Info-tech

Need for debates on cyber laws stressed

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on October 28, 2011

A seminar on The New Rules — 2011 pertaining to Cyber Law notified by the Government, jointly organised by Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom and Government Law College was held here.

In his inaugural address, Mr P. Rajeev, MP, stressed the need for public debates related to passing of laws such as Cyber Laws which have wide impact on the very democratic structure of the society. He said that the present set of rules notified are vague in nature and would have wide impact on all sectors of the society including new forms of media and hence the need for public debate.

In his theme paper, Mr Prashanth Sugathan of Software Freedom Law Centre, New Delhi, explained how the presently notified rules would affect the intermediaries and their services. He emphasised that it would be the user who would be ultimately affected.

In a legal angle, he pointed out that the rules would not have legal standing as it is a violation of Section 69 of IT Act which lays down procedures for tapping private information and that there were fundamental issues of right to speech under Article 19 (1) A of the Constitution as well .

The discussants were of unanimous view that the present rules can only be seen as an act of Government vacating space from ensuring healthy cyber laws and entrusting this job to intermediaries who are incapable of evaluating the nature of content per se. The rules were misplaced in this era of expansion of democracy worldwide.

The seminar on the new cyber rules is the first of its kind in Kerala and hence the seminar called for more public debates on this subject. Dr A.S. Saroja, Principal, Government Law College, presided over the function. Mr Joseph Thomas of Free Software Movement of India, also spoke.

Published on October 28, 2011

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