December 29, 2005
Just a small post to express my condolences and concern for the families of the professors who were killed and injured at the IISc. last night. I know one of the injured personally and my prayers are with him for a speedy recovery.
December 27, 2005
Srijith discussed the issue of Google Earth and the Indian response to the display of sensitive military installations.He made the point that USA, France and Israel have all blanked out sensitive sites from Google Earth and that it is reasonable for India to request the same.
I don’t think the point is at all about whether other countries have or have not blanked out details from Google Earth’s servers. For a long time now, high resolution satellite images have been available at a price. Google Earth has only put these images into the hands of every internet user for free. If our real fear is anti-national elements then it would be reasonable to expect that these anti-nationals have enough wherewithal to pay for high resolution images that are likely to be of far better quality than that being provided by Google Earth.
Nandakumar Saravade makes an excellent point in his blog about the cost of enforcement. This came in response to a particularly long and somewhat nit-picky discussion at claw-india. If nothing else the point about introducing a threshold for setting in motion and computer crime investigation is a good one. Furthermore, should the act being complained off result in only “slight harm” I see no reason why the enforcement authorities should not rely on Section 95 of the IPC and refuse to take action.
December 21, 2005
In an earlier post I had commented on the implications of the interpretation of the Maharashtra stamp Act. Today the Prime Minister himself has intervened to ask the Maharashtra government to roll back the amendments to the Maharashtra Stamp Act that allowed the government to tax stock transfers.
There is news of a proposed Optical Disc law that seems to be geared at preventing piracy in the entertainment sector (which apparently amounts to 1200 crores annually). I hope this does not the announce the backdoor entry into the Indian legal system of anti-circumvention law on the lines of the much maligned DMCA
E-commerce in India never took off in the way in which policy makers intended. Apart from the abyssmally poor internet penetration (3.5% of the population), no-one really wanted to buy televisions and refrigerators over the internet when they could haggle a better deal with Kaku Seth from down the road.
But everyone who is using the internet is reasonably pleased with the way things are working out. No-one, in my personal acquaintance has ever felt that the lack of digital signatures has held him back from experiencing the web in full. I have not and I use many more e-commerce services than the average Joe.
Still, every now and then the issue of India’s Information Technology Act and the lacunae in its digital signature provisions are brought up. In Part II of his series on online shopping, Leslie D’Monte has quoted Pavan Duggal as saying that our legal infrastructure cannot cope with projected growth because we have too few digital signatures. I wish they would let this lie. I have seen no evidence to suggest that the use of a digital signature has helped curb the rise of identity theft or made the net a safer place to be. I am happy to be corrected.
From the begining of this year the Delhi Police has apparently recorded 15 cases of pirated books under which 58,027 pirated books, 18,900 pirated printed pages and other documents have been recovered and 33 persons arrested.
December 13, 2005
This post caught my eye for the sheer unrestrained support the author has accorded to the academic program in NLSIU. I am the first one to concur on the role the university has had in changing the face of law in India, but to wax so eloquent seems to be stretching a point.
Now if there was some such discussion on the introduction of foreign law firms…
Its like a cheesy sequel. In the past month or so the news has been filled with stories of the return of venture capital and private equity to India. The latest news is Intel’s plans to up its spend in India to $1 Billion includes a $250 million venture capital fund. This is on top of the $100 million that they invested over the past 7 years in 40 start-ups in India.
In the run up to the WTO meeting in Hong Kong, the International Herald Tribune carries a detailed analysis of India’s changing stance on trade negotiations. Instead of being treated as a “poor country” and bundled with the colonies, the Indian trade delegation is asking the West to open up its doors to the outsourcing industry and allow freer movement of services across borders.