Monday, June 25, 2007

IT Law

IT Law

You already know that lawyers use such terms as ‘hereinunder’ ‘wheretofore’ and so on. But what kinds of terms do IT lawyers use, under the Information Technology Act of 2000? Here’s a sampler.

Computer: According to IT lawyers, this does not refer to the box you’re so familiar with. It manipulates electronic, magnetic, or optical impulses, and for good measure, includes all input, output, processing, storage, and blah blah, that are connected—or even related—to the computer.

Access: No, this is not about usernames and passwords. Access is, as it turns out, “with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions,” gaining entry into, instructing or communicating with the logical, arithmetical, or memory resources of a computer. Phew! Actually, there’s more to it than that, but we didn’t understand it.

Time and place of despatch and receipt of electronic record: We doubt that even the lawyers understand this section of the Act. It says in the Act that the despatch of an electronic record occurs when it enters a computer resource “outside the control of the originator.” This is something related to AI and robotics: computers communicating all by themselves, without human intervention...

Penalty for damages:It turns out that whatever damage you inflict upon a computer, you don’t need to pay the owner more than Rs 1 crore. If you download a virus onto someone’s computer, expect a lawyer to refer to it as “introducing, or causing to be introduced, any computer contaminant or virus into a computer.” ‘Contaminant’?

Wonder what that means... Residuary Penalty: Whoever contravenes any rules or regulations under the IT Act is liable to pay Rs 25K to someone hurt by your activities! So next time someone makes your WIndows crash, remember to ask him to shell out.

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