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The department of information technology (DIT) has completed the revision of the proposed Information Technology (IT) Act 2006 and has made it more stringent by adding provisions on child pornography and financial crimes being committed on net. “The revised Act has got the approval of the communication minister A Raja and would be sent to the parliament for final approval,” a top official in the DIT said.

The government has proposed revision of the existing IT Act of 2000 in the wake of new technological advancements which had made the Act outdated. The revision started in 2006 and a revised draft was sent to the parliament for its sanction last year. The draft was, however, referred to a parliamentary standing committee for its comments. The committee had found much scope for a re-revision of the Act. Subsequent to that DIT had constituted a committee to look into the matter and make the Act self containing by importing provisions from other legal provisions like the Indian Penal Code and the Indian Evidence Act.

The DIT committee has made several new amendments in the draft and it would be put for the parliamentary approval in the next session of the house.

The revised IT Act will have provisions against financial frauds such as salami attack, phishing, spoofing and electronic data interchange (EDI) among many other things. These frauds are fast catching up with the criminals because of the proliferation of internet and mobile banking. It would also have provisions against email spoofing which till now does not come under the ambit of cyber law. However, inclusions of new provisions with clauses from Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the new IT Act would give more teeth to the law enforcing agencies to fight against the menace.

The revised draft if accepted would make the IT Act of 2000 complete in itself by importing provisions from not only the Indian Penal Code (IPC) but also from other statutes like the Indian Evidence Act (IEA) of 1872 and the Code of Criminal Procedures (CrPC) of 1973. Inclusion of provisions in the Indian Evidence Act will give legal authority for the use of digital signatures under the prevailing cyber law itself. Sections 47, 67A, 85A, 85B and 85C of the IEA will be adopted. Making fake digital signature certificates will also be a criminal offence and would attract harsher punishment once the revised draft takes over the old Act.

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