Saturday, October 31, 2015

Blog On International Legal Issues Of Cyber Attacks

Anybody who has dealt with international cyber law and cyber security related issues must be aware that it is really tough to solve such cases. Being transnational in nature, cyber law and cyber security issues require international cooperation among various nations and law enforcement agencies.

For instance, if a simple exercise of internet protocol tracking is undertaken, it takes months before any information is received from a foreign jurisdiction. Even in such cases, these are exceptional cases and not a general practice. In this process, the crucial digital evidence is lost forever and the cyber crimes investigation becomes a cold trail.

As there is a severe conflict of laws in cyberspace, it is very important to be aware of various technology related laws of various jurisdictions. However, it is not possible to be aware of all the laws of various jurisdictions. In order to spread public awareness in this regard, Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has been managing a dedicated blog on international legal issues of cyber attacks and cyber security. It is the exclusive techno legal blog on the topic not only in India but in entire world.

The blog has covered many techno legal aspects like use of cyber espionage malwares, need for the national security policy of India, legal immunity against cyber deterrent acts in India, open source intelligence through social media websites, protection of Indian cyberspace, national counter terrorism centre (NCTC) of India, cyber security challenges of India, cyber preparedness of India, the Wassenaar Arrangement and cyber security issues, intelligence agencies reforms in India, banking cyber security, techno legal analysis of Gameover Zeus, cyber crimes insurance in India, smart cities cyber security in India, etc.

As on date we have no dedicated cyber security laws in India. This is the reason why cyber security is more ignored than complied with in India. Even the blooming e-commerce industry of India is devoid of required cyber security practices and requirements. Cyber security of banks in India is also not upto the mark. This has forced the Reserve Bank of India to constitute a IT subsidiary that would consider, monitor and prescribe cyber security related rules, regulations and practices for banks in India. Even the Companies Act 2013 has prescribed cyber security obligations for the directors of companies. This is in addition to the cyber law obligations of banks and directors of Indian companies.

It is well understood that international legal issues of cyber attacks are not easy to handle. Nevertheless, Indian government cannot afford to ignore this situation and it must urgently work towards making Indian cyber security robust, resilient and effective. P4LO hopes that our readers would find our blog on international legal issues of cyber attacks, cyber law and cyber security useful.

Source: CSRDCI.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Google Censored Organ Transplantation Mafia News

In a gruesome incidence, the parents of a girl child claim that she was murdered for harvesting her organs.

An appeal to the Indian government has also been made to investigate into the matter.

Surprisingly our mainstream media did not cover the news. The only coverage can be found in the form of a news report here.

Unfortunately, this single news report has been censored and deleted by Google form its news sources.

It is really unfortunate and a miscarriage of justice for the parent of the deceased girl. Till the time of writing this post, we did not receive any response or assurance from Indian government.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Is Google Playing Stupid Or Is IT Actually Stupid?

Google is engaging in unreasonable manual action penalty and censorship of blogs in India and abroad. There are many blogs that have been censored by Google to further its own commercial interests with active disregard to civil liberties and freedom of speech and expression.

For instance, the following blogs have been demoted and subjected to manual action penalty by Google without any reason and justification:

Of late, Google has started playing ignorant and stupid while handing DMCA complaints. Google is removing the contents of copyright holders and DMCA notice sender instead of the infringer’s posts/search results.

Google has once against played stupid despite many communications from our side that clearly mentioned about the original source of copyrighted article and copyright infringing material.

Google has once again removed the original and copyrighted article instead of removing the copyright infringing material. Our article titled “Cyber Security Capabilities of India Must be Strengthened” has been shifted to draft folder by ignorant employees of Google.

It is high time for Google to stop these negative tactics that its employees are openly engaging in and do the needful as required by DMCA law and other applicable laws.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cyber Security Related Blogs And News Censored By Google

This is not the first time that Google has done so. According to media reports, Google is engaging in illegal blogs and news censorship in India. There are many news that has been censored by Google from time to time. The latest to add to this list is the news article titled “Cyber security in India is needed”.

For some strange reasons blogs and news pertaining to cyber security and cyber forensics have been openly censored by Google. The reason for the same is still unknown but Google is definitely aware of what is happening in its house.

This episode also gives rise to a question-is Google manipulating and abusing its dominant position and is engaging in unfair trade practices? Perhaps the competition commission of India and federal trade commission of US must initiate an investigation into this practice of Google.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Google Censored and Demoted More Blogs In India

It seems the affairs of Google are well beyond its control. From news censorship to blog censorship, Google has been doing it all. Initially it used to be a piecemeal work but now Google has been indulging in mass censorship and mass demotion of blogs.

Manual action penalty by Google is in abundance these days. However, what is surprising is the fact that Google is indulging in illegal and wrong manual action penalty and blogs and news censorship.

Even worst is the aspect that Google never discloses the reason for such censorship and manual penalty. The aggrieved person has no remedy to agitate against the wrong doings of Google.

The following websites have been demoted and subjected to manual action penalty by Google without any reason and justification:

(1) Cyber Forensics In India

(2) Cyber Security In India

(3) E-Discovery Services In India

(4) E-Commerce Laws And Regulations In India

(5) Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB)

(6) Corporate Laws In India

(7) Techno Legal Online Dispute Resolution Services

The list is just illustrative and we are investigating the issue. We would come up with more details in this regard very soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Google Censored Another News In India

Power companies in Delhi are openly engaging in excessive and exorbitant electricity bills charging that is not legally due to their customers. In the past, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) was punished by DERC for similar reasons.

This illegal money making exercise of power companies of Delhi is happening with active support of Delhi government that has not taken any action against the defaulting companies despite many complaints and protests.

Even the assurances of Delhi’s chief minister Sheila Dikshit proved nothing more than lip service. However, if this was not enough Google has been censoring news pointing towards such corrupt practices happening in open in Delhi.

Google has censored the news titled “Power Companies Defying Delhi Chief Minister’s Directions” at the instance of some of the power companies who do not wish to be exposed. Even the hand of Delhi government in it cannot be ruled out. This censorship exercise is not only wrong but is clearly illegal on the part of Google as it has not provided any intimation or/and option to counter false claims of such power companies.

Google has been censoring news in India for long and we believe it is high time to send a notice to them and ask for proper explanation in this regard. This is so because if Google is following Indian laws then it has to comply with the same for all purposes. On the other hand, if Google is following US laws then there is an obligation on its part to provide an opportunity to the aggrieved party to represent his/her/its case.

The unilateral action of censorship on the part of Google is therefore clearly illegal and needs to be checked legally. We are working in this direction and would update our viewers very soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Google Continues To Censor News In India

Google has been engaging in censorship and filtering of results in India for long. This includes censorship and filtering of blog posts, news, robots restrictions, etc. The latest to add to this list is the news article titled “Radia Tapes, Ratan Tata’s Privacy, Fundamental Rights and Public Interest” that has been censored on 05-09-2012.

The news article in question has nothing controversial but it is discussing about some of the most corruption related aspects of India. Perhaps, the article has brought out in public the dirty linen of Indian government but the censorship act of Google has also brought Google’s dirty linen in public as well.

It seems Indian government is not interested in putting the truth before the public at large. First it claimed that it has destroyed the Radia tapes and then it claimed that the investigation is still going on so the tapes are required to be kept in safe custody.

However, the Indian government has still not told the Supreme Court of India who leaked the tapes. It seems public interest is not important and all the Indian government is doing is hiding of the dirty facts and truths of Radia tapes controversy.

As opined by Praveen Dalal, managing partner of ICT law firm Perry4Law, “The Indian Constitutional Scheme is based upon “Balance of Rights” and no right is absolute in nature. In case of conflict between two Fundamental Rights, the Fundamental Right that strengthens and substantiate the Public Interest should prevail”. Hence if there is a conflict between Right to Privacy and Right to Information/know, information can be disclosed in certain circumstances to substantiate and strengthen Public Interest, opines Dalal.  

It is high time for Indian government to disclose who leaked the Radia tapes. Similarly, the Supreme Court of India must also keep in mind the balance of fundamental rights as citizens of India have a right to know about the corrupt practices happening within the governmental functioning.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Censorship By Google Using Hidden Robots Text File Restrictions

There are various methods through which Google censors and manipulates SERPs, news, blogs and other results. Google rely heavily upon the “crawling methodology” to produce results as per its own requirements. Google may create a 503 error or other such error. However, such an error is apparent if you analyse the webmaster tool.

It seems Google has developed another innovative method of censorship of posts that it finds controversial. Google seems to be manipulating the robots text file (robots. txt) to block even those posts and segments that are not, by design, supposed to be blocked.

The worst part is that it is done in a clandestine manner and you cannot do much even if you thoroughly analyse the webmaster tool.  Today I spend an entire day to understand why the post titled “cyber forensics and Indian approach” was censored by Google.

I analysed the webmaster tool and found the message telling me that the “health” of the blog titled Cyber Forensics in India is not in good shape. The exact message reads “Severe health issues are found on your site - Check site health”. Upon further analysing the problem, the webmaster tool told that “some important page is blocked by robots.txt”.

I first analysed the message that reads “Is robots.txt blocking important pages?” and it returned the message that reads “The page you are trying to reach does not exist (404)”. I then tried to analyse the important page that has been blocked by the robots.txt file and it gave me this page.

Before proceeding further, let us check the standard robots.txt file of Blogspot blogs. The standard robots.txt file in case of the present blog (and all other Blogspot blogs as it is similar except the blog address) is as follows:

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google

User-agent: *
Disallow: /search
Allow: /


It is clear that the only thing that has been disallowed by the Blogspot robots.txt file is the /search directory and its sub folders. All other directories and their sub folders are crawlable and accessible to not only Google’s bots but also crawling bots of other search engines as well.

Now when we clicked upon the important page that has been blocked by robots.txt file of our Blog, it took us here. Now this is absurd on at least two counts. Firstly, this is bound to be blocked due to the blocking of search directory so there is nothing unnatural as such. This cannot be termed as a “serious health issue” for the blog.

Secondly, there is no entry or record of the post that has been censored by Google at all. There is no error, either crawling or indexing. There are no malware issues. There are no pages removal issues involved as well.

Clearly, whatever happened to that post happened at the level of Google and Google owes an explanation to us in this regard. We are aware that we are not facing this issue alone and there are tons of examples where these issues have arisen and resolved at Google.

However, we saw no reason for the blocking, filtering, censorship or deindexing of our post. It is time for Google to explain.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Google News Censorship At Its Worst

A recent elaborative news article titled censorship of news by Google is forsaking its do not be evil motto has spilled all the beans about Google’s news censorship activities.

We also believe that posts that are legal and protected as part of speech and expression are deliberately censored and deleted by Google. They resurface again only after publicly criticizing Google in this regard.

The latest to add to this list is the news article titled Vodafone taxation, parliament, international treaty and taxation issues of India.  The same has been reported by the post titled Vodafone taxation dispute in India and censorship by Google.

Like Priyanka Sharma said, the trust and confidence in Google has long eroded and so is Google motto of not being evil. I hope someone at Google is reading these posts and would take notice of the deteriorating standards of Google’s civil liberty protection initiatives and efforts.  

Google Censorship: Vodafone Taxation, Parliament, International Treaty And Taxation Issues Of India

The latest in this regard is the news item titled Vodafone Taxation, Parliament, International Treaty And Taxation Issues Of India. The same was censored by Google within half an hour of its posting.

Google is, engaging in non accountable censorship in India with great disregard to speech and expression.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Can Google And Posterous Defeat Negative SEO By Malicious Competitors?

Negative search engine optimisation (SEO) has been messing up with Google’ search results for long. It is not possible to absolutely stop such malpractices and abuse of Google’s search engine results placement (SERPs) but Google has to tackle such evil practices with an iron hand. For the time being, Google seems to have been defeated by splogs and content farms that are engaging in negative SEO techniques.

These negative SEO techniques are also responsible for poor growth and bad search reflection of many genuine, hard working and original content creating websites. For instance, contents lifted from these original blogs frequently appear at splogs and Google punishes the original blog owner for the wrong doing of the splogger. In fact negative SEO and splogs are the main reasons why Google censors and manipulates SERPs, news and blog results.

Due to negative SEO Google believes that a genuine and original website is engaging in spam and link exchange behaviour but in reality this is not true. But Google still punishes the original and genuine website due to bad and malicious behaviour of others.

Now it seems Google has taken artificial and unnatural links seriously and has issued notifications to website owners to remove artificial, unnatural and paid links. But Google has still not explained how a genuine and original source website owner can get his own copyrighted contents removed from platforms over which neither Google nor the copyright owned content website has any control whatsoever.

The Google artificial and unnatural links strategy is still far from perfect as it has many shortcomings. Further, the DMCA procedure adopted by Google is also slow due to tremendous volume of DMCA complaints.

However, the worst nightmare while dealing with Google is that Google is not willing to take down splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods even when there is clear evidence provided to it in this regard. If a single post is removed after DMCA complaint, the splog would pick posts of other blogs and it would still remain active.

When there is a clear case of continuous and persistent copyright violation by a single individual or organisation, deleting a single post is not the right approach. Google and Posterous have failed to realise this fact while TypePad is doing the right thing.

It would be better if both Google and Posterous removes the offending blogs than the posts alone as a single individual or organisation that is manipulating many platforms does not deserve to remain on the platform. However, for the time being, these splogs, content farms and bad neighbourhoods are fooling Google and Posterous.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Google Is Taking Artificial And Unnatural Links Seriously

Spam blogs (splogs), content farming websites and bad neighbourhoods are big nuisances for not only the blog and websites owners whose copyrighted contents these splogs, etc pick but they are also greatly disliked by the people looking for relevant and authentic results through search engine results placements (SERPs).

This is the reason that search engines like Google regularly take action against splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods. Till now Google’s strategy in this regard was to silently demote these splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods either through algorithms like Panda update or through manual action penalty.

However, by and larger, Google has been defeated by these splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods. If this is not enough, the genuine, hard working and original content producers are punished for the evil deed of these splogs, content farms and bad neighbourhoods. Presently, Google cannot differentiate between original content producers and splogs and at times punishes the original source in its SERPs and search results.

Even after a valid DMCA notice to Google in this regard, Google takes 5 to 7 days to resolve copyright violation claims. This policy and method of Google needs to be changed as soon as possible. Even this policy of Google is illegal as per the Indian cyber law that does not allow such long period to Google and other Internet intermediaries to take corrective and appropriate action.

The only good thing about this entire episode is that now Google has started sending warning messages to websites/blog owners about artificial or unnatural links pointing towards their websites/blogs. We have been doing a herculean task of doing this on our own so far regarding our own websites/blogs and this notification system of Google may save many hours of labour on our part.

Google has recently sent such messages to many webmasters informing them of the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines violations. The idea is to check manipulation of Google’s PageRank. For example, buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link exchange schemes violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

However, Google is still unable to punish splogs, contents farms and bad neighbourhoods that deliberately use negative SEO to harm genuine websites/blogs. Even if proper DMCA complaints and link removal requests are made to Google, it refuses to tale proper action against the offenders and recommends contacting the owner of website directly.

In the Indian context this violates Indian laws and amounts to lack of exercise of cyber law due diligence. Google must seriously think about its Indian strategy in this regard as soon as possible to avoid civil and criminal liabilities.