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Registration for bloggers maybe necessary soon; Amendments to IT Act of 2000 likely

26-July-2005
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Registration for bloggers maybe necessary soon; Amendments to IT Act of 2000 likely

Even as marketers have started looking at blogs seriously, the blogging environment is all set to undergo a shift. The government is mulling a set of guidelines for bloggers that includes registration for bloggers. This was shared by Vijayashankar, Secretary, Cyber Society of India, at a seminar organised by the Society and Prime Point Foundation on ‘Challenges of Cyber Crime and Cyber Communication’ at Chennai recently.

“Blogs are a freedom of expression. The government has no idea how to curtail it,” said Vijayashankar. While the discussion primarily dealt with crimes committed online or with the aid of a computer, the fact that very few complaints of these crimes were registered was a cause of concern.

In 2003, only 35 complaints were registered with the cyber crime cell set up by the Tamil Nadu government, while in 2004, the number of complaints stood at 91. Ninety-one complaints have been logged with the state’s cyber crime cell so far this year.

And this isn’t a local phenomenon either, with a whopping 97 per cent of cyber crimes worldwide going undetected!

Cyber Society’s Ganesan Ramamurthy said, “Indications are that the Centre does not want to play the role of ‘regulator’, but that of ‘facilitator’, so as to ensure that it does not affect the IT industry’s growth.” He explained that ‘regulation’ would be against the idea of enabling free flow of information across the world.

The Tamil Nadu government has also been approached by the state’s cyber crime cell to frame rules making it mandatory for Internet centres in the state to maintain a register of those using the facility. Admitted S Babu, Assistant Commissioner, who heads the Cyber Cell of the TN Police, “We haven’t launched a site as yet as we want to ensure that people are unable to hack it!”

Some of those present at the seminar were startled by revelations like the viewing pornographic material on the web was not punishable by law, but transmitting a seemingly innocuous pdf file could be!

T Theethan, Accountant General of Tamil Nadu and President of Cyber Society of India; R Rajalakshmi, Director, Software Tehnology Parks of India, Chennai; and B Suresh Kamath, Chairman, Laser Soft Infosystems Ltd, Chennai, were among the others on the panel. Rajesh Chandramouli, Special Correspondent, The Times of India, Chennai, moderated proceedings.

There’s a lot about the Net that Internet users don’t really know. For starters, your system might be accessed by someone and you might never come to know! It was also shared that the Centre was considering changes to the IT Act of 2000. Suggestions from fora and users are being accepted through organisations like the Cyber Society of India.

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