10 Aug 2012

Cyber Security Firms And Companies In India

Cyber security issues in India have attracted the attention of Indian government at last. Indian government has announced taking of many steps that can ensure basic level cyber security in India.

However, highly sophisticated and particularly targeted cyber attacks against India cannot be defended for another five years if the present speed and initiatives are maintained. Further, if the declared cyber security initiatives are not immediately acted upon, cyber security in India cannot be established for another decade or more.

Naturally, cyber security firms, companies and consultants in India must be proactive in their approach. Indian government must also assist them so that they can provide the best cyber security services in India.

The main problem with Indian cyber security initiatives is that they are based on the approach of maximum procurement with minimum application. Mere procurement of hardware and software can never make India a cyber secure nation. We need a skilled cyber security workforce in India as well to successfully use hardware and software.   

So we must stress upon techno legal skills development in India that includes skills development in the fields like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc. Virtual cyber security campuses in India can greatly help in achieving this task. Further, online cyber security courses in India can also help a lot in this regard.

Another significant aspect is that cyber security firms and companies of India must be techno legal in nature. This means that these cyber security firms and companies of India must not only be capable of managing the technical aspects but also legal aspects as well.

These days we can witness a growth in the numbers of cyber security law firms in India and abroad. Further e-discovery services in India are also increasing although only authorised professionals like Indian advocates can practice the same in India. 

In short, cyber security firms and companies must have multiple qualifications and diverse expertise to manage the contemporary cyberspace challenges. A single discipline approach is not going to be beneficial in the long run.

9 Aug 2012

Implementation Of The Madrid Protocol In India

The Trade Marks Act, 1999 (TMA 1999) and the corresponding Trade Marks Rules, 2002 (TMR 2002) is the law that regulates trademarks registration and protection in India. Similarly, the law also prescribes a procedure for filing of a convention application under Indian trademark law.

At the international level, the international registration of trademarks under Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol are also possible. However, India is not a party to Madrid Agreement. This is the reason why the Madrid Protocol becomes important for India.

The Madrid Protocol was adopted to render the Madrid system more flexible and more compatible with the domestic legislations of certain countries which had not been able to accede to the Madrid Agreement. India is one such country that has not acceded to the Madrid Agreement. The two treaties are parallel and independent and States may adhere to either of them or to both.

The Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol and their applicability and implementation in India are still missing as India is neither a party to Madrid Agreement nor it has ratified or acceded to Madrid Protocol. Although India has enacted the Trademark (Amendment) Act, 2010 yet the same has not been notified so far. In the absence of the same, the proposed Act has no applicability in India. 

However, some hints have been given by Indian government that Madrid Protocol may be implemented in India. If this is the intention of Indian government, both advantages and disadvantages of Madrid Protocol should be analysed in detail before acceding to the same.

5 Aug 2012

Import Of Mobiles Or Cell Phones In India With Fake IMEI Proposed To Be Banned

We have no dedicated cell phone laws in India or mobile phone laws in India though they are very much required. Similarly, we have no mobile cyber security in India and mobile connections and handsets are vulnerable to cyber attacks and malware infections.

We also do not have any electronic authentication policy of India and many e-surveillance oriented projects like Aadhar project of India are managed in India without any parliamentary oversight and legislative framework. This is definitely violation of privacy rights of Indians. We must also have a national policy for mobile governance and e-authentication in India.

However, Indian government is least bothered to mange these crucial fields. Indian government becomes active in these fields only when its own interests are at stake. For instance, India is getting stricter regarding false IMEI numbers and norms. This is because India is finding it difficult to indulge in e-surveillance with false IMEI capable mobile sets.

Now media reports have suggested that the telecom regulator TRAI is planning to approach the Commerce and Industry Ministry to ban imports of mobile phones carrying unauthentic unique IMEI identification number, which helps authorities track users.

In order to archive this task, TRAI would soon write to the Commerce Ministry to ban such phones. It has been suggested that import of only those cell phones should be allowed which are certified by GSMA and TIA authorised bodies for GSM and CDMA handsets respectively.

Further, the Department of Telecom (Govt of India) (vide reference NO-20-40/2006/BS-III(PT)(VOL.I)/201 dated 3rd September 2009), has directed all cellular mobile service providers not to allow calls to be made from Mobile handsets with invalid IMEI number after 30th Nov 2009. However, during a recent test conducted in a telecom service area, government officials were surprised to see over 18,000 mobile handsets using same IMEI number.

Besides IMEI numbers, Indian government is also serious of regulating pre paid SIM cards so that they may not be misused by criminals and terrorists. However, Indian government must a take a holistic action in this regard and mere piecemeal actions, that also those serving its own interest, would not be in the larger interest of India.