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Center to modify rules to prevent IT act misuse

Center to modify rules to prevent IT act misuse
The government has decided to modify rules in order to prevent gross misuse of sections of the Information and Technology Act that has been under national contention following the arrest of two women over a Facebook comment. The center has decided to empower police officers of the rank of deputy commissioner and above in metros and non metro areas to allow the registration of cases under 66 A of the IT Act. 
At present a police station in charge or an inspector can register a complaint under the provision as was done in the case of two young women in Palghar on November 19 following the Facebook posts on Mumbai’s shutdown on Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray’s death.
Section 66 A of the IT Act provides for a three year jail terms on wide range of offences committed that includes sending messages of “menacing character” or causing annoyance or inconvenience. A government source stated that the Palghar arrest was a gross misuse of the IT act. He stated that what was more needed was a reasonable law that can be exercised reasonably. The source also clarified that the government has only issued operational guidelines of the act and this should not be seen amendments to the IT Act. 
The Supreme Court also on Thursday disapproved of the of the arrests and agreed to hear the PIL scrapping section 66 A of the IT act filled by 21 year old Shreya Singhal, an astrophysics graduate from University of Bristol United Kingdom. The applicant of the PIL stated that she felt that the arrests were a gross violation of the of the right to free speech and expression ensured by the constitution. She also stated that being a Facebook user she felt a sense of camaraderie with the individuals arrested. 
Category : Technology
Date : 30 November 2012
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