Just a little patience

It is a given that any statute should be abreast with the phenomena it aims to regulate. This constant holds good in the case of The Information Technology Act, 2000. Though not an archaic legislation, however since it aims to regulate information technology it will require constant updating. This is due to the, (a) subject matter being information technology has a accelerated pace of development (b) intensive approach employed in it as opposed to a general framework to regulate information technology. Moreover there have been real world constraints in its implementation, sometimes it’s implementation has resulted in inequitable results e.g. the bazee.com case.

Due to these circumstances an expert committee was formed to review the information technology act. The committee pointing out several lacuna’s in the enactment proposed amendments to it in the report it tendered to the ministry of information technology. Well the bureaucrat did what they did best. They waited for two years and finessed the language of the amendments. The result was the Information Technology Amendment Bill, 2006. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha with a view to:

“To corporate the recent developments nationally and internationally particularly with reference to provisions related to data protection and privacy in the context of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operations, liabilities of network service providers, computer related offences, regulation of cyber cafes, issues relating to child pornography, etc. and to make the act technology neutral and to streamline the operational issues of Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA), Certifying Authorities (CAs) and subscribers.

Now contrary to popular opinion the amendments were not passed. The Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2006 was referred to the standing Committee on Information Technology on 19th December, 2006 for examination and report within three months. Yes it has not yet been passed, yes the Information Technology Act, 2000 has not been amended yet!

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