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Published : June 15, 2010 | Author : ranganathvg@legalserviceindia.com
Category : Cyber Law | Total Views : 8748 | Unrated

V.G.Ranganath, working as Faculty of Law, IFHE University, Hyderabad.

In this epoch of extensive and speedy technological change and a progressively more inter-dependent global economy, it is essential that all countries promote human resources by preparing children adequately for their future. Survival in the coming millennium will depend on the ability to accommodate change and to become accustomed to environmental needs and emerging socio-economic trends.

Increasingly in the modern world acquisition of computer skills is becoming necessary for employment, educational development and leisure. Computer studies intend to furnish students with a broad knowledge of the nature of information processing and how Information and Technology is used today.

The industrial economy world-wide is motivated by information technology, which uses computers to process, analyze and communicate information in an increasingly efficient and effective way. Thus, any developing industrial society must have a high level of computer literacy within its workforce who would then be capable of fully exploiting the opportunities made possible by information technology.

The computer knowledge will faster an interest in, enjoyment of, and confidence about the use of computers that will encourage the development of problem solving, analytical and research skills. The knowledge of computers will have the ability to use computer skills and techniques as a problem solving tool. The one of most interesting and challenging aspect of information technology because of the rate at which field is changing today. Modernization occurs on an almost daily basis offering opportunities for individuals to contribute to the field. The rate of progress is one of the greatest challenges to reach the information technology to incorporate new development in the field.

As the world moves into the new century we are faced with an ever-increasing dependence upon technology and particularly the information technology, in our day-to-day lives. Given the experimental growth of the information technology, legal institutions face serious questions, not only about the misuse of information technology, but also about whether it should be regulated and controlled at all. As was the case with all of the previous technological revolutions throughout history, the law has been, and will continue to be, lengthened to its practical and theoretical limits in its efforts to overcome the challenges raised by the information technology.

The smooth continued operation of human relationships depends upon functional institutions, be they formal or customary, written or oral. As the relationships grow in number and complexity, so too must the institutions. Currently, ‘Information Technology’ is still little more than an budding collection of laws and principles which, through design or necessity, have been applied to the information technology. Despite the publicity surrounding the growth of the information technology, there are still very few professionals who can credibly call themselves ‘IT experts’ or ‘IT consultants’ or ‘IT lawyers’. Indeed, it might be argued by some that there is infact still no firm jurisprudence which can be collectively referred to as ‘information technology law’.

Some scholars have suggested that the existing law can be extended to include IT-related issues, hence opposing the need for a separate ‘field’ know as Information Technology Act. There is certainly a developing body of statutory law, with numerous individual pieces of legislation aimed at separate aspects of information technology relationships. However, the effectiveness of legislation of this sort is limited because it must balance the large number of interests at play: those of the government itself; of corporate; of consumers; of the economy generally; and finally, the interests of international parties as expressed through international obligations. Governments around the would are pressed by these competing interests, and the resulting legislative results are frequently ill-considered and reactionary.

The information technology, now under way all over the world, is challenging established institutions and practices in a manner difficult even to understand for ordinary people. The systems of socio-economic organization and political governance are undergoing unprecedented changes compelling Governments to review the laws relating to management of knowledge in society.

The Industrial revolution has brought about its own set of laws regulating not only business and commercial activity but also the governance of past industrial society. As the industrial revolution affected only certain parts of the world leaving behind the former colonies, the legal systems of the so-called developing countries could not, as yet, equip themselves to the challenges of industrialization. Meanwhile, the Information and Communication Revolution has overtaken the world, demolishing economic barriers and political boundaries and challenging the established laws of even the industrialized world. Most developing countries of the world have to make a quantum jump in law-making if they want to develop capacities to protect national interests and to avoid exploitation by those who own technology-the limit of which are still unknown. This is the dilemma that India faces today by the advent of internet, information high way and cyber space. It is important to make more stringent laws to put in place in India expeditiously.

There are serious dangers to financial and commercial transactions, national security system, banking and communication net works inherent in the new technology. In the hands of unscrupulous people it can create havoc to individuals, institutions and the nation. The information technology is just the beginning of a series of innovative laws which replaced the existing legal regime in a number of areas.

Electronic crime can be committed with unimaginable ease against anyone anywhere in the world from the safety of one’s own home. Global standards on preventive action and remedial measures are yet to be involved. Information Technology laws has to be on constant review and revision for a long time to come.

Recently, some criminal elements of cyber society reminded the world of their existence by laying siege on live IT Corporations, Government websites in different countries. Hacking into sensitive computer sites, fraudulent manipulation of bank accounts and credit cards, peddling to pornographic material, unauthorized access to Defence secrets and so on, are causing grave concern today. A new variety of organized crime which may be called “cyber terrorism” is on the anvil. Anonymity makes internet their weapon of choice. Educated unemployment and easy access to information technology increase the scope of cyber terrorism in future. As cyber space becomes a money spinner, it will increasingly become the domain of business, legal and illegal. As a potential information technology power, India should take warning from the hunting hackers and put the legal system on guard. The information technology should not be allowed to by pass India and in this respect of the legal regime has to play its legitimate role.

The information technology is a medium of deep potential is to probably state the obvious. Today, one can only assume where technological progress will take us in the years hence. Nonetheless, some trends regarding the information technology are already very visible; its multimedia potential makes it a unique information propagation and information exchange medium; it makes hitherto vital temporal and spatial barriers irrelevant; it is capable of being far more invasive and personal then any technology of the past; It is changing the paradigms of business; it is largely unregulated-in short, it is changing the way we live, often in ways we do not even realize.

It is fair to say that the internet has much to offer each one of us. However, in the list of features mentioned above, one aspect stares the legislator, lawyer, law student or even the common person in the fact- the fact that the medium is largely unregulated. The fact that the legal system does not really know how to react to this new “beast” is not surprising.

Inventions, discoveries and technologies widen scientific horizons but also pose new challenges for the legal world. Information technology brought about by computers, internet and cyberspace- has also posed new problems in jurisprudence. It has shown the inadequacy of law while dealing with the-

# Information technology itself;
# Changes brought about by the information technology in the way we live, perceive, and do business.
The computer is the target and the tool for the perpetration of crime. It is used for the communication of the criminal activity such as the injection of a virus/worm which can crash entire networks.

In India, The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, specifies the acts which have been made punishable. Since the primary objective of this Act is to create an enabling environment for commercial use of I.T., certain omissions and commissions of criminals while using computers have not been included. With the legal recognition of Electronic Records and the amendments made in the several sections of the IPC vide the IT Act, 2000, several offences having bearing on cyber-arena are also registered under the appropriate sections of the IPC.

Conclusion: The Government, Universities, Institutions has to chalk out the syllabus concentrating on the current use of computer skills or technology. It will equip the students to cope up with the future developments in technology and its application.

1. Dr.Sushila Madan, Taxmann’s Information Technology, 4th edition.
2. Yee Fen lim, Cyber Space Law Commentaries and Materials, Oxford, second edition (second edition).
3. Nandan Kamath, Law Relating to Computers, Internet & E-Commerce-A Guide to Cyber laws & Information Technology Act, 2000, Universal Law Publishing Co, Third Edition (2007).
[1] The Author is V.G.Ranganath working as an Assistant Professor, Padala Rama Reddi Law College, Hyderabad and Research Scholar(part-time), Dr.B.R.Ambedkar College of Law, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: ranganathvg@legalserviceindia.com

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