Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Recent controversy over Sec 66A of IT Act - Panel discussion

PodUniversal Edition 156

Recent arrests of some of the social media users in West Bengal, Puducherry and Maharashtra under Sec 66A of the IT Act has triggered a serious controversy across the nation.  Even the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India has expressed concern over the knee-jerk reaction of the Police.  Many of the social media activists have started demanding repeal of 66A itself.

The Information Technology Act, 2000 was amended in 2008. The amended Act which received the assent of the President on February 5, 2009, contains section 66A.

What does this section say?

66A. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.  Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,— (a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or  (b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,

(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine. 

Explanation.— For the purpose of this section, terms “electronic mail” and “electronic mail message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, images, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.

To discuss about this, PodUniversal recorded  a panel discussion over mobile tecon on 4th Dec 2012.  Mr V Rajendran (Cyber law advocate and Senior Vice President of Cyber Society of India) and Mr S Balu (recently retired Addl. Superintendent of Police) were the panelists.  Prime Point Srinivasan anchored the discussion.

Please watch and listen to this interesting panel discussion. (10 minutes)

This panel discussion may also be directly listened from the following link.


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