NCW conducts consultation on amending IT Act to protect women better online

Technology attorneys and cybercrime consultants have advised amending the IT Act, 2000 and introducing a brand new cybersecurity regulation to sustain with the rising cases of crimes in opposition to women on the web, particularly social media. This was put forth during a consultation held by the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday.

NCW – a statutory body generally concerned with advising the administration on all policy matters affecting women – is expected to consolidate the recommendations to existing laws and submit that to the government. The step comes at a time when the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) is working on revamping the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 to stay on top of the various technological advances in the social media, e-commerce, cybercrime and digital payments space. The panellists deliberated on whether the Indecent Representation of Women’s Act, Information Technology Act and other prevailing laws were sufficient in tackling cybercrimes against women. They also touched upon the Personal Data Protection Bill, which is currently before Parliament.

Section 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act deal with electronic transmission of “obscene” and “sexually explicit” material, and children engaged in such acts. The current provisions of the IT Act are not adequate as Section 67, 67A and 67B don’t specifically cover grooming and handholding of women on the Internet for sex crimes are not sufficient according to cyber law experts.