Sunday, May 22, 2016

PokerNation And Fortuity Gaming Solutions Pvt Ltd Served Legal Notice For Copyright Violation Of Perry4Law

Copyright violation is a serious offence in India especially when it is combined with the offences punishable under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000). The IT Act 2000 has prescribed cyber law due diligence (pdf) and internet intermediary obligations that all stakeholders are required to comply with. Online gaming and gambling websites are no exception to these compliances. Similarly rules apply to mobile gaming stakeholders of India. As on date we have no dedicated online gaming and online gambling laws of India but there are many laws whose legal compliances are mandatory for such online gaming and gambling businesses.

Perry4Law Law Firm is occasionally consulted for online gaming, online gambling, online card games, online games, online lotteries, etc related legal issues. We have extended our legal expertise to many national and international clients who have complied with our engagement terms. However, some unscrupulous individuals and companies have tried to steal our copyrighted terms and conditions, privacy policy, disclaimer, etc (legal documents) in the past. We have been ignoring these things in the past but from now onwards we have decided to take these copyright and cyber law violations seriously.

We have been sending legal notices and DMCA complaints to such individuals, companies and hosting service providers who are party to such copyright infringement and cyber law violations whether by design or unintentionally. The idea is to protect our copyrighted legal documents and to safeguard our own financial interests.

Now we have also decided to make a public database of such violators so that information in this regard can be collected at a single place. Our first post in this regard is regarding the website of Pokernation that is carrying our copyrighted legal documents without our approval and without complying with our engagement terms. The same has been done in association with Fortuity Gaming Solutions Pvt Ltd. We have served DMCA complaint and legal notices to PokerNation, Fortuity Gaming Solutions Pvt Ltd and their Directors/principal officers. We have also intimated them through our Twitter account at @ptlbindia. You can see these tweets at here1 and here2. Further legal actions, if required, would also be taken against the guilty person/company.

We would update our readers about this copyright violation episode by Pokernation and Fortuity from time to time. Any individual or company interested in seeking our legal assistance may contact us in this regard and establish a client attorney relationship.

Update 1: Till 23-05-2016 we have not received any response from PokerNation, Fortuity Gaming Solutions Pvt Ltd and their Directors/principal officers and the web hosting service provider Microsoft Corporation

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Google Opposes The Proposal Expanding FBI’s Search Warrants Powers

E-surveillance is not new in United States and U.S. is one of the most endemic e-surveillance states of the world. U.S. and its agencies are targeting not only U.S. citizens but citizens of the whole world. In fact, James Clapper has confirmed that NSA has been targeting foreign citizens for surveillance. Telecom giant Vodafone has revealed existence of secret wires for government surveillance around the world, including India.

Google along with other companies has been fighting against e-surveillance activities of U.S. agencies. In the past, FBI’s National Security Letters (NSLs) with gag orders were declared unconstitutional by a U.S. District Judge. However, this order was subsequently narrowed down by the Judge and allowed the U.S. Department of Justice to appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit.

Now Google is once again taking a stand to protect Civil Liberties in Cyberspace by protesting against the proposal to widen the powers of FBI search warrants. Google has openly conveyed its dissent for the proposed US Justice Department proposal to expand federal powers to search and seize digital data, warning that the changes would open the door to US “government hacking of any facility” in the world. Google has submitted (PDF) to the Washington committee that is considering the proposed changes that increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise “monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide”.

Google may be using soft language but the reality is that U.S. and its agencies are already indulging in world wide e-surveillance in clear violation of international laws and state’s sovereignty. The revelations by Edward Snowden have proved this point well beyond any sort of doubt. Radio waves and Malware have also been used by NSA for world wide e-surveillance. Malware like FinFisher are increasingly being used for global electronic spying, e-surveillance and eavesdropping. Further, GCHQ and NSA have intercepted and stored webcam images of millions of innocent Internet users. Kaspersky has also revealed hardware based stealth spyware used by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Reacting to these sorts of e-surveillance activities by U.S. agencies, Brazil and the European Union recently announced plans to lay a $185 million undersea fiber-optic communications cable between them to thwart U.S. surveillance. Surprisingly, Google is also building the Brazil-US fiber optic cable that seems to be a contrary stand of Brazil. However, it is obvious that NSA’s/U.S. agencies surveillance may cause breakup of Internet if not checked immediately.

As far as FBI’s enhanced search powers are concerned, Google’s main concern is that FBI agents would be able to carry out covert raids on servers no matter where they were situated, giving the US government unfettered global access to vast amounts of private information. In particular, Google is not happy with the FBI’s desire to “remotely” search computers that have concealed their location either through encryption or by obscuring their IP addresses using anonymity services such as Tor. Surprisingly, U.S. agencies consider anything that is encrypted and anonymous as a potential threat and a fit case to exercise their jurisdiction. This is irrespective of the fact that such encrypted communication may have originated outside the jurisdictions of U.S. over which neither U.S. nor its agencies have any powers and jurisdiction to exercise.

On the other hand, U.S. Justice Department is calling for the scope of warrants to be widened so that FBI agents can search property even if the computers are located outside the concerned judge’s jurisdiction. The FBI argues that this new power would be essential in investigations where suspects have concealed the location of their computer networks. This is a genuine concern of FBI but encrypted and anonymous services are also used by law abiding and privacy loving people as well. Further, exercising extra territorial jurisdiction over foreign citizens has serious international laws concerns as well.

The Justice Department has also tried to assuage anxieties about the proposed amendment. In its comment (PDF) to the committee, DoJ officials say that federal agents would only request the new type of warrants where there was “probable cause to search for or seize evidence, fruits, or instrumentalities of crime”. But civil liberties and legal groups remain unconvinced, insisting that the language is so vaguely worded that it would have draconian and global implications. In its submission (PDF), the American Civil Liberties Union said that the proposed changes could violate the fourth amendment of the US constitution, which bans unreasonable searches and seizures.

It would be interesting to know how Congress would resolve these conflicting claims. But one thing is for sure. We at CECSRDI believe that there must be a balance between civil liberties protection and national security requirements and giving primacy to one over another would only be counterproductive and a bad policy decision.

Monday, March 18, 2013

HDFC Bank Must Follow Sound E-Discovery And Cyber Forensics Procedure To Avoid Legal Liability

It has been reported by media reports that the HDFC Bank has hired services of private players for Forensics and Legal Audit of its affairs. At Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) we strongly believe that although this may be good intended yet it may bring “Unforeseen Legal Challenges”.

As the allegations against these Banks are serious and Criminal in nature, there is numerous Data of Evidence that must be “Kept Intact” by these Banks. If these Data, including Digital and Electronic Data, Changes, Access or Manipulated, it may “Draw an Adverse Inference” by the Investigating Authorities and Courts against these Banks. It may also amount to “Destruction of Evidence” by these Banks hence further Offence(s).

Although HDFC has declared that this Forensics and Legal Audit Process has been initiated without prejudice to the authentication of the video recordings or electronic data yet this is stand is difficult to prove in a Court of Law.

Actually it is the fault of the Investigating Agencies and Indian Government that have failed to take appropriate and immediate action in this regard. If the Investigation Agencies had acted “Expeditiously”, Crucial Digital Evidence would have already been placed “On Hold”.

It is also high time to spread Awareness about and ensure necessary Techno Legal Skills Development for Cyber Law of India, Digital Evidencing, E-Discovery Procedure in India and Cyber Forensics Application to various Civil and Criminal cases in India. Till now this Awareness is missing and Investigation Authorities and Courts are not insisting upon holding the Crucial Digital Evidence.

 A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been pending before the Supreme Court of India to ask Indian Government to prescribe Regulations and Guidelines for Effective Investigation of Cyber Crimes in India. This is also a good opportunity for the Supreme Court and Indian Government to take care of Paper Evidence Scanning and E-Discovery Legal Issues in India and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Legal Issues India.  

We would come up with further report on this issue very soon.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Paper Evidence Scanning And E-Discovery Legal Issues In India

India is in the process of providing of electronic delivery of services to Indian citizens. Further, there is also a shift in electronic financial transactions in India whether it pertains to Internet banking or mobile banking. Additional challenges would also arise due to this digital revolution in India.

E-discovery services in India have become essential due to growing dependence upon electronic services in India. Further, white collor crimes, financial frauds, IT and cyber frauds, forensics accounting and auditing and risk management have further increased the scope of e-discovery services in India.

In e-discovery and OCR procedure, the role of a technology lawyers and ICT law firm is very important. No organisation or individual engaged in the e-discovery or ODR process can afford to engage in a limitless exercise. We at Perry4Law and PTLB believe that any e-discovery and OCR exercise must be primarily guided by relevancy, proper chain of custody and admissibility criteria in all circumstances. This is more so when litigation is an option.

In e-discovery and OCR procedure, data is identified as potentially relevant by lawyers/law firm and placed on legal hold. Evidence is then extracted and analysed using legally acceptable cyber forensic procedures. This includes the stages of identification, preservation, collection, processing, review and production.

These issue must be properly managed as per the techno legal requirements existing in India otherwise the adduced information, documents and evidence may not be relevant and admissible in the court of law.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Legal Issues India

Optical character recognition (OCR) is one of the most important stages of e-discovery or cyber forensics process. OCR is the process where images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text are converted into machine-encoded text using the mechanical or electronic conversion.

The main purpose of OCR is to digitise printed texts so that they can be electronically searched, stored more compactly, displayed on-line through virtual data rooms, and used in machine processes such as machine translation, text-to-speech and text mining. OCR is also very important for presenting and defending claims and obligations in civil and criminal proceedings.

OCR, e-discovery and cyber forensics are sometimes combined while investigating financial frauds and crimes, serious frauds, forensics audit, white collor crimes, corporate frauds, fraud risk analysis, IT and cyber frauds, etc.

However, there are certain techno legal issues that must be taken care of while engaging in the OCR activities. If these techno legal issues are not followed properly, the end OCR product may not be admissible in a court of law or other investigation.

Further, only relevant material must be converted into legally admissible electronic records, including OCR. A proper chain of custody must be maintained at all stages of converting printed and other text documents into digital documents and OCR.

There is no sense in converting the entire paper based document s in to electronic format as not all electronic versions would be relevant to the case or investigation. Even lesser electronic records and OCR would be held admissible in a court of law.

According to Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) the most important attribute while engaging in the OCR exercise meant for litigation purposes is to first ascertain the relevant documents and then convert them into digital format keeping in mind the admissibility criteria while following proper chain of custody. 

If you are interested in our techno legal services, you may contact us in this regard. See our techno legal services, cyber forensics services, US, UK and EU laws compliances, etc in this regard.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Electronic Discovery (E-Discovery) Challenges In India

Electronic discovery (e-discovery) in India is a novel field. With the active use of information and communication technology (ICT) in India, the requirements and demand for e-discovery services in India would increase.

However, e-discovery in India is also facing many challenges that India must tackle effectively to use e-discovery services in India. For instance, e-discovery for cloud computing in India, e-discovery for social media in India, e-discovery challenges for virtual data rooms and legal compliances in India, e-discovery and due diligence mechanisms, etc require special attention of Indian government and various e-discovery professionals and stakeholders.

E-discovery may also be useful for meeting the requirements of laws like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) of United States. Although India does not have a dedicated law like HIPPA and presently HIPPA compliances in India are not followed yet in future we cannot rule out this possibility.

Similarly, we have no dedicated data protection laws in India, data privacy laws in India and privacy rights and laws in India.  Of course, we have general laws and some of the provisions of these laws can be applied to data security, data protection and privacy protection in India. However, that is a temporary solution and in the long run we need dedicated privacy rights, privacy laws and data protection laws in India.

Recently the Supreme Court of India issued an interim order that reserved the legal practice in its widest possible manner to Indian advocates alone. This practically means that this restriction equally applies to e-discovery services in India. Thus, only Indian law firms/lawyers and Indian e-discovery LPO/KPOs of India can provide e-discovery services in India. Similarly, legal e-discovery services in India cannot be provided by any person or firm unless it consists of Indian advocates alone.

It is obvious that e-discovery challenges in India are going to be tough and all e-discovery stakeholders must be well equipped to deal with the same. Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) wish all the best to all e-discovery stakeholders in India and abroad.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

E-Discovery For Cloud Computing In India

Cloud computing is increasingly seen as a viable business opportunity in India. However, there are many problems associated with cloud computing in India as well. For example we have no dedicated legal framework for cloud computing in India. In fact, cloud computing in India is legally risky.

The importance of legal framework for cloud computing and its regulation in India is also evidence if we analyse the recently proposed national telecom policy 2012 of India. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also recommended a good legal framework for cloud computing in India. TRAI has approved many techno legal suggestions of Perry4Law in this regard, including the one pertaining to cloud computing.

The legal sector is also related to cloud computing in another manner. Cloud computing often involves regulatory issues pertaining to litigations and court cases. This is more so where electronic discovery (e-discovery) pertaining to cloud computing is involved. For instance, e-discovery for social media would be frequently undertaken in future, including in India. Similarly, virtual data rooms for legal compliances in India and elsewhere would be frequently used in future. These virtual data rooms may be based upon cloud computing technology.

Similarly, data rooms, legal compliances and merger and acquisitions are also closely related. In future, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions in India and world wide would be done in a cloud environment. This would have cost benefits and efficiency advantages.

However, electronic discovery (e-discovery) in India is still maturing. Individuals and organisations are still getting familiar with concepts like cyber law, cyber forensics, e-discovery, digital evidencing, etc. Further, Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) are providing the exclusive techno legal electronic discovery (e-discovery) services In India.

Perry4Law and PTLB suggest that both e-discovery and cloud computing need to have strong and effective legal frameworks. Te sooner it is done the better it would be for the e-discovery and cloud computing industry of India.