A Hack of the IT Act – Sections 65 and 66

OK, you are a citizen of India. You want to be sure you are safe from evil “hackers” who wanna steal everything from your credit card numbers to your girlfriends mobile number. You are pissed. So you want the Indian government to take action, and you take solace in the fact that the majestic IT act of 2000 was instated. But do you have any idea how loosely worded the sections of the act are? Are you aware of the fact that a person can be jailed or fined up to two lakhs for as little as typing out something on a computer – leaving nothing in our hands, and leaving everything in the hands of our government. Basically, if the government wants to screw you, you’re screwed and there ain’t a thing that can be done about it.

Let me explain more explicitly.

I perused the offenses section of the IT act located at http://www.mit.gov.in/content/offences

1. Look at Section 65

Definition of “Computer Source Code” – the listing of programmes, computer commands, design and layout and programme analysis of computer resource in any form.

a. What the hell is “programme” ? it is “program” !!

b. What in the name of god are they trying to convey? If you can make sense of it, please mail me, I will unhesitatingly fall at your feet. To me, this covers everything from looking at a hard disk to running an “ls” command!

2. Look at Section 66

“Whoever commits hacking shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend upto two lakh rupees, or with both

What is defined as “hacking”? It is mentioned nowhere! They have the time to spell out a shitty definition of ‘source code'(the target of offense), but don’t have the time to define ‘hacking’ which is the act of offense!

I really think the quaint IT act ought to be revised and given proper thought because this gives the flexibility to the government to jail a person for as much as typing out a few keys. After watching the documentary ‘Freedom Downtime’ where US feds unjustly put Kevin Mitnick in solitary confinement for 8 months just because they  felt that he could trigger off a nuclear war with just a friggin payphone( from the popular movie of old – Wargames[1983] ), I am very skeptical about these rules that “supposedly” protect us from “Hackers”.


2 comments on “A Hack of the IT Act – Sections 65 and 66

  1. I agree that the first one(section 65) says exactly that-press tab twice(which lists all commands in Ubuntu) and you’ve hacked a system :D.

    I think the point before the one you quoted from section 66 ->

    “Whoever with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person destroys or deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means, commits hack:”

    defines(or rather tries to define) hacking.

  2. Nope, it does not define hacking unless they explicitly state so. And even if it was a definition, it is a recursive one – did you notice the “commits hack” in the end? I don’t even know what that means. In that case does contribution to an open source project constitute an offense?

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