Wednesday 14 March 2012

NCTC: Reasons For Its Failures In India

The national counter terrorism centre (NCTC) of India is currently facing severe criticisms and oppositions from many quarters of the society. Whether it is civil liberty activists, political parties, research scholars, security analysts, etc all of them are slamming the NCTC project of India.

None can doubt that NCTC is a project that is of national importance. However, the way it is implemented is really troublesome. This is also the reason why state governments are vigorously opposing the very idea of NCTC. In fact as per the techno legal experts of India, NCTC in its present form is neither constitutional nor desirable.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based ICT law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of Asia, National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India has been facing many ups and downs. This is despite the fact that National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India is required to meet the growing National Security Requirements of India.

So what are the problems that have plagued the establishment of NCTC in India? According to Praveen Dalal, Constitutional, Legal and Administrative reasons are behind the limited success of NCTC in India.

For instance, the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India, National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) Project of India, Aadhar Project of India, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), etc are not governed by any Legal Framework and Parliamentary Oversight. Indian government is not willing to understand and accept that Intelligence Work is not an Excuse for Non Accountability, suggests Praveen Dalal.

Parliament of India must step in to rectify the national security shortcomings that are emerging due to lack of parliamentary oversight and legal frameworks. If Indian executive keeps on imposing projects and initiatives without complying with the constitutional requirement, it would be a sure recipe for disaster.

Monday 5 March 2012

Privacy Law Firms In India Must Be Proactive

Indian privacy and data protection laws are complicated in nature as they are scattered among multiple legislations, rules and regulations. Further, information and communication technology (ICT) and outsourcing has added their own complexities to the same. Thus, privacy laws, lawyers and law firms in India are still maturing.

Not only we have very few privacy and data protection law firms in India but we have only a handful of cyber law firms in India. One area that has recently interested the legal community pertains to cyber security. Although cyber security as a legal field has started gaining attention of foreign lawyers and law firms yet cyber security law firms in India or cyber security lawyers in India are still missing.

Privacy and data protection has assumed a centre stage due to recent growth of ICT related industries, including e-commerce. Further, sensitive and personal information is also required to be maintained and preserved not only by the government but also private individuals and companies.

According to India’s leading techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law and its techno legal segment named Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB), e-commerce regulations and laws in India require the e-commerce companies to maintain privacy and data protection and data security of the information supplied by their customers. Similarly, e-health laws and regulations in India require that sensitive personal information of patients must be kept intact, secure and private. The telemarketing laws of India also intend to prohibit spam communication to protect privacy of individuals. The cloud computing regulations in India must also carry stringent privacy protection safeguards.

We must also have well defined procedure and cell site data location laws in India. As we have no dedicated privacy laws, data protection laws, data security laws, anti telemarketing laws, anti spam laws, etc, cell phones monitoring in India is not legally sustainable.

The role of privacy law firms in India can be very productive. They must insist upon enactment of dedicated privacy laws, data protection laws and data security laws. However, since there are handfuls of privacy law firms in India this task would take some time before Indian government would pay heed to their suggestions.