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Legal pill for cyber crime

Jamshedpur, Oct. 14: Are you tired of receiving unsolicited e-mails (also known as spam), sms and phone calls by individual or companies promoting some product' Then there is good news for you. The union government is planning to make amendments in the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, declaring it a legal offence to tap confidential electronic database and increase the fine for infringement from Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore.

Supreme Court advocate Pavan Duggal declared this at a two-day seminar on e-security, cyber laws and intellectual property rights organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the Centre for Excellence. Duggal is a member of the expert committee constituted by the union government to suggest the amendments in the IT Act, 2000. The Supreme Court lawyer delivered a lecture on cyber crime at the seminar, which was attended by more than 50 delegates from different companies and practising advocates of the state.

Duggal said the groundwork for the amendments has already been initiated by the panel in consultation with CII, FICCI and Nasscom representatives.

'The new law will be formulated by the end of this year. It will be a New Year gift to internet and mobile users of the country,' said Duggal.

The panel members have reached a consensus that the act should have provision that if an individual does not want to receives e-mails, sms or phone calls from a particular organisation, he can ask it to stop doing so, said Duggal.

'If the organisation ignores the request it will be a legal offence. The amendment will also dispel doubts expressed by foreign companies that their database is not safe in the India due to absence of proper law,' he added.

He said the law would serve as a proper complain mechanism for victims of cyber crime who suffer a loss due to infringement into their database be it personal, banking, financial or insurance.

Duggal also added that the panel would make a proposal to the union government to increase the fine for infringement of database to Rs 3 crore.

'Companies suffer losses to the tune of several crore due to violation of database privacy, compared to which a fine of Rs 1 crore is a meagre amount,' Duggal said.

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