Cyber forensics and e-discovery are two fields that are still not paid much attention by the government, legal fraternity and judiciary of India. Cyber forensics is different from e-discovery in its scope and application. We have no legal framework for either cyber forensics or e-discovery in India and the same needs to be formulated as soon as possible. The cyber forensics trends in India also show lack of interest towards this crucial field by various stakeholders in India.
There are some crucial fields like media forensics, corporate frauds investigation, valid sting operations, cyber crime investigation capabilities, etc where India needs to pay special attention. Similarly, use of online dispute resolution (ODR) in India and e-courts in India would also give rise to additional techno legal challenges for India in the near future. The growing popularity of cyber liability insurance in India is recognition of the cyber risks that various stakeholders would face in the future.
As per media reports, Google is planning to grant access to its Google App Vault without imposing extra charges to its Apps for Education users by the end of the year. Google App Vault allows the user to retain, archive, search, and export their official mails for e-discovery and compliance purposes. However, if Google plans to extend this facility to its Indian users, this would raise serious techno legal issues as well.
For instance, the proposed e-mail policy of India may block the private e-mail services like G-mail, Yahoo, etc for official communications in the near future. This is a good step as these e-mail service providers seldom comply with Indian laws and always take a shelter behind the conflict of laws in cyberspace. We at Perry4Law believe that there must be a techno legal framework to address all these issues in India.
The starting point is to force the foreign technology companies and e-commerce websites to establish servers in India. Indian government is already contemplating forcing the Internet telephony and VOIP service providers, social media websites, etc to establish servers in India. Similarly, taxation issues pertaining to online gaming websites, technology companies like Google, e-commerce websites, etc are also required to be sorted out. Legal implications of Public Records Act, 1993 cannot be ignored while dealing in an online environment by these companies.
So far Google’s App Vault is complying with the laws of United States and Indian laws are still not been considered by it. In these circumstances, it would be a big challenge for Indian government to force Google to comply with Indian laws. This would also raise serious law enforcement and national security issues for India as data, information and other documents would be stored outside India’s territory and jurisdiction.
While this step of Google is a blessing for online skills development in India yet regulatory compliances cannot be ignored by Google and Indian government the way it has been done so far. Perry4Law hopes that Indian government would consider these aspects very seriously in the larger interests of India.