/162, dated the 30 January 1997 has adopted the Model Law on Electronic Commerce adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. This is referred to as the UNCITRAL Model Law on E-Commerce. Following the UN Resolution India passed the Information Technology Act 2000 in May 2000, which came into force on October 17, 2000. The Information Technology Act 2000 has been substantially amended through the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 which was passed by the two houses of the Indian Parliament on December 23, and 24, 2008. It got the Presidential assent on February 5, 2009 and came into force on October 27, 2009. The amended Act has provided additional focus on information security. It has added several new sections on offences including cyber terrorism and data protection. A set of Rules related to sensitive personal information and reasonable security practices (mentioned in section 43A of the ITAA, 2008) was notified in April 2011 [1]

Provisions[edit]

Information technology Act 2000 consisted of 94 sections segregated into 13 chapters. Four schedules form part of the Act. In the 2008 version of the Act, there are 124 sections (excluding 5 sections that have been omitted from the earlier version) and 14 chapters. Schedule I and II have been replaced. Schedules III and IV are deleted.

Information Technology Act 2000 addressed the following issues:

  1. Legal recognition of electronic documents
  2. Legal Recognition of digital signatures
  3. Offenses and contraventions
  4. Justice dispensation systems for cybercrimes

According to Sction 10A of information technology Act,2000(amended in 2008)it also validates E-contracts.

Offences[edit]

Section Offence Punishment
65 Tampering with computer source documents - Intentional concealment, destruction or alteration of source code when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by law for the time being in force Imprisonment up to three years, or/and with fine up to 2 lakh rupees
66 Hacking Imprisonment up to three years, or/and with fine up to 5 lakh rupees
66-A Sending offensive message through electronic means - Sending any information through an electronic message that is grossly offensive or has menacing character and might cause insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will, etc. or sending such mail intended to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages Imprisonment up to three years, and with fine.

Criticisms[edit]

The 2008 Amendment Act was passed in an eventful Parliamentary session on 23 December 2008 with no discussion in the House. Some of the cyber law observers have criticized the amendments on the ground of lack of legal and procedural safeguards to prevent violation of civil liberties of Indians.[citation needed] There have also been appreciation about the amendments from many observers because it addresses the issue of Cyber Security.

Section 69 empowers the Central Government/State Government/ its authorized agency to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource if it is necessary or expedient so to do in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence or for investigation of any offence. They can also secure assistance from computer personnel in decrypting data (see mandatory decryption), under penalty of imprisonment.[2]

Section 66A is widely criticized.[3] It has led to numerous abuses reported by the press.[4] Section 66A has also been criticised and challenged in Lucknow and Madras High Courts for its constitutional validity.[5][6] Based on Section 66A, Bombay High Court has held that creating a website and storing false information on it can entail cyber crime.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]