AOH :: ISN-2825.HTM

Sent a terror mail to Prez? Pay Rs 2,000 & get away

Sent a terror mail to Prez? Pay Rs 2,000 & get away
Sent a terror mail to Prez? Pay Rs 2,000 & get away 

August 05, 2006

NEW DELHI, AUG 4 :  Caught sending a hoax terror mail to the President of 
India? Don't worry. Just pay Rs 2,000 as fine and go scot-free. Do not be 
surprised, as the current IT Act does not include hoax e-mails under its 
purview. So, the accused can only be booked under Section 188 of the IPC 
Act, under which the punishment is a meagre Rs 2,000 fine or a one-month 
jail term.

When Sulabh Goyal was caught, last month, after the Mumbai blasts for 
sending a hoax terror mail to the President of India, the police were not 
able to detain him under the IT Act. "There are no sections under the IT 
Act 2000 under which we can deal with cyber terrorism of this kind. It is 
section 188 IPC, which we have to employ to detain these people," said 
Delhi Police cyber crime cell assistant commissioner SD Mishra.

Interestingly, despite grave security threat, the government has not 
included any sections relating to same in the proposed amendments to the 
IT Act 2000, which is likely to be tabled in Parliament this session. 
"Unlike India, the US government undertook a series of legislations 
against cyber terrorism after 9/11 including the Patriot Act. However, the 
13/12 attacks, which happened just after the September 11-crash did not 
awake the Indian government despite knowing that e-mails were used as a 
mode of communication," cyber law expert Pavan Duggal said.

Cyber terrorism includes terrorism directed at automated systems directly 
or that uses automated systems to disrupt other critical infrastructure 
systems they support or control.

Clearly in this case, automated systems are targeted for spreading terror. 
Officials at the ministry of IT, however, disagree.

"Sending hoax mails to spread terror is not a crime unless a grievous 
injury is caused to the individual. The government is not thinking of any 
legislation on the same.

But Section 66 under the IT Act deals with such individuals if a computer 
related offence is caused,. a top official at the ministry said.

There is credible information that groups like Laskar-e-Toiba, Hizbul 
Mujahideen and Al Qaeda have become proficient in using technology as a 
medium. Whether it is an attack on New York, London, Madrid or Mumbai, the 
use of technology has become an integral part of spreading terror. And the 
government has still not awakened to this grave danger.

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