- The Government of India enacted the Information Technology (I.T.) Act with some major objectives to deliver and facilitate lawful electronic, digital, and online transactions, and mitigate cyber-crimes.
- The original Act contained 94 sections, divided in 13 chapters and 4 schedules. The laws apply to the whole of India. Persons of other nationalities can also be indicted under the law, if the crime involves a computer or network located in India.
Salient Features of I.T Act
The salient features of the I.T Act are as follows −
- Digital signature has been replaced with electronic signature to make it a more technology neutral act.
- The formations of Controller of Certifying Authorities was directed by the Act, to regulate issuing of digital signatures
- It elaborates on offenses, penalties, and breaches.
- It outlines the Justice Dispensation Systems for cyber-crimes.
- It defines in a new section that cyber café is any facility from where the access to the internet is offered by any person in the ordinary course of business to the members of the public.
- The Act also amended various sections of Indian Penal Code, 1860, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, Banker’s Book Evidence Act, 1891, and Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to make them compliant with new technologies.
Highlights of the Amended Act
The newly amended act came with following highlights −
- It stresses on privacy issues and highlights information security.
- It elaborates Digital Signature.
- It clarifies rational security practices for corporate.
- It focuses on the role of Intermediaries.
- New faces of Cyber Crime were added.
Section 66A – Section 66A prescribes the punishment for sending “offensive’ messages through computers or any other communication device such as a mobile phone or a tablet, and a conviction can fetch a maximum of three years in jail.