Wednesday 25 January 2012

Is Google Censoring Recent Video Conferencing Controversy Results?

Use of video conferencing in India is not new but its blocking is certainly new. The recent fiasco of Rajasthan government and Rajasthan police that did not allow the video conferencing of Salman Rushdie shows that India is not comfortable with technology uses for serious issues.

The recent episode has proved that video conferencing in India is a troubled technology and shows Indian struggle with information technology. We have no dedicated video conferencing laws and regulations in India. Similarly we have no dedicated video conferencing blocking laws in India as well. In the absence of a clear cut law, constitutional issues like speech and expression are at stake.

However, my interest in blocking of video conferencing in India is also associated with another crucial issue. It seems Google has been manipulating search and blog results pertaining to posts criticizing recent blocking of video conferencing in India. India wanted companies like Google and Facebook to censor users’ contents and this is exactly what seems to be happening in India.

Recently two posts titled video conferencing laws and regulations in India and video conferencing blocking laws in India, posted at PTLB Blog, appeared in both search results and blog search results. Now they do not appear anymore in both search results. Surprisingly, they are still available in both search results outside Indian cyberspace.

Google, Facebook, etc are facing a criminal trail for not removing objectionable contents. What is more surprising is the argument taken by Google India in Delhi High Court. Google India claimed that it is a subsidiary of Google Incorporation and has no control over contents available at latter’s platforms.

If this is the situation, who has removed the search results of the abovementioned two articles on video conferencing is an interesting question. Naturally, it can be only Google Incorporation that can remove such results as per Google India’s claim. However, since search results of the two posts are available outside India, it seems to be a job of Google India. May be Google India had requested Google Incorporation to remove the same or it did the same on its own.

It is high time to ascertain the true nature, role, powers and functions of Google India as posts are frequently disappearing from India based search results. I hope Delhi High Court would take note of this fact and the averments made in this article while deciding the case of Google India and Google Incorporation.

Update: It seems Google Incorporation (California, US) has approved the posts. These posts have resurfaced. Thanks to Google US for doing the needful. So it seems Google US is not censoring recent video conferencing controversy results in India.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

LPO And KPO In India Is Changing

Legal process outsourcing (LPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) are two of the most important segments of outsourcing industry. Legal process outsourcing usually covers areas like contract drafting and vetting, legal research, para legal work, arguments drafting, legal due diligence services, etc. Knowledge process outsourcing, on the other hand, takes care of highly specilaised aspects of the outsourcing industry.

Legal process outsourcing (LPO) in India is not a new phenomenon. Even many firms and companies are providing knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services in India. So basically LPO and KPO in India is well established and world renowned. LPO and KPO firms and companies in India are also world renowned and they provide valuable services to world at large.

However, techno legal LPO and KPO in India is still in its infancy stage. For instance, very few LPO and KPO in India are providing e-discovery services in India. Similarly, very few LPO providers in India are providing that are providing technology related legal due diligence services in India. Further, when it comes to electronic legal due diligence services in India, there seems to be no LPO and KPO services provider except Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB).

The cyber law trends in India 2012 by Perry4Law and PTLB have predicted that techno legal issues like cyber law due diligence, corporate laws due diligence, social media due diligence, e-discovery, etc would assume more importance in the year 2012. Further, citizen to government (C2G) LPO and KPO services would also rise in the year 2012.

LPO and KPO is a competitive and dynamic field and only the most competent would survive in the long run. With increasing competition from Asian countries, Indian LPO and KPO providers must be more innovative and adapt as per the technological requirements.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Aadhar Project Is Unconstitutional, Undemocratic And Anti Parliamentarian

The Aadhar project of India is a project that has neither a legal backing nor a project evaluation and management support. Naturally, Indian government is now considering scrapping the Aadhar project of India. Aadhar project has been considered to be futile by many experts in India. They have been suggesting that Aadhar project must be suspended till it is made legally valid and constitutionally sound.

However, Aadhar project was kept intact despite it lack of utility and illegal manner of implementation. Sooner or later it is going to be scrapped however till than millions of public money would already be lost. Why not the Indian government could scrap the Aadhar project few years back when it was so suggested by the experts.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of techno legal firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India, Aadhar Project must be supported by a Techno Legal Framework that must be supplemented by robust Cyber Security, Privacy Protection and Data Protection.

In the absence of these Procedural and Constitutional Safeguards, both Aadhar Project and UIDAI are Unconstitutional, says Praveen Dalal. Even if the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 (NIDAI Bill 2010) would have been passed, both Aadhar Project and UIDAI would have “Remained Unconstitutional”, opines Praveen Dalal. We need an altogether different Law than NIDAI Bill 2010 and till such a Constitutional Law is passed, Aadhar Project should be suspended suggests Praveen Dalal.

According to the Aadhar Watch Initiative of India maintained by Praveen Dalal, Aadhar project is suffering from the following illegalities and shortcomings:

(1) Absence of legal framework supporting Aadhar project,

(2) Absence of privacy protections safeguards,

(3) Absence of data protection safeguards,

(4) Possible abuse of Aadhar project as an e-surveillance tool,

(5) Absence of cyber security safeguards to prevent cyber attacks,

(6) Absence of data leakages and data breaches protections,

(7) Mutual disharmony between various governmental agencies and departments.

In the past fake UID cards were freely available to anybody. This undermines the very purpose of the Aadhar number. It has also been reported that home ministry of India is also opposing the Aadhar project. The truth is that Aadhar project is a very dangerous project and it must be scrapped as soon as possible.

However, the unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) kept on pushing the project despite ferocious protests all over India. What is more surprising is the fact that UIDAI has been functioning under an executive order of the ministry of planning. This violates all the constitutional principles that are well established in India.

It seems the Indian government is adopting double standards. While responding to the benign call for a jan lokpal law for India, Indian government was very quick to label it as anti democratic and anti parliamentary. Surprisingly, Indian government is finding nothing wrong with an executive order constitution UIDAI that is clearly violating constitutional scheme. It is now for the Indian government to give this issue a serious consideration as Aadhar project cannot be continues in these circumstances.