Recently, the Union minister in his meeting with Microsoft CEO Satya nadella has conveyed the government's intention of revamping the nearly 20-year old Information Technology Act, 2000.
Key highlights of the meeting:
- Constitution of the expert committee: An expert committee will be set up with members from the government as well as the industry for a discussion on the new IT Act.
- The minister suggested that Microsoft should consider adopting some digital villages and mentor them to make them beacons.
- Issue of data sovereignty was also discussed.
Need to revamp IT act 2000:
- To bring it in tune with the technological advancements with a focus on a stronger framework to deal with cybercrimes.
- Changed ecosystem: The IT ecosystem has developed beyond recognition in the last 20 years. Pronouncement of New technology, consumers have changed vastly and so have the challenges are changed. Eg: Digital payment, UPI etc.
- Misuse of technology: IT act 2000 has not been able to address the wide range of cybercrimes, which are increased due to technological advancements.that is why the government is planning to introduce separate chapters on Cyber issues.
- A most important change that has happened in internet penetration and the scale of users that consume technology.
- The various supreme court judgements like Puttaswamy judgement (RIGHT TO PRIVACY) have changed the outlook. That is why there is a need to revamp the IT act 2000.
Digital villages: It was launched in 2019 with an aim to make 1 lakh digital villages.
- Digital Village aims to make the root of Indian Society - "The Villages" Digitally Connected and every rural citizen digital literate.
- Implementing body: CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd. It is a Public-Private initiative
- To create a One-Stop Service Solution for the village area citizens, providing them with quality services like telemedicine, Financial Services, Internet Connectivity and other G2C/B2C services which are easily accessible at an affordable price around the year.
The objective of digital villages:
- Creation of employment opportunities for the youth, by promoting the IT/ITES Industry.
- Promotion of investment in IT/ITES Sector in order to expand the base of IT Industry and secure balanced regional growth.
Wifi choupal: Wi-Fi Choupal is a government initiative that provides Wi-Fi hotspots in rural areas where people can access the internet by subscribing to low-cost data plans.
- According to the Department of Telecommunications, the project strives to give rural areas access to the Internet and keep them updated on developments around the country. The Wi-Fi hotspots will also allow people in rural areas to connect to social institutions like police stations, primary health centres, schools, post offices and avail their online services.
- The aim of Wi-fi Choupal is “to create a Wi-Fi coverage zone in the village, so as to cover all inhabited areas of the village using low-cost Wi-Fi equipment.”
What is data sovereignty?
- Data sovereignty is the idea that data is subjected to the laws and governance structures within the nation it is collected. The concept of data sovereignty is closely linked with data security, cloud computing and technological sovereignty.
- There is a subsequent nudge from the Supreme Court to frame such a law in India. The 2018 Supreme Court verdict declared "privacy" as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India (protection of life and personal liberty) in the Justice KS Puttaswamy vs Union of India case.
- The localisation of data will enhance privacy and security by ensuring Indian law applies to the data and users can access local remedies.
- The need for Data sovereignty: India is rapidly transforming into a Digital Society where data is seen as a new age fuel.