One cannot regard government as complete failure in shielding numerous e-commerce activities on the firm basis of which this industry has got to its skies, but then the law cannot be regarded as free from ambiguities.

The IT Act 2000 attempts to change outdated laws and provides ways to deal with cybercrimes. Let's have an overview of the law where it takes a firm stand and has got successful in the reason for which it was framed.

  1. The E-commerce industry carries out its business via transactions and communications done through electronic records. It thus becomes essential that such transactions be made legal. Keeping this point in the consideration, the IT Act 2000 empowers the government departments to accept filing, creating and retention of official documents in the digital format. The Act also puts forward the proposal for setting up the legal framework essential for the authentication and origin of electronic records / communications through digital signature.
  2. The Act legalizes the e-mail and gives it the status of being valid form of carrying out communication in India. This implies that e-mails can be duly produced and approved in a court of law, thus can be a regarded as substantial document to carry out legal proceedings.
  3. The act also talks about digital signatures and digital records. These have been also awarded the status of being legal and valid means that can form strong basis for launching litigation in a court of law. It invites the corporate companies in the business of being Certifying Authorities for issuing secure Digital Signatures Certificates.
  4. The Act now allows Government to issue notification on the web thus heralding e-governance.
  5. It eases the task of companies of the filing any form, application or document by laying down the guidelines to be submitted at any appropriate office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the government. This will help in saving costs, time and manpower for the corporates.
  6. The act also provides statutory remedy to the corporates in case the crime against the accused for breaking into their computer systems or network and damaging and copying the data is proven. The remedy provided by the Act is in the form of monetary damages, not exceeding Rs. 1 crore ($200,000).
  7. Also the law sets up the Territorial Jurisdiction of the Adjudicating Officers for cybercrimes and the Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal.
  8. The law has also laid guidelines for providing Internet Services on a license on a non-exclusive basis.

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The IT Law 2000, though appears to be self-sufficient, it takes mixed stand when it comes to many practical situations. It loses its certainty at many places like:

  1. The law misses out completely the issue of Intellectual Property Rights, and makes no provisions whatsoever for copyrighting, trade marking or patenting of electronic information and data. The law even doesn't talk of the rights and liabilities of domain name holders, the first step of entering the e-commerce.
  2. The law even stays silent over the regulation of electronic payments gateway and segregates the negotiable instruments from the applicability of the IT Act, which may have major effect on the growth of e-commerce in India. It leads to make the banking and financial sectors irresolute in their stands.
  3. The act empowers the Deputy Superintendent of Police to look up into the investigations and filling of charge sheet when any case related to cyber law is called. This approach is likely to result in misuse in the context of Corporate India as companies have public offices which would come within the ambit of "public place" under the Act. As a result, companies will not be able to escape potential harassment at the hands of the DSP.
  4. Internet is a borderless medium; it spreads to every corner of the world where life is possible and hence is the cybercriminal. Then how come is it possible to feel relaxed and secured once this law is enforced in the nation??

The Act initially was supposed to apply to crimes committed all over the world, but nobody knows how can this be achieved in practice, how to enforce it all over the world at the same time???

Cyber law is a generic term, which denotes all aspects, issues and the legal consequences on the Internet, the World Wide Web and cyber space. India is the 12th nation in the world that has cyber legislation apart from countries like the US, Singapore, France, Malaysia and Japan.

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