IT panel toughens data theft, child porn law

By agencies   |   Monday, 19 September 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The new IT panel appointed by the Government has proposed radical changes to the Information Technology Act 2000 by proposing strict penalities for child pornography and video voyeurism.

The expert committee headed by Information Technology Secretary Brijesh Kumar also said anyone accused of data theft will be punished with imprisonment of up to one year.

Following the American model, the committee has said any one accused of data theft will be punished only on the complaint of the affected company or individual. This means police will no longer be able to book any cases on their own. This is in sharp contrast to the existing law where the police were authorized to arrest the violators.

With regards to data theft, the committee has said that the existing provision of making the offender pay compensation was not adequate. It has suggested that the corporates who “owns or handles sensitive personal data'' and “found to have been negligent in maintaining reasonable security practices'' should be liable to pay damages up to Rs 10 million.

When it comes to pornography, the committee has proposed three changes to the existing act like reducing the maximum punishment to two years from the present five years, a service provider should be liable for having “conspired or abetted in the commission of the unlawful act and if child pornography has occurred, the penalty should be in accordance with the global trend.

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