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Cyber Law Enforcement in Nepal
Implementation of legal measures need for IT boom
Bishnu K.C. (bishnuji)     Print Article 
Published 2006-02-08 00:55 (KST)   
Laws are established and enforced by the authority, legislation, or custom of a given community, state or nation to maintain orderly coexistence. Basically, cyber law deals with child pornography, cyber-stalking, cyber-scams, online fraud, software piracy and much more. Legal experts are working in this field to help educate and guide the Internet community on crime prevention and the reporting of cyber crimes. After many years of discussion and effort, recently the government of Nepal has crafted the much awaited Electronic Transaction and Digital Signature Act-Ordinance (ETDSA)-2061 (2004), popularly known as "Cyber Law."

This law has provided new trust to the Information Technology (IT) sector, and computer and IT professionals are hopeful that it will create a favorable situation for conducting IT business. It contains a strong provision of punishment against cyber crimes according to the nature of the crime. As per the provisions of law, the government is fully authorized to punish cyber criminals -- both an individual or institution.

To what extent "laws are made to be broken" is the big question facing all Nepali people now.

Cyber law exists in Nepal, but it has failed to address many problems. The law is not stringent enough for the holistic deception of cyber related crimes. Problems of online media, as well as fines and imprisonment, are not as big as in the U.S. and Japan.

Corruption is seen in every field. Big government and some private organizations are using pirated CDs. Even some security organizations responsible for taking action against this crime are seen as violating the rules. Software CDs can be seen in the footpaths of Kathmandu, which has decreased the value, as well as violated the newly implemented law of the country. People are crowding into these places because the price is low. People want just the CDs. Who cares about the quality and law?

Program CDs of great value are found all over the Kathmandu valley and prices range from Rs. 50-100 (U.S.$0.70 -1.40). Though this is not new to any Nepali citizen, it may attract the attention of some foreigners visiting Nepal. But even foreigners are taking numerous pirated software CDs back to their countries, said one seller on New Road in Kathmandu.

This problem is not limited to CDs. Even in cybercafes, children of young ages can be seen using porn sites. The proprietor of the cafe, not caring about the law, just wants all his computers to be packed. Different hacker software can be found in each individual's computer. Whenever anyone buys a new software CD, it is shared with all his friends and relatives. So, it has become a habit for all Nepali people to share CDs.

The misuse of the Internet can prove to be a haven for all kinds of abuses, but who is responsible for this?

Despite its disadvantages, the Internet has been a boon for all humans, regardless of age. It seems as if people who are used to it cannot live without it. One can say it has become a part of life. Everybody everywhere, in the cafes or in their vehicles, can be can busy on the net, either for information or fun.

The effective implementation of cyber law will be a necessity. Nepal will not be able to regulate the information technology industries without taking the international legal context into account. The main thing is that regulations are enforced. First of all, the authorities should be self-concerned before awaking the citizens. There still needs a lot of homework to be done if Nepal expects a boom in the IT sector.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, they are working on bringing out cyber regulations in the days ahead and we should expect it to be crafted very soon.

Since the computing field is a dynamic one, policies and laws related to this area need to be revised periodically to reflect the changing trends. At both levels -- the local as well as global.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bishnu K.C.

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