Laws are established and enforced by the authority, legislation, or
custom of a given community, state or nation to maintain orderly
coexistence. Basically, cyber law deals with child pornography,
cyber-stalking, cyber-scams, online fraud, software piracy and much
more. Legal experts are working in this field to help educate and
guide the Internet community on crime prevention and the reporting of
cyber crimes. After many years of discussion and effort, recently the
government of Nepal has crafted the much awaited Electronic
Transaction and Digital Signature Act-Ordinance (ETDSA)-2061 (2004),
popularly known as "Cyber Law."
This law has provided new trust to the Information Technology (IT)
sector, and computer and IT professionals are hopeful that it will
create a favorable situation for conducting IT business. It contains a
strong provision of punishment against cyber crimes according to the
nature of the crime. As per the provisions of law, the government is
fully authorized to punish cyber criminals -- both an individual or
To what extent "laws are made to be broken" is the big question facing
all Nepali people now.
Cyber law exists in Nepal, but it has failed to address many problems.
The law is not stringent enough for the holistic deception of cyber
related crimes. Problems of online media, as well as fines and
imprisonment, are not as big as in the U.S. and Japan.
Corruption is seen in every field. Big government and some private
organizations are using pirated CDs. Even some security organizations
responsible for taking action against this crime are seen as violating
the rules. Software CDs can be seen in the footpaths of Kathmandu,
which has decreased the value, as well as violated the newly
implemented law of the country. People are crowding into these places
because the price is low. People want just the CDs. Who cares about
the quality and law?
Program CDs of great value are found all over the Kathmandu valley and
prices range from Rs. 50-100 (U.S.$0.70 -1.40). Though this is not new
to any Nepali citizen, it may attract the attention of some foreigners
visiting Nepal. But even foreigners are taking numerous pirated
software CDs back to their countries, said one seller on New Road in
This problem is not limited to CDs. Even in cybercafes, children of
young ages can be seen using porn sites. The proprietor of the cafe,
not caring about the law, just wants all his computers to be packed.
Different hacker software can be found in each individual's computer.
Whenever anyone buys a new software CD, it is shared with all his
friends and relatives. So, it has become a habit for all Nepali people
to share CDs.
The misuse of the Internet can prove to be a haven for all kinds of
abuses, but who is responsible for this?
Despite its disadvantages, the Internet has been a boon for all
humans, regardless of age. It seems as if people who are used to it
cannot live without it. One can say it has become a part of life.
Everybody everywhere, in the cafes or in their vehicles, can be can
busy on the net, either for information or fun.
The effective implementation of cyber law will be a necessity. Nepal
will not be able to regulate the information technology industries
without taking the international legal context into account. The main
thing is that regulations are enforced. First of all, the authorities
should be self-concerned before awaking the citizens. There still
needs a lot of homework to be done if Nepal expects a boom in the IT
According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, they are working
on bringing out cyber regulations in the days ahead and we should
expect it to be crafted very soon.
Since the computing field is a dynamic one, policies and laws related
to this area need to be revised periodically to reflect the changing
trends. At both levels -- the local as well as global.
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