Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Social Media Websites Investigation In India

Social media websites have become ubiquitous these days. Ask any Internet using person or organisations and he/it would tell you about usage of some form of social media websites. Social media is not only helpful in projecting own policies, thoughts and ideas but is also helpful in exploring new ventures and partnerships.

However, abuses of social media are also rampant. Social media is occasionally used for committing various cyber crimes and cyber contraventions. Although we have no dedicated social media laws in India yet the information technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000), the cyber law of India, carries some provisions in this regard. These provisions have mandated social media due diligence in India for these platforms.

Further the cyber law of India has also prescribed an Internet intermediary liability in India. According to this liability social media websites in India are required to observe due diligence in order to escape civil and criminal sanctions.

The cyber law due diligence in India has now become well established and companies, social media websites and Internet intermediaries cannot take it lightly. However, this has not restrained the cyber criminals to use social media websites for criminal purposes. Even in many cases these social media websites fail to observe due diligence especially when they have actual knowledge of the offending act. This has resulted in an increased prosecution of social media websites in India.

The prosecution of social media websites in India is going to increase tremendously if they keep on ignoring the cyber law of India. Presently, the cyber crimes investigation in India is not upto the mark and this in many cases result in non prosecution of the offenders. With the growth of e-discovery in India and cyber forensics in India more prosecution of social media websites would be witnessed. E-discovery for social media in India is going to increase as the social networking laws in India are pointing towards this direction.

In short, cyber due diligence for Indian companies is increasingly being enforced and social media websites are no exception to this rule. Social media websites investigation in India is going to increase in future and these platforms must be well prepared to deal with this same.

In their own interest, social media websites must not only meet the cyber due diligence requirements but must also ensure e-discovery compliances so that social media websites investigation can be facilitated and they can defend themselves more appropriately in various court cases and quasi judicial forums.