Information Technology Act, 2000

In India, cyber laws are contained in the Information Technology Act, 2000. The main object of this Act is to provide legal recognition to e-commerce and electronic formats and to facilitate the filing of electronic records with the Government. This legislation lays down rules and regulations related to cybercrime, electronic information and formats, electronic authentication and digital signatures, and liability of network service providers. The I.T. Act is based on the United Nations Model Law on Electronic Commerce 1996 (UNCITRAL Model) recommended by the General Assembly of the United Nations by a resolution dated 30 January 1997.

The Indian Cyber Law covers these major aspects of Cyberspace and cybercrime:

  1. The Indian Cyber Law makes every format in electronic form legal, which means anything that you write, share and publish electronically is now considered legal.
  2. It also makes all electronic contracts legal, which means that an offer can be electronically made and accepted, and it would amount to a valid and binding electronic contract.
  3. The Indian Cyber Law recognises and legalises the concept of digital signatures and electronic authentications. 
  4. Indian Cyber Law covers almost all kinds of cybercrime and provides punishment for the same. 
  5. It also punishes the people of other nationalities, provided their crimes involve any computer or network situated in India.

Legalisation of everything in electronic format, such as publications, communications, signatures and authorisation, means that it is all now valid and can be used in any proceedings.

Objectives of the Act:

The Information Technology Act, 2000 provides legal recognition to the transaction done via electronic exchange of data and other electronic means of communication or electronic commerce transactions.

This also involves the use of alternatives to a paper-based method of communication and information storage to facilitate the electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies.

Further, this act amended the Indian Penal Code 1860, the Indian Evidence Act 1872, the Bankers’ Books Evidence Act 1891, and the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934. The objectives of the Act are as follows:

  • Grant legal recognition to all transactions done via electronic exchange of data or other electronic means of communication or e-commerce, in place of the earlier paper-based method of communication.
  • Give legal recognition to digital signatures for the authentication of any information or matters requiring legal authentication
  • Facilitate the electronic filing of documents with Government agencies and also departments
  • Facilitate the electronic storage of data
  • Give legal sanction and also facilitate the electronic transfer of funds between banks and financial institutions
  • Grant legal recognition to bankers under the Evidence Act, 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, for keeping the books of accounts in electronic form.

Features of the Information Technology Act, 2000:

  • All electronic contracts made through secure electronic channels are legally valid.
  • Legal recognition for digital signatures.
  • Security measures for electronic records and also digital signatures are in place
  • A procedure for the appointment of adjudicating officers for holding inquiries under the Act is finalised
  • Provision for establishing a Cyber Regulatory Appellant Tribunal under the Act. Further, this tribunal will handle all appeals made against the order of the Controller or Adjudicating Officer.
  • An appeal against the order of the Cyber Appellant Tribunal is possible only in the High Court
  • Digital Signatures will use an asymmetric crypto-system and also a hash function
  • Provision for the appointment of the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) to license and regulate the working of Certifying Authorities. The Controller to act as a repository of all digital signatures.
  • The Act applies to offences or contraventions committed outside India
  • Senior police officers and other officers can enter any public place and search and arrest without warrant
  • Provisions for the constitution of a Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee to advise the Central Government and Controller.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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