Net Neutrality Litmus : India Turning Positive

The principle of net neutrality is quite simply the specification of minimum standards in achieving an objective. This allows multiple flavors of implementation, and hence it does not lock out innovation by multiple entities, does not make monopolies. The usage of the term, “digital signature certificates” throughout the Information Technology Act, 2000 has significant bearing on the principle. “Digital signature’s” are the only method of authenticated communication under the enactment. This effectively blocks out legal recognition to future methods of authenticated communications, such as biometric authentication. It may be pointed here that presently the digital signature technology is the only reliable means of authentication, however an enactment should be forward compatible and provide legal recognition to future technologies obeying the minimum standards prescribed under it.

The Information Technology Act Amendment Bill, 2007 which is presently pending before a joint standing committee of parliament does cure this obvious defect in the statute by changing the term from, “digital signatures” to “electronic signatures”, moreover it specifies the minimum standards for the authentication,  through electronic signatures. I hope this amendment passes scrutiny of the collective wisdom of the joint standing committee.

A side note, the e-procurement system recently introduced by the Government of India only supports PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) implementation through the Internet Explorer web browser and is incompatible with Mozilla Firefox.

  • Hey Apar, I live in the US and am not able to find information on this. Can you let me know if this bill passed? Thanks, A.K.

  • Aashika Jain

    this principle of net neutrality seems to be not too widely known in India. the applicability of this principle in india and the position of law is hard to find. can you please suggest some sources which will give some authoritative input on this subject? i will be highly obliged.

  • a little caught up these days, will write a short blog post in May on what laws promote network neutrality in India

  • Rahul

    Is there any network neutrality bill in India as well? or is there any provision for network neutrality in any pending bill in India? also which laws promote network neutrality in India. would be highly obliged if you could address my queries, sir.

    • Hey rahul i am not aware of any bill lapsed, presently pending or passed. I will be writing a detailed post on the subject in the coming month.

  • Aashika

    may is long gone!! plz now let me know about the laws on network neutrality


    Hey dis 1 is imp….. stufff u put upon . see i m a college guy studying law and i wanna pursue with this profe….but on the whole i like to gather more knowledge out of any field. so on ur next blog would you specify details with facts and figures and examples of the information technology act in other countries toooo. as in key procedures followed, details of step process which can be diagrammatically represented as done in a flowchart manner or using symbols and other methods to project the laws. i think i ask too much but that way my opinion would be (even if u don’t care abt)a marvlous job done..THANK YOU FOR THIS ONE ..WAITING FOR OTHER MILESTONES