Salient features of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008

i. The term 'digital signature' has been replaced with 'electronic signature' to make the Act more technology neutral.

ii. A new section has been inserted to define 'communication device' to mean cell phones, personal digital assistance or combination of both or any other device used to communicate, send or transmit any text video, audio or image.

iii. A new section has been added to define cyber cafe as 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.

iv. A new definition has been inserted for intermediary.

v. A new section 10A has been inserted to the effect that contracts concluded electronically shall not be deemed to be unenforceable solely on the ground that electronic form or means was used.

vi. The damages of Rs. One Crore prescribed under section 43 of the earlier Act of 2000 for damage to computer, computer system etc. has been deleted and the relevant parts of the section have been substituted by the words, 'he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation to the person so affected'.

vii. A new section 43A has been inserted to protect sensitive personal data or information possessed, dealt or handled by a body corporate in a computer resource which such body corporate owns, controls or operates. If such body corporate is negligent in implementing and maintaining reasonable security practices and procedures and thereby causes wrongful loss or wrongful gain to any person, it shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation to the person so affected.

viii. Sections 66A to 66F has been added to Section 66 prescribing punishment for offences such as obscene electronic message transmissions, identity theft, cheating by impersonation using computer resource, violation of privacy and cyber terrorism.

ix. Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000 has been amended to reduce the term of imprisonment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form to three years from five years and increase the fine thereof from Rs.100,000 to Rs. 500,000. Sections 67A to 67C have also been inserted. While Sections 67A and B deals with penal provisions in respect of offences of publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act and child pornography in electronic form, Section 67C deals with the obligation of an intermediary to preserve and retain such information as may be specified for such duration and in such manner and format as the central government may prescribe.

x. In view of the increasing threat of terrorism in the country, the new amendments include an amended section 69 giving power to the state to issue directions for interception or monitoring of decryption of any information through any computer resource. Further, sections 69A and B, two new sections, grant power to the state to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource and to authorize to monitor and collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for cyber security.

xi. Section 79 of the Act which exempted intermediaries has been modified to the effect that an intermediary shall not be liable for any third party information data or communication link made available or hosted by him if;


(a) The function of the intermediary is limited to providing access to a communication system over which information made available by third parties is transmitted or temporarily stored or hosted;

(b) The intermediary does not initiate the transmission or select the receiver of the transmission and select or modify the information contained in the transmission;

(c) The intermediary observes due diligence while discharging his duties. However, section 79 will not apply to an intermediary if the intermediary has conspired or abetted or aided or induced whether by threats or promise or otherwise in the commission of the unlawful act or upon receiving actual knowledge or on being notified that any information, data or communication link residing in or connected to a computer resource controlled by it is being
used to commit an unlawful act, the intermediary fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to that material on that resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner.

xii. A proviso has been added to Section 81 which states that the provisions of the Act shall have overriding effect. The proviso states that nothing contained in the Act shall restrict any person from exercising any right conferred under the Copyright Act, 1957.

More Topics

1. Need for Cyber law

2. Cyber crime on the rise

3. Important terms related to cyber law

4. Cyber law in India

5. Need for cyber law in India

6. History of cyber law in India

7. Information Technology Act, 2000

8. Salient features of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008

9. Rules notified under the Information Technology Act, 2000

10. Overview of other laws amended by the IT Act, 2000 - India Panel Code 1860

11. Indian Evidence Act, 1872

12. National Policy on Information Technology 2012

13. Applicability and Scheme of the INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000

14. Digital signature and Electronic signature

15. Digital Signature under the IT Act, 2000

16. Electronic Signature

17. E-Governance

18. Attribution, Acknowledgement and Dispatch of Electronic Records

19. Certifying Authorities

20. Root Certifying Authority of India (RCAI)

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