NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday stressed the need for an overhaul of the legal structure to tackle the threat of cybercrimes.
He said that a consensus on striking a balance between the people’s right to privacy and the need for regulation to protect their right to live in a peaceful manner was now emerging in the country.
“I don’t think any incremental change will help… the change has to be substantial, significant, fundamental and structural,” the Union Minister said at the second national conference on “Cyber Crime Investigation & Digital Forensics” organised by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here.
Vaishnaw asserted that this was the area where there was a conflict between the two demands of the right to freedom of expression and right to privacy. “And regulation, control, and ways to prevent fraudulent activities committed in the garb of right to privacy and right to freedom of expression. That is the balance society has to strike,” he said.
“Fortunately, the post-COVID world has changed so much fundamentally that the balance is now coming in the thought process of societies,” Vaishnaw added.
Citing example of countries like South Korea, Australia, the US and the European Union, he said that a large number of legal and societal interventions were happening in a bid to bring about a balance between the right to privacy and the need for regulation.
“We, in India, are also trying to create that societal consensus. It is happening. The Opposition, which used to accuse the government of intruding in people’s lives, are now saying that we need more regulation and more control. We need a legal structure in which people’s privacy, as well as their right to live in a peaceful manner is protected,” the minister said.
The minister also said that the use of technology had enhanced productivity, efficiency, and convenience. “However, simultaneously, the possibility of someone intruding into our lives has increased manifold,” he said.
“The issue had to be tackled on five fronts: legal structure, technology, organisational measures, capacity building and mutual cooperation among the countries and agencies.”
he also pointed out that crimes perpetrated by technology would have to be countered primarily by technology.
Citing an example of a recent ransomware attack on a large pipeline system in North America, Vaishnaw said that the Indian Railways systems, power systems, the energy sector and vital installations were the possible targets, which had to be thwarted legally and technologically.
He also said that there was also a need for capacity development in terms of cybercrime investigations, digital forensics, law, technology, and security as an overall umbrella.
He further said that to effectively investigate cybercrimes, mutual cooperation between the countries and various organisation was required.