Author: Supran Roy, student at Adamas University (School of Law and Justice).
Human rights have always been associated with the cyber laws but it was just existing in the shadows of other human rights as they are usually not seen from the perspective of the cyber law. The right to privacy that applies to every citizen of the world, that same right applies to those citizens in the virtual world of the Internet. The Internet, rather than becoming a part of our daily lives has become a necessity and in the times of pandemic where social distancing is of utmost priority. The internet plays a very crucial role in fulfilling our needs keeping in mind the protocols of recent times.
Guyana has been considered as one of the fastest developing country growth-wise, even more than India. So comparing India on its enforcement of human rights in the cyber scenario with Guyana, which surpasses the growth index of India, is ideal.
As human beings, privacy is our asset and we have been cherishing this asset of privacy since time immemorial. As much of the worldly activities can be done online, it is important to protect the privacy of what we are doing and what we intend to do. Guyana as a country did not pay much attention to data protection and data privacy until the year of 2018 when it made the ‘Cybercrime Act’. For the people suffering from fraudulent transactions online, they have other laws to protect them like the ‘Anti-Money Laundering’, ‘Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act’, etc. Guyana’s citizens and its companies have not been facing much of the cyber threats apart from financial threats. The Cybercrime Act has covered the other threats of the cyber world. In this case India was acting far ahead when it formed the “Information Technology Act”. This very act has evolved a lot since then as various amendments were done from time to time to curb down cyber crimes and enhance cyber security. The Act is what protects Indian citizens’ data privacy and ensures Indians have their freedom of expression through the internet against all cyber threats. India in comparison to Guyana faces more threats in terms of cybercrimes for which it had a greater requirement of passing cyber laws which it successfully did. The Government of Guyana protects the citizens from cyber crimes through personal monitoring of the cybersecurity. For this reason, the Cybersecurity Division made a ‘National Computer Incident Response Team’ under the brand name of CIRT.GY. The Division was meant to look after the cyber threats of the international agencies in Guyana and also for the Government itself. It also supported the domestic and international collaborations with many agencies to maintain its cybersecurity. India dealing with more cyber issues than Guyana has also made a lot of changes in its system in order to protect its citizens. Initiatives like the ‘National Cyber Security Policy’,’ Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre)’ by the government have ensured greater regulation and monitoring of the internet.
In Guyana there are no restrictions imposed by the government on either censorship or content other than child pornography. There are also no restrictions on the access of the Internet and there were no reports of the government monitoring the emails or such places of its citizens without any judicial insight. In short the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are not that much regulated by the Guyana Government as till now people don’t have much access to the internet. In India, Internet Service Providers need to obtain two licenses before entering the market of providing internet service. The providers also have to maintain hardware and software provisions and also have to ensure that the communications between the inter- governmental agencies are well monitored. The service providers are also mandated to produce any call data records of any organization or any person when asked to by the security agencies of India. The Cyber Swachhta Kendra works with the ISPs and also various Antivirus companies to help the customers of the service providers be aware of any infection caused to their internet system and also to provide assistance to them regarding cleaning their systems from the virus. Hence in India the ISPs are very well regulated ensuring the proposal and disposal of human rights to its citizens by protecting their freedom as well as regulating their servers. Cybercrime is not too much of a threatening factor for Guyana which makes it easy for them to handle the cases. As there are fewer cases relating to cyber crimes in Guyana, the police can clear out the cases very effectively and present them in front of the court and the court having lesser pending cases than India can also give the cyber victims speedy justice that they deserve. Cybercrime threats to Indians have been on the rise and studies have shown that half of the victims are not aware of how to deal with such threats. The pandemic being in existence and people having easy access to the internet, made the citizens many more online transactions than usual. This in turn has given the hackers, fraudsters, cyber blackmailers a golden opportunity to trick the innocent victims. The justice dispensing system is failing in India as there are many cases pending for the police to solve and even a higher number of cases are left to be judged in the courts. Also Indian police are able to arrest individuals residing in India only and facing hardships in arresting foreign nationals due to the lack of proper treaties with other nations. Thus, India fails to get the cooperation needed to extract such cyber criminals from other countries.
In Guyana, they do not get as many cases to deal with as in India, making Guyana’s justice dispensary system better than India having less pending cases. Still Guyana should be prepared for unforeseen times when there might be a surge in the cases and their prior preparation might help the country to solve those issues. From the given reports and comparisons we clearly see that India surpasses Guyana in terms of its policies and practices to save its citizens from cyber threats and hence enforce their human rights of privacy, etc. India having such a huge population and such easy access to online facilities, people are more likely to fall in cyber traps and might end up in trouble. So India still has a lot to improve like spreading more and more awareness to the citizens about the remedies of cybercrimes. Doing so would obviously increase the number of registered cyber law cases for which the Indian Judiciary would need to clear its already pending cases. As “preaching something without a future ahead is just like ringing the bells of a temple without a god”. India can also work on making different Extradition treaties with different nations, which would enable India in bringing the foreign culprits into the country and convicting them. India has clearly been making progress in the field of cyber policies and security but the progress needs to be a bit faster and innovative to match with the coming times. By following these methodologies, the basic human right to reserve privacy in the field of cyber policies will be uplifted.
GUYANA, dataguidance.com, www.dataguidance.com/jurisdiction/guyana. ↑
- NATIONAL DATA MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY, ndma.gov.gy, ndma.gov.gy/pillars/cybersecurity. ↑
- sejal181999, LIABILITY OF Internet SERVICE PROVIDERS AND THE IP, LEGALDESIRE.COM (August 8, 2020), legaldesire.com/liability-of-internet-service-providers-and-the-ip. ↑
- Ajay Thakur, CYBER SECURITY LAWS IN INDIA AND CHINA: A COMPARISON, blog.ipleaders.in (March 1, 2017), blog.ipleaders.in/cyber-security-laws-india-china-comparison. ↑
sejal181999, LIABILITY OF Internet SERVICE PROVIDERS AND THE IP, LEGALDESIRE.COM (August 8, 2020), legaldesire.com/liability-of-internet-service-providers-and-the-ip. ↑