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Cyber wars: Are we legally ready to counter the attacks

By Nishant Ahlawat

India as the world knows has become the centre stage for the corporate and political affairs of the globe.  Having a sneak peek into the recent happenings, it becomes much evident that India is bound to face unprecedented friction in all spheres, be it social, political, structural, financial or related to national security. When we thought it was just the direct acts of strategic terrorism from our enemies operating within and from distant lands that we are facing, the booming IT industry and everyday improvising means and modes of communication and data transfer has opened new options for attacking and challenging the very existence of the greatest democracy in the world .
The use of advance means of communication in terms of GPS, Blackberry, Switchable Sim cards, remailers and VOIP as was revealed in the investigations or the follow up cyber attacks by the Pakistani Cyber Army as they hacked into the websites of Indian Institute of Remote Sensing[i] , the Center for Transportation Research and Management  etc  this happenings have marked the advent  a new cause for understanding our cyber and technology rights in backdrop of an almost complicated and inefficient regulatory regime as it exists on date.
The year-wise summary of various types of incidents handled by CERT IN is given below:

An overview of the table itself establishes the steep rise in number of security incidents related to cyber attacks. While these figures give an idea of the gravity of the situation, the actual picture is far grimmer. It becomes much difficult to ascertain and identify the conspirators of such attacks and their intentions as for executing such an attack they don’t even have to leave the comfort zone of their houses.
While lately the dependency on technology and networks in all walks of life  has established the need for an active and effective mechanism for regulating the cyber world , the rules and legislations on date hardly make up to deal with the complicated situation which have and which will arise in years to come.
Besides, the Aadhar cards that are being in the process of becoming the most effective Identity for the Citizens, the nature of data related to every citizen as is being profiled for the purpose of these cards and being stored in huge databases is not actually away from the eyes of the enemy. The nature of personal information which if exposed to wrong eyes can truly be misused in all possible sense.
What further darkens the issue is the fact that except totally relying on the Constitution of India or some of the enabling acts, India has no data privacy or protection laws as on date to cope up with and handle any issue that may arise with the loss of any such data.
It’s high time that a nationwide debate be called in for the country and countrymen to understand the very nature of these attacks that are and that will take place in future and be prepared to counter them in the true sense of maintaining and securing the integrity of this great country.

[i] Kamlesh Bajaj , -‘Tweaking  the law to deal with the cyber terrorism,’,http://www.livemint/2009/01/15222108/Tweaking-the-law-to-deal-with.html,accessed on January 15,2009.


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