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Information Technology Act, 2000

Information Technology Act, 2000

The Government of India enacted the Information Technology (I.T.) Act, as mentioned in the first chapter, with some major goals to deliver and facilitate lawful electronic, digital and online transactions and to mitigate cyber crimes.

Salient Features of I.T Act

The I.T Act 's significant features are as follows :-
  • To make it a more technology neutral act, digital signature has been replaced with electronic signature.
  • It discusses offences, penalties, and breaches.
  • The Justice Dispensation Systems for cyber crimes are outlined.
  • It describes in a new beginning that cyber café is any facility from which any person offers access to the internet to members of the public in the ordinary course of business.
  • It lays down the constitution of the Advisory Committee on Cyber Regulations.
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860, The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, The Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891, The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, etc. are based on it.
  • It introduces a provision to Section 81, which states that there is an overriding effect of the provisions of the Act. The provision states that nothing contained in the Act shall restrict the exercising of any right conferred under the Copyright Act , 1957 by any person.

Scheme of I.T Act

The scheme of I.T. is defined by the following points. Act of :−
  • There are 13 chapters and 90 parts in the I.T. Act.
  • The last four parts are sections 91 to 94 of the I.T. The 2000 Act discusses the changes to the 1860 Indian Penal Code, the 1872 Indian Evidence Act, the 1891 Bankers' Books Evidence Act and the 1934 Reserve Bank of India Act.
  • In Chapter 1, it starts with the preliminary aspect that deals with the brief, title, scope, beginnings and application of the Act in Section 1. Definitions are given in Section 2.
  • Chapter 2 deals with electronic record authentication, digital signatures, electronic signatures, etc.
  • Article 11 includes crimes and fines. In this section of the Act, a series of offences were given along with punishment.
  • The rules on due diligence, the role of intermediaries and some miscellaneous provisions are subsequently set out.
  • With two schedules, the Act is integrated. The First Schedule deals with documents or transactions that are not covered by the Act. The Second Schedule deals with the process and procedure of electronic signatures or electronic authentication. The third and fourth schedules have been omitted.

Application of the I.T Act

Nothing in this Act shall refer to the documents or transactions listed in the First Schedule under sub-clause (4) of Section 1. The documents or transactions to which the Act does not apply are as follows :−

  • Negotiable instrument as specified in section 13 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (other than a cheque).
  • A power-of-law as specified in the Powers-of-Attorney Act, 1882, section 1A.
  • A trust as described in the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, section 3.
  • A Will, including any other testamentary provision, as specified in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
  • Any contract for the sale and transfer of, or any interest in, immovable property.
  • Any class of documents or transactions which the Central Government can inform it.

Amendments Brought in the I.T Act

The I.T. Act introduced an amendment to section 91-94 in four statutes. These changes were given in schedule 1-4.

  • The amendments to the Penal Code are included in the first schedule. It has expanded the reach of the term "document" to include electronic documents into its scope.
  • The second schedule deals with the India Evidence Act amendments. The concept of evidence relates to the inclusion of an electronic document.
  • The third schedule amends the Evidence Act of the Banker 's Books. This amendment causes the definition of "Banker's-book" to change. This includes scans of data stored in a floppy, disc, tape, or any other form of storage system for electromagnetic data. The term "Certified-copy" has brought about a similar move to include such printouts within its scope.
  • The fourth schedule amends the Act of the Reserve Bank of India. It relates to the regulation of the flow of funds between banks or between banks and financial institutions by electronic means.

Intermediary Liability

An intermediary dealing with any particular electronic record is a person who accepts, stores or transmits that record on behalf of another person or provides any service with respect to that record.

It contains, according to the above definition, the following :−
  • Providers of Mobile Networks
  • Providers of Network Networks
  • Providers of Internet services
  • Providers of web-hosting services
  • Engines for searching
  • Payment sites online
  • Auction sites online
  • Places in the online market and cyber cafes

Highlights of the Amended Act

The newly revised act had the following highlights :-
  • It stresses privacy concerns and highlights the security of information.
  • Digital Signature elaborates.
  • This clarifies rational corporate security practices.
  • It focuses on the role of intermediaries.
  • New faces were introduced to Cyber Crime.