Indian Information Technology Act 2000

Indian Information Technology Act 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT act, ITA 2000) is an Indian Parliament Act notified on 17th October 2000. The IT act 2000 is a primary act in India dealing with cyber-attacks, online frauds, e-commerce fraud, and other cybercrimes.

As more social and economic activities have gone online and on the internet, the importance of providing legal recognitions for these transactions and transmissions is increasing day by day. The IT act 2000 provides a legal framework for e-governance by monitoring, identifying, and prescribing penalties for cybercrimes. 

The Indian Information Technology Act 2000 – 

The Information Technology Act was passed in the budget session of 2000, signed by President of India, K.R. Narayana, on 9th June 2000. At that time, Pramod Mahajan was the minister of Information Technology. He, along with other officials, finalized the IT act 2000.

The IT act 2000 applies to the whole of India, any crime related to computers or networks located in India, persons of other nationality. In addition, the information Technology act directed the formation of a Controller of Certifying Authorities to regulate the issuance of digital signatures. It also established a cyber–Appellate Tribunal to resolve disputes arising from the IT act 2000.

The Indian Information Technology act amended various sections of the IPC, the Indian Evidence Act 1872, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act, 1891, and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to make these laws technology compliant.

IT Act 2000 Amendment 2008 –

A major amendment was made to the Information Technology Act in 2008. This amendment introduced a section that penalized sending ‘offensive messages.’ In addition, the IT Act 2000 Amendment 2008 introduced section 69 to give power to authorities of ‘interception or monitoring, or decryption of any information through any computer resource.

The most sensitive and much-needed provisions like pornography, child porn, cyber terrorism, and voyeurism were introduced in the IT Act Amendment 2008.

What are the main features of IT Act 2000?

Section 66A of the IT Act –

Indian Information Technology Act 2000, section 66A was an amendment made to the original law in 2008, and since then, it has attracted controversies due to its unconstitutional provisions. 

Section 66A of the IT Act penalized publishing offensive, false or threatening information, sending offensive messages through communication service. However, section 66A has been struck down by Supreme Court on 24th March 2015, giving the verdict that it is unconstitutional as it invades the right of free speech. 

Section 69 and 69A –

Section 69 and section 69A have been in controversy and news in recent days as the Government of India banned Chinese apps, citing the provisions of section 69A of IT act 2000. 

Section 69 has the power to impose reasonable restrictions on electronic data in the interest of India’s safety, integrity, and security. 

Section 69A was an amendment to the Information Technology act in 2008. It gives the government the power to block public access to any information or intermediatory online for public law order or in the interest of India’s sovereignty and integrity. 

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology recently ordered the blocking of many Twitter handles and tweet messages under section 69A of the IT Act 2000.

Cyber laws around the world – 

While some IT experts and field people claim that there is a lot of room for amendments in the IT Act 2000, the number and severity of cybercrimes increase with blooming digitization. As a result, there are different cyber laws and stricter penalties in many countries. One hundred fifty-four countries have enacted cybercrime legislation; Europe has the highest adoption rate of 93 percent of the IT acts and laws. On the other hand, Asia and the Pacific region have the lowest 55 percent IT act adoption rate.

Here are the few statistics of cybercrime legislation worldwide as per UNCTAD data –

  • Eighty percent of countries of the world have legislation for Information Technology and Cybercrimes.
  • There is 5 percent of countries with draft legislation.
  • Surprisingly, 13 percent of countries have no laws or acts for cybersecurity.

Cybercrimes have become an existential threat to every nation, business, and person, threatening the safety, integrity, and authenticity of data and information. As a result, Governments and regulators throughout the world are trying to make meaningful IT acts and cyber laws to prevent these threats. 

With the surge in Cybercrimes in India and around the world, it is better to be aware of the IT act 2000.IT companies and Cybersecurity companies are striving hard to protect these companies from these cyber attacks.  Please also read the stories of the surging Cyber crimes.

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