“According to Supreme Court advocate N S Nappinai, Founder of Cyber Saathi, it is open to both Twitter and the individuals whose accounts are to be blocked to contest the notice before Indian courts. Instead taking law into one’s own hands could lead to prosecution and also losing it’s safe harbour under Section 79 IT Act. “If an intermediary (Twitter, in this instance) believes that these provisions have not been complied with its only remedy is to seek recourse from court. It cannot decide unilaterally to not comply with such an order” she said.”

Hindu Business Line, 10.02.2021

I Always Wish India would Lead: Interview with N. S. Nappinai (2)

Interviewer / Editor Lina Kamada, BTCBox - 2020

In the early 2000’s India was primarily concerned with more stable and secure e-commerce rules which encouraged them to create the very first Information Technology Act in 2000. However, the focus changed immediately after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008 and the GhostNet attack in 2009, when the Indian government realized that critical infrastructure and government information networks have to be equally securitized.As an instant reaction to this event, the Indian Government passed a new, amended IT Act in 2008, which then included distinct regulations for activities that threatened the nation’s sovereignty or integrity. The four most important added amendments were (1) tampering with source code; (2) deleting, destroying or altering any data on any computer resource with mala fide intent to cause wrongful loss or to diminish its value; (3) publishing ortransmitting pornographic material through a computer resource; and (4) provisions pertaining to encryption technology, the right to governments to intercept and decrypt such data and to call upon any entity or individual to decrypt such data’. (numbers added) This rapid reaction to the Mumbai attacks with a new draft of the ITAA shows that the cyber security as an issue was highly politicized and elevated to an advanced urgency level. Nevertheless, Nappinai would argue that it was ‘hastily tabled before the Parliament and was passed hastily and without any debate whatsoever’. What that basically meant for cyber security in India was that an IT Act was created, but the implementation and eligibility of the amendments were not adequately thought-through, tested and discussed, hence the legitimacy of this catalogue of regulations was relatively low. Securitization of cyberspace in India: A question of policy focus and implementation

By Melanie Schweiger
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