Monthly Archives: November 2014

Commission On Global Security, Justice And Governance

Commission On Global Security, Justice And GovernanceThe Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance (PDF) is a High Level Commission of the Hague Institute for Global Justice. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Nigerian Foreign Minister Ibrahim Gambari will chair the Commission that would focus on conflict-affected states, the cyber economy, and climate change. We at Perry4Law Organisation and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) welcome this move of Hague Institute and wish all the best to the Commission.

As far as information and communication technology (ICT) and cyberspace is concerned, conflict of laws in cyberspace and civil liberties protection in cyberspace are two of the most prominent areas that have to be analysed by the Commission. Other similar areas would also be required to be analysed by the Commission in due course of time.

Take the example of cyber warfare as a conflict area in cyberspace. As on date there is no international cyber security treaty (PDF) than can govern the cyber warfare issues. International legal issues of cyber attacks have significantly increased but there is a policy and regulatory void to deal with the same.

We cannot rely upon the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (Tallinn Manual) for dealing with cyber warfare issues as the manual is just an academic, non-binding study on how international law, in particular the jus ad bellum and international humanitarian law, apply to cyber conflicts and cyber warfare. The Commission can play a significant role in this regard.

The official websites of the Commission states that Humanity is facing unique and growing range of challenges like political violence, environmental decay, cyber insecurity and cross-border economic shocks. These issues have global security and justice implications that need urgent attention but far exceed state and global institutional capacities.

To overcome this capacity deficit, The Hague Institute for Global Justice and The Stimson Center have convened a Commission on Global Security, Justice, and Governance. The Commission also brings together a select group of eminent statespersons and public intellectuals to draft and recommend reforms in this regard that would be considered during the 70th Anniversary Summit of the United Nations in September 2015.

According to Abiodun Williams, President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, “Finding better mechanisms to prevent and resolve armed conflicts, address the human security impacts of climate change, and prevent future cross-border economic shocks requires bold and innovative approaches to global leadership. Viewing these challenges through the lens of global security and justice lends greater urgency to governance reform and engages state and non-state actors worldwide in new and meaningful ways.”

Digital India Project Of Narendra Modi Government

Digital India Project Of Narendra Modi GovernmentDigital India Initiative of Indian Government intends to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy. It is a very wide and ambitious project that has been launched by Narendra Modi Government. It has many components and may be supplemented with related initiatives like Draft Internet of Things (IoT) Policy of India.

Digital India will be implemented in multiple phases from the year 2014 till 2018.  The aim of Digital India is to ensure that Government services are available to citizens electronically and in an online environment.  It also intends to bring in public accountability through mandated delivery of government’s services electronically, a Unique ID and e-Pramaan based on authentic and standard based interoperable and integrated government applications and data basis. The existing/ ongoing e-governance projects of India would be revamped to align them with the principles of Digital India.

Digital India initiative is praiseworthy and deserves full support of all stakeholders. However, the initiative also lacks many crucial components including lack of legal framework, absence of privacy and data protection laws (PDF), civil liberties abuse possibilities, lack of parliamentary oversight for e-surveillance in India, lack of intelligence related reforms in India, insecure Indian cyberspace, etc. These issues have to be managed first before introducing Digital India project in India.

Digital India cannot be successful till mandatory e-governance services in India are introduced. This seems to be logical as well as when even the National e-Governance Plan of India has not been implemented properly, expecting successful implementation of Digital India is hoping too much. India has poor regulations in the field of privacy protection, data protection, cyber law, telegraph, e-governance, e-commerce, etc. Further, e-governance and Digital India without cyber security is useless (PDF). The cyber security trends in India (PDF) have exposed the vulnerability of Indian cyberspace. Even the National Cyber Security Policy 2013 has not been implemented till now. In these circumstances, critical infrastructure protection (PDF) would be a real challenge for Indian government.

Initiatives like Digital India and IoT would be required to comply with the civil liberties requirements in general and civil liberties protection in cyberspace in particular. India has not given any importance to Privacy and Privacy law so far. Indian government is also indulging into Mass surveillance in India and projects like Aadhaar, Central Monitoring System, Netra, NATGRID, etc. are operating without any law and parliamentary oversight. Even the intelligence agencies of India like Intelligence Bureau and law enforcement agencies like Central Bureau of Investigation are operating for decades without any law and parliamentary scrutiny. Digital India and IoT would further strengthen the mass surveillance activities of Indian government if proper procedural safeguards are not put at place.

If properly implemented, Digital India initiative can transform the way public services would be delivered in India in near future. Despite its shortcomings, Digital India project is worth exploring and implementation.

E-Books Project Of Indian Government Under Digital India Initiative

E-Books Project Of Indian Government Under Digital India InitiativeIndia has launched a very ambitious and promising initiative known as Digital India. It would ensure electronic delivery of services in India that has been missing so far. Some of the core areas that would be covered by Digital India include public Healthcare, Education, Judicial services etc. Every single are of Digital India would take decades of planning, hard work and actual implementation. For instance, the enabling Indian educational system through use of information and communication technology (ICT) would require not only policy changes at the apex level but also actual implementation of these policies by the education stakeholders.

According to Business Standard, Indian government has proposed digital e-book versions of school syllabus. Under the current proposal, the central government is planning a project to convert all books covered under school curricula into e-books. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) is building the platform to host the e-books. The ministry of education would identify the curricula and the books which will be first available on the platform. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) would also help in short listing of such books.

Traditional and print form books have dominated market share for long. However, there is a gradual shift towards e-books publication, distribution and e-commerce. Private companies are already exploring the e-books segment for NCERT curriculum. However, consolidation of e-books industry is yet to happen and Indian government’s e-books initiative may prove useful in this regard. At the same time, e-books publication laws in India must also be followed to avoid unnecessary litigations and copyright violation claims and to strengthen the national litigation policy of India.

We at Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) believe that the e-books publication, sales and distribution laws in India are still maturing and conflict of laws in cyberspace is a major hurdle before this branch of law. In the absence of a techno legal framework in India, e-books of publishers may face international copyright violations and breach of other rights of the owners/publishers. Legal remedies in India would not be effective in these circumstances.

Despite present techno legal challenges, the e-books project of Indian government is a landmark initiative. We at Perry4Law and PTLB welcome this move of Indian government and hoe that the e-books platform would be made operational by CDAC before the start of 2015.