Posted by: Catherine Fernandes | September 27, 2008

Wireless Norms in India

Wireless connectivity has become a big cause of concern for the Indian Government. The Government is not only conscious but also worried about the way wireless communications operate. Wireless provides not only convenience to the user but is also very important for the corporate and technology driven consumers.

There is always a tug of war between the governmental mentality and the technological stride. The Indian Government and its agencies are also currently grappling with this issue. They are planning to introduce rules, regulations and provisions to regulate wireless connectivity and its use. A special emphasis has been give to “securing” wireless connections. However, as Mr. Praveen Dalal, the leading Techno-Legal Specialist of India says “imposing a responsibility of securing wireless connections upon ISPs without a good public awareness would be counter productive in the long run. We must first raise the general public awareness in this regard and “punishing” the consumers whose wireless communications were insecure must be the last option of the Government”.

 The ultimate question that arises in this situation is should India rely upon “norms” rather than making aware the users of wireless communications? As per Mr. Praveen Dalal’s opinion, India is not yet ready for “Self-Regulation Regime”. The Government of India must neither imposed a liability upon ISPs and other service providers for “misuse” of  insecure wireless networks nor it should give hold of the “control” to private institutions and persons.

 Another area where the Indian Government is misguiding itself is regarding exercising e-surveillance discretion against general public. This has already affected the business of cyber cafes to a great extent. Police in many States of India is insisting upon installing “key loggers” at the cyber cafes. Further, the idea of sniffing of e-mails is neither feasible nor purely legal. These strategies of Indian Government are not only negative and counter productive but would also adversely effect the already scare Internet connectivity in India.

The Government of India must not only spread public awareness in this regard but must also give some attention to the Information Technology  Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000). IT Act, 2000 is the sole cyber law of India that must be suitably amended to meet the growing menace of cyber crimes and contraventions.  Since 2000 nothing constructive has been done by the Indian Government in this regard. A stringent law with educated and aware public is the safest bet against misuse of insecure wireless networks in India.  

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