Posted by: B Singh | November 19, 2008

Wireless Hacking By Terrorists And Its Prevention In India: Interview of Perry4Law

This is an interview given by Mr. Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law, to Swagata Sen from the India Today magazine on 14-10-08. The story is on India‘s wi-fi scare post the terror emails and is a perspective from the legal point of view.


According to Mr. Praveen Dalal, the leading Techno-Legal Cyber Law and Cyber Security Specialist of India, this is the legal perspective of wireless laws in India:


Q-1 How does one take the help of law if one’s wi-fi system is hacked? Is there a legal provision to safeguard against such hacking?


A-1 Wi-Fi hacking involves invoking the cyber law of the concerned country. The victim must approach the police station and register a complaint with it. Though India has enacted the IT Act, 2000 as the sole cyber law of India yet it lacks provisions for the wi-fi security.  Similarly, the telecommunication laws in India are also deficient when it comes to wi-fi security in India.


Q-2. Are there any cyber law policies in the offing that aim to address the wi-fi hacking menace?


A-2 The frequent use of wireless networks by the terrorists and cyber criminals has forced the Indian Government to give a relook to the present cyber security condition of India. The Department of Telecommunications (DOT), Department of Information and Technology (DIT) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are jointly working in the direction of providing safe and secure wireless norms and regulations in India. Similarly, efforts in the direction of making suitable amendments in the IT Act, 2000 are also in the pipeline.


 Q-3. What recourse can cyber cafe owners take? Often, emails are traced to cyber cafes and the owners have to face the heat. What are the provisions against such problems?


A-3 Imposing a responsibility of securing wired and wireless connections upon /cyber café owners/ISPs without a good public awareness would be counter productive in the long run. Often the cyber café owners face the “privacy issues” of their customers who are not willing to share their personal information and details. They must maintain a balance between the statutory requirements and the privacy issues. Even the IT Act, 2000 contains section 79 that absolves the network service providers from liability if they prove “due diligence” in their dealings.


Q-4 Could you tell me about the wi-fi laws of other countries? Do Europe and the US have stringent laws that safeguard against wi-fi hacking?


A-5 The western countries like US, UK and European nations are very particular in dealing with the nuisances of wi-fi hacking and their misuse. However, the issues of wi-fi hacking cannot be tackled effectively with either law or technology. It requires a good combination of “Techno-Legal Measures” that alone can deal effectively with wi-fi hacking.


India must concentrate upon stringent cyber law, robust cyber security, capable cyber forensics workforce and sound and stringent crisis management strategies to tackle wi-fi abuses during terrorist attacks. A stringent law with educated and aware public is the safest bet against misuse of insecure wireless networks in India. 


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