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Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Cyber Space and Cyber World

Cyber Space and Cyber World

Cyber space or cyber world is a world full of electronic deuces where only optical fibres , digital signals , data , bytes , and such other dements may be thought of . It is a virtual space where you cannot see so many actities, and so many things you can see but cannot touch. It is a world away from the world we live in. It is a virtual world that has drastically changed the real world. It has immense potential and holds infinite possibilities for man. So much so that living in this electronic world has become an obsession for him. He tries to find, and entertains a belief that he is sure to have, what he could not have even dreamt of in the real world. Hence his fascination and infatuation for this is growing with each moment that meets his life.

IT and India responding to the aforementioned initiative, India drafted her first law on electronic commerce: the Electronic Commerce Act, 1998 with Electronic Commerce Support Act, 1998. It recalled the rapid development of information and communication technologies revolutionizing the business practices; the transactions accomplished through electronic means - collectively termed as “electronic commerce “. Creating new legal issues; the shift from paper - based to electronic transactions raising recognition, authenticity and enforceability of electronic documents and signatures, and the challenge before lawmakers of striking a balance between conflicting goals of safeguarding electronic commerce and encouraging technological development. Questions concerning

The Draft Electronic Commerce Act , 1998

The Electronic Commerce Act , 1998 aimed to " facilitate the development of a secure regulatory environment for electronic commerce by providing a legal infrastructure governing electronic contracting , security and integrity of electronic transactions , the use of digital signatures and other issues related to electronic commerce’s Another draft known as Electronic Commerce Support Act , 1998 had eight sections which were mainly concerned with necessary amendments to other Acts to bring the latter in complete harmony with Electronic Commerce Act , 19982 . The above drafts had been prepared by the Ministry of Commerce. Parallel drafts had also been prepared by the Department of Electronics. Out of these four drafts the Law Ministry had to make a final Draft and to put it before Parliament. However, with the birth of the Ministry of Information Technology, the job was undertaken by it, and what came forth was the Information Technology Bill, 1999. The Bill was introduced in Parliament in December 1999, was passed in May, 2000, and got the Presidential assent on June 09, 2000. It came into effect from October 23, 2000.

Information Technology Act, 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000 aimed to provide legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data exchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as ' electronic commerce ‘, which involve the use of alternatives to paper - based methods of communication and storage of information, to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies ‘. To this end, it also had to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, and Banker’s Books Act Realities of a Virtual World and the Reserve Bank of India Act. ‘The Act had 13 chapters spread over 94 sections; and four schedules. As against the parent Act, the IT Act, 2000 extended to whole of India and, in some cases, even outside India. Following the passage of Negotiable Instruments Amendment Act, 2002, the IT Act, 2000 underwent some major changes with effect from February 06, 2003.

Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 However, it was not enough. In the year 2001, the UNCITRAL had come out with its model law on electronic signature with an aim to make it technology - neutral. Like the model law on electronic commerce, this too had to be taken care of by concerned nations who were supposed to bring their information technology laws in tune with the model law on electronic signature. On the domestic front also, the problems had surfaced on a scale that had made the amendment in the IT Act, 2000 inevitable. New forms of cybercrimes had appeared on Indian scene posing a challenge before the law makers who were faced with two hard options, namely, either to drastically amend the existing law to give it some teeth or to helplessly see it openly outraged and violated by the cyber criminals and others. At this critical juncture was brought the draft of the Information Technology Amendment Bill, 2006 which was introduced on December 15, 2006 in the Lower House of Parliament. It was scrutinized by an Expert Committee which suggested several changes.

The gravity of the issue of emerging cybercrimes on national and global scales had worried the law makers so much that they referred it to the Standing Committee of Parliament to finally suggest changes necessary to make the enactment more effective and in agreement with India's international obligations as an IT power . It took a couple of years before the Amendments could see the light of the day. The Information Technology ( Amendment ) Bill , 2006 was further amended by the Information Technology ( Amendment ) Bill , 2008 ; and in the process , the underlying Act was renamed as the Information Technology Amendment Act , 2008 ( ITAA , 2008 ) . The Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 was passed by the Lower House on December 22, 2008; and by the Upper House on the following day i.e. December 23, 2008.


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