Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wish all the Blog Readers a Very Happy New Year 2015

If we could stop for a minute to solve real problems facing humanity, instead of imaginary problems mystified with complex mathematics and vocabulary, we may be convinced to realize that education would have been one of the most luxurious adventures of mankind. If we don't have time to read a book in the New Year 2015, at least let us read and inculcate the thoughts of this message. It may make us think, to think is to expand, to expand is to gain and the thought process goes on. If we look on the bright side of things, we shall find enough to make us cheerful and happy. The most powerful thing in life... is our thinking, which has ability to change any situation. We often make two mistakes in our search of inner peace... focusing on things we cannot change, and ignoring things we can change.

As we all know that if we give smiles, they will be returned to us; if we speak pleasant, cheerful words, they will be spoken to us again. Our own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams we want to realize. Our words are the greatest power we have. The words we choose and their use establish the life we experience. Therefore let us live our moments for what we are, not for what we may become. Let us always find time to tell those people we love, that we love them, care for them, or whatever they mean to us in our life. Life is precious, and we need to be grateful for each day we are given. We should not have only dreams but set goals and achieve what we would otherwise dream! Let us smile in trouble that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Time heals all wounds, but only wisdom keeps them from reopening.

Making hundreds of friends is not a miracle. The miracle is to make a single friend like you who will stand by our side even when thousands are against us. The limitations of us are our own creation, designed to provide cover for our unwillingness to try. We should never be afraid to change our vision, set new goals, and challenge ourselves. Life is best experienced without boundaries; so let us live each day ceremoniously. In fact we are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to live by the light that we have. Let us stand with those whose stands are right, and remain with them while they are right. Let us seize the present opportunity; work with dedication and sincerity and enjoy it; this is the best reward that we can give to ourselves.  As we all came here, into this life, with our own music to play; each of us our own set of notes. Let's all play together nicely so that the world becomes a sweet music along the manuscript of life.

With these few words i wish you, your family and friends a very happy and successful year ahead.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Teacher and Mentor Professor Faizan Mustafa got SAARC’s Best Law Teacher Award 2014

Professor Faizan Mustafa who is presently the Vice Chancellor of Nalsar Law University Hyderabad got this year’s prestigious SAARC’s Best Law Teacher Award. In a unanimous decision, the high-powered jury consisting of Professor NR Madhav Menon, eminent jurist and Founder Vice Chancellor of NLSIU, Bangalore and Mr Lalit Bhasin, President of Indian Law Firms, announced the conferment of the award on Professor Mustafa.

The award, which carries Rs 1 Lakh cash, citation and a plaque, would be given on 6th September at Delhi by the Union Law Minister in the presence of eminent professors of law, judges and eminent lawyers like Ram Jethmalani and Fali Nariman. Earlier awardees include leading jurists such as Padamshree NR Madava Menon, Professor Ranbir Singh, Professor GV Ajjappa, Professor VS Mani, Professor Laxminath and Professor Mizanur Rehman of Dhaka University, Bangladesh. This is a known fact that the Professor Mustafa is a widely acclaimed scholar and commands great respect among his students like me. He introduced several courses such as Intellectual Property Rights, International Human Rights Law and Tourism Laws at AMU. I was the first person to opt the newly introduced course on Intellectual Property at AMU in 1997. He taught so well that created immense interest in the subject and ultimately IPR became my career option.

At NALSAR he designed and taught new courses like Diversity Management Law, Comparative Strict Liability Law, Multiculturalism and Minority Rights etc. He is the only academic who has been nominated as member of National Legal Services Authority, which is headed by the Chief Justice of India. He is a member at Executive Councils, Academic Councils and General Councils of various universities and has been on various committees responsible for searching new Vice Chancellors.

Prof. Faizan Mustafa started his career at Aligarh Muslim University in early 1990. As a LLM gold medallist, he served the university in various capacities like, Professor of Law, Dean Faculty of Law and Registrar. He was also engaged in various International activities like the drafting of Eritrean Constitution Professor of Law in Ethiopia and advisor in UAE. In Ethiopia, he was exposed to the civil law tradition, was required to teach High Court Judges and work under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister. The country had got a new constitution and he was the only Professor of constitutional law in the entire country. In UAE, he had the opportunity to found a business school and introduce the BBA-LL.B course.

I also have a privilege to work in close association with him in the foundation stages of KIIT Law School and National Law University, Orissa. At both places I worked with him in designing the curricula to promote integration of knowledge as he firmly believes that knowledge is at the intersections of disciplines.

Currently he is serving as the Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR University of Law and very active in writing newspaper articles and books.  He has already written eight books and around 120 scholarly articles some of which have been relied upon by the apex court. He believe that institution building activity is a cooperative venture and try to do his share as the Chief Justice of India’s and Chancellor's nominee to the Academic, Executive and General Councils of several institutions along with serving on various Search Committees for the appointment of Vice-Chancellors.

Law for him is an instrument of social change thus as the Senior Vice-Chairperson of Rural Litigation & Entitlement Kendra, Dehra Dun. He supported the filing of the country’ first environmental and ecology related PIL in the lime stone mining matter. RLEK also got voting rights for the indigenous people of Shivalik Hills i.e. Van Gujjars. He also got 19000 laborers accepted as bonded laborers by the Government and secured their release.

Nothing interests him more than cooking. I am also privileged to eat the famous dish the Akhni Pulao prepared by him. He enjoys teaching and has great passion for debating. He also represented India in various debates during his student life at AMU Aligarh.

His achievements are great motivation and a matter of proud for all of us and hope if we can inculcate some of his excellent skills in our personality.

May Allah provide good health and shower the choicest blessings on him so he can contribute more for the growth and further development of the legal world.

Friday, August 15, 2014

4th Mediation Workshop at College of Legal Studies, UPES

College of Legal Studies, UPES is one of the few pioneer law schools in the world including Harvard Law School which provides special training to the students to inculcate and improve the mediation skills. The University organizes this program twice in a year since 2011.

The 4th Mediation Workshop at College of Legal Studies, UPES is going to begin from 16th August, 2014 by very eminent personalities in India and the world who has made their mark in mediation and have resolved various complex disputes by mediation globally.

This year the mediation team has following personalities

Mr. Niranjan Bhatt, Sr. Counsel, Ahmedabad High Court
Mr. J.P. Sengh, Sr. Advocate, HC, Delhi.
Ms. Sadhana Ramachandran, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Ms. Veena Ralli, HC of Delhi

The team also includes two American Students Sophie and Carina who came to attend the program on a student exchange program.

Mr. Niranjan Bhatt happens to be the President of the Association of Indian Mediators while Mrs. Sadhana Ramachandran the Secretary of the association needs no introduction being the pioneers in India who promoted the very concept of Mediation and have trained several lawyers and law professionals in the last 15 years.

The Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral mediator who is trained to help people discuss their differences. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong or issue a decision. Instead, the mediator helps the parties work out their own solutions to problems. A mediation session usually lasts from 3 to 4 hours, although the time can vary depending on how complicated the case is. There is no charge to either party to attend the mediation. Mediation is a negotiation process in which a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in resolving their disputes.

A Mediator uses special negotiation and communication techniques to help the parties to come to a settlement. The parties can appoint a Mediator with their mutual consent or a mediator can be appointed by the Court in a pending litigation.  The decision to mediate is completely voluntary. If the parties do not reach an agreement at the mediation, the charge will be investigated like any other charge. A written signed agreement reached during mediation is enforceable in court just like any other contract. Mediation always leaves the decision making power with the parties. A Mediator does not decide what is fair or right, does not apportion blame, nor renders any opinion on the merits or chances of success if the case is litigated. Rather, a mediator acts as a catalyst to bring the two disputing parties together by defining issues and limiting obstacles to communication and settlement. One of the greatest benefits of mediation is that it allows people to resolve the charge in a friendly way and in ways that meet their own unique needs. Also, a charge can be resolved faster through mediation. While it takes less than 3 months on average to resolve a charge through mediation, it can take 6 months or longer for a charge to be investigated.

Mediation is fair, efficient and can help the parties avoid a lengthy investigation and litigation. Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. It involves an independent third party - a mediator - who helps both sides come to an agreement. Mediation is a flexible process that can be used to settle disputes in a whole range of situations such as: consumer disputes; contract disputes; family disputes; neighborhood disputes to name a few

Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing. The mediation programs in addition to helping the students to work through complex personal disputes, the mediators are also developing skills of the students that will benefit them throughout their legal careers. Active listening, assumption-checking, empathy and interest-probing are skills that are important not only to mediation, but also to virtually any practice of law.  If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to court. Details about what went on at the mediation will not be disclosed or used at a court hearing. Both parties share the cost of mediation, which will depend on the value and complexity of the claim.

The Law students should be interested in learning about mediation because being a more effective communicator helps the students in all areas of their life, personal (for instance, handling conflict with friends and family better) as well as professional (like understanding and clarifying what clients and supervisors are looking for). The role of the mediator is to help parties reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome that both parties are happy to accept. Mediators avoid taking sides, making judgments or giving guidance. They are simply responsible for developing effective communications and building consensus between the parties. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a common sense settlement agreeable to both parties in a case.

Monday, August 11, 2014

India Became the 17th Member of the Exclusive Washington Accord

After years of effort and several failures, India finally became the 17th member of the exclusive Washington Accord on Friday, 13th June, 2014. It will help to create equivalence of engineering degree programmes and allow Indians to practice engineering in other member countries. There are six international agreements governing mutual recognition of engineering qualifications and professional competence. In each of these agreements countries/economies who wish to participate may apply for membership, and if accepted become members or signatories to the agreement. In broad principle, each country/economy must meet its own costs, and the body making application must verify that it is the appropriate representative body for that country/economy. The credit for making India a member of Washington Accord goes to many individuals who worked behind the scenes for years.

The World Summit on Accreditation in 2012 was used for backroom diplomacy to allay fears about the Indian system. The process of accreditation had started during late Arjun Singh's tenure as HRD minister. During Kapil Sibal's time, India was made a temporary member. In January, 2014, a comprehensive audit of NBA was undertaken by the Washington Accord team.The oldest such agreement is the APEC Engineer agreement which commenced in 1999. This has Government support in the participating APEC economies.  The formal rules and procedures were developed for a six-year peer-review of signatories and for admission of new signatories, following a period in provisional status. For the crowded list of Tier-II institutions, NBA has given a roadmap so that they are well prepared to become members of Washington Accord. NBA has asked universities to allow affiliated engineering colleges to design at least 50% of the course. For instance, Washington Accord lays emphasis on teaching social sciences along with engineering.

The representative organization in each economy creates a "register" of those engineers wishing to be recognised as meeting the generic international standard. Other economies should give credit when such an engineer seeks to have his or her competence recognised. The Agreement is largely administered between engineering bodies, but there can be Government representation and substantive changes need to be signed off at governmental APEC Agreement level. Washington Accord will, however, not be valid for IT engineers. India will have to sign the Seoul Accord to create similar equivalence of programmes. Becoming part of Washington Accord also does not necessarily mean that all engineering degrees by all Indian colleges will get equivalence with those of other member countries.

NBA has shortlisted 220-odd engineering colleges as Tier-I institutes whose undergraduate engineering programme is in tune with what is required under the Accord. But even Tier-I institutes which include IITs/NITs/BITS Pilani besides many autonomous and deemed universities will now have to apply afresh to NBA and only after extensive verification of their programmes will they be declared fit to be part of Washington Accord institutions.

A massive redesigning of course will take place with emphasis on outcomes and letting students explore and innovate. The admission to the Washington Accord of the accreditation organisations in Hong Kong China and South Africa in the late 1990s and Japan, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Korea and Malaysia took the number of signatories to 11 by 2009. Since that year, the accrediting organisations in Turkey and Russia have become signatories. Currently there are also five organisations with provisional status. Many of the new and provisional signatories were mentored by established ones as they developed their systems.

Engineers should have knowledge of the environment so that they know how their work is going to have an impact on the ecosystem. They also need understanding of society, management and communication skills. Agreements covering tertiary qualifications in engineering. There are three agreements covering mutual recognition in respect of tertiary-level qualifications in engineering: The Washington Accord signed in 1989 was the first - it recognises substantial equivalence in the accreditation of qualifications in professional engineering, normally of four years duration.

The Sydney Accord commenced in 2001 and recognises substantial equivalence in the accreditation of qualifications in engineering technology, normally of three years duration. The Dublin Accord is an agreement for substantial equivalence in the accreditation of tertiary qualifications in technician engineering, normally of two years duration. The signatories committed to continue to share relevant information; allow their representatives to participate in each other’s accreditation processes and attend relevant meetings of their organisations; and to make reference to this agreement in publications listing accredited programmes. Agreements covering competence standards for practising engineers The other three agreements cover recognition of equivalence at the practising engineer level i.e. it is individual people, not qualifications that are seen to meet the benchmark standard. The concept of these agreements is that a person recognised in one country as reaching the agreed international standard of competence should only be minimally assessed (primarily for local knowledge) prior to obtaining registration in another country that is party to the agreement.

The Sydney and Dublin Accords for engineering technologists and engineering technicians were initiated in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Together with the three agreements for engineering practitioners, the IEA was formed in 2007, and the IEA Secretariat was created to assist with the administration of the accords and agreements and their development. The following organisations hold provisional status; Bangladesh Board of Accreditation for Engineering and Technical Education;  China China Association for Science and Technology; Pakistan Pakistan Engineering Council; Philippines Philippine Technological Council and Sri Lanka Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka

The International Professional Engineers agreement commenced in 2001. It operates the same competence standard as the APEC Engineer agreement but any country/economy may join. The parties to the agreement are largely engineering bodies. There are intentions to draw IPEA and APEC closer together. Whilst accord recognition strictly applies only to education programmes offered within a signatory’s territorial boundaries, the need to accommodate developments in crossborder education has required development of rules for out-of-territory accreditation and recognition. The rules agreed to in 2008 also allow for assistance to emerging economies that may be too small to operate their own accreditation system. The rules are currently under review.

The International Engineering Technologist agreement was signed by participating economies/countries in 2003. The parties to the Agreement have agreed to commence establishing a mutual recognition scheme for engineering technologists. In 1989 the six foundation signatory organisations from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and United States observed that their individual processes, policies, criteria and requirements for granting accreditation to university level programmes were substantially equivalent. They agreed to grant (or recommend to registering bodies, if different) the same rights and privileges to graduates of programmes accredited by other signatories as they grant to their own accredited programmes.

The adoption of graduate outcome specifications in tertiary education was paralleled by the development of the specification of consensus graduate attributes for the accords. Version 3 was adopted by the accords in 2013 as the exemplar of the educational requirements to be met by signatories. The signatory for each jurisdiction is the recognised organisation for accreditation of professional engineering qualifications. They are listed by jurisdiction, in order of admission to the Accord, with the current operating name of the accrediting organisation. 

1989 Australia Engineers Australia
Canada Engineers Canada
Ireland Engineers Ireland
New Zealand Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand
United Kingdom Engineering Council United Kingdom
United States Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
1995 Hong Kong China The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
1999 South Africa Engineering Council of South Africa
2005 Japan Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education
2006 Singapore Institution of Engineers Singapore
2007 Korea Accreditation Board for Engineering Education of Korea
Chinese Taipei Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan
2009 Malaysia Board of Engineers Malaysia
2011 Turkey MUDEK (Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Engineering Programs)
2012 Russia Association for Engineering Education of Russia

The Accord recognises that the members of the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE) operate similar accreditation processes to similar standards within Europe, and its authorised members provide the Eur-ACE label to accredited programmes. Four of the Accord members are also authorised members of ENAEE. There is a formal mechanism between the IEA and ENAEE to maximise mutual understanding and potential benefits of the two organisations.

The current signatories to the Washington Accord that together deliver over 7,000 programmes. The Accord requires a body that wishes to become a signatory to first apply for provisional status. The body must demonstrate it has an accreditation system that meets basic requirements. To proceed to signatory status the body must demonstrate substantial equivalence of its standards and processes in a review by a team drawn from the signatories, and be approved by unanimous agreement of the signatories.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Crime and Digital Forensics: Lessons for Mobile Users and Investigating Agencies

As mobile devices rise in popularity and sophistication, so does their use among people conducting illegal activities. For that reason, evidence from mobile devices is becoming increasingly important to law enforcement in fighting crime. In addition to no warrant being required to request a tower dump containing the mobile phone data of thousands of people to track down one or more criminals involved in a crime, privacy advocates also question what is being done to the data collected once an investigation is complete. In fact, digital evidence from a mobile phone led international police to the terrorists responsible for the Madrid train bombings that killed at least 190 people in 2004.
Digital forensics is a branch of science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, including computers, cell phones, and digital cameras. Every time someone uses a cell phone, a signal is sent out that pinpoints where the user is. Cell towers and the GPS features in some smartphones track where a phone is at any moment. Cell phone carriers can provide authorities with a cell phone’s location via proper court documents.
By exporting information from multiple digital devices (such as call logs from multiple cellular phones or e-mails from computers) and importing that data into an analytical software package, investigators using data-mining techniques can diagram and visualize a criminal enterprise or a timeline of events. This graphical representation can make it easier for investigators to understand the complex relationships in a criminal enterprise or for a jury to understand criminal activity and the possible connections among offenders in a courtroom presentation.
The law enforcement agencies require basic knowledge of tools for collecting and analyzing digital evidence from mobile phones. They are also required the efficiency of assessment of the current knowledge level in the field like Identification of tools available to collect digital evidence from mobile devices; Identification of all the cell phones in use that may become evidence in an investigation and a determination of how many can be forensically acquired and analyzed with the existing cell phone forensic solutions; Identification of the gaps in the number of cell phones in use and the existing cell phone forensic solutions for future technology development project.
Now mobile network operators receive occasional requests from law-enforcement agencies to provide communications information from a specific tower. These requests usually cover short periods and the information provided is only metadata. Metadata is information about the time, duration and destination of calls but not their content. Metadata can also include location data about a mobile phone, even when it’s not on a call. To successfully collect and analyze evidence from mobile devices, law enforcement needs tools that can recover system files, operating system information, applications, deleted files and unallocated space. Some available tools capture the logical image (what users can see without using special tools), which is only a portion of the phone's data storage capacity. However, law enforcement needs more tools that capture the entire physical image including deleted files, messages, photos and call logs. Often, the deleted data is extremely valuable to the investigation and provides more comprehensive evidence for prosecution.
The law-enforcement agencies can also use a technique known as a "tower dump", which gives police data about the identity, activity and location of any phone that connects to targeted cell towers over a set span of time, generally an hour or two. A typical dump covers multiple towers, and mobile providers, and can net information about thousands of mobile phones. The dumps are usually used in circumstances when police have few leads and can be a useful, powerful tool in tracking down criminals. But privacy advocates say that while they may be helpful to police, they also target thousands of innocent people and don’t have any judicial oversight. A request for non-content information on the use of a particular tower during a specified period of time may be lawful under certain circumstances. What we need is transparency as to what's being done and who is doing it. But we need a well-defined law regarding this type of data. Considering thousands of users are affected by tower dumps,  they should count for the number of those who are affected. Around 330,000 requests for metadata were made by law-enforcement agencies in 2012-13, according to the latest report published by the Attorney-General’s Department of Australia.
Cell phones contain call history, contacts, text messages, web browser history, email, a Global Positioning System (GPS), and other location information that police and law enforcement agencies find valuable. Evidence from cell phones can help investigators piece together motives and events and provide new leads. Now Smartphones and cell phones have become a regular part of criminal investigations because they are now owned by most people and provide information about a person’s whereabouts and a person’s contacts.
Tracking subjects via their mobile devices has been utilized for many years and has become very much a part of many, if not all, investigations. Cell phone records can identify calls made and received. You also can obtain the cellular towers that were used in the conversation, SMS (short message service), or data communication. The cell phone records hold latitude and longitude information and can be used as a historical reference to where the mobile device was at a particular time. In addition to collecting cell phone communication records, police also encourage citizens to use their mobile devices to report crimes and send in tips. Police often reach out to the public and make it clear to them when they need help in an investigation.
People can send their digital photos and videos of crimes in progress to call centers in some cities. New technology allows sent images to be directly added to the record of a related call, and be forwarded to emergency responders on their way to the scene. An example of such technology is CrimePush, a multiplatform smartphone app that allows users to report crimes quickly and efficiently.  It also gives users the ability to send multiple, GPS-tagged distress messages to designated emergency contacts. High-profile incidents throughout the world have proven how valuable mobile phone images can be to crime investigations.
The London bombings in July 2005 marked a turning point in news coverage and the role of camera phone images. Witnesses to the attacks used their cell phone cameras to record their experiences in the aftermath. Not only did it signal a new era of citizen journalism, but police in London were able to use the cell phone photos as clues to find the terrorists behind the bombings. Just this April, 2014 investigators of the Boston Marathon bombings collected photos and video from cell phones and surveillance cameras to aid their investigation. Seconds after the bombs exploded at the marathon, Jacksonville Beach, Fla., businessman and marathon runner David Green pulled out his smartphone and took a photo of the chaos developing. He then put his phone away and helped the injured. After officials released a surveillance video of the two bombing suspects, Green realized he had a picture of suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev walking away from the scene. Editors of The Associated Press were able to establish the authenticity of Green’s photo and established an exclusive arrangement for distribution of the photograph. In addition to photos and video, text messages are proving to be helpful in investigations. Text messages are more discreet and safer in some circumstances, such as kidnappings or burglaries. Many police departments throughout the country have text-a-tip programs that allow people to send anonymous text messages from their cell phones. In order to provide people with a confidential means of communication, text messages are sent to a separate third-party server where identifying information is removed and assigned an encrypted alias to ensure callers’ anonymity. Identifying a phone from its radio frequency fingerprint is certainly not far-fetched. It is similar to identifying a digital camera where the image metadata does not provide a serial number. From underlying imperfections in the lens, which are detectable in the image, the source camera can be identified.
To keep from being tracked and getting caught, criminals use evasion tactics such as modifying the built-in ID code in their cell phone or swapping out SIM cards, making it impossible for law enforcement to track the criminals down by relying solely on cell phone signals. German engineers found, however, that the radio hardware in a cellphone — a collection of components like power amplifiers, oscillators, and signal mixers — all introduce radio signal inaccuracies. When these inaccuracies, or errors, are taken together, as seen in the digital signal sent to a cell tower, the result can be read as a unique digital signal –a digital fingerprint. These digital fingerprints do not change even if the built-in ID code has been modified, or the SIM card has been swapped out. Law enforcement agencies may soon have a new tool at their disposal — a device that which distinguishes between cell phones based on their digital signal. This new technology was developed by engineers at the Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden in Germany.
A TU Dresden release reports that law enforcement officials can track criminals as they talk on their cell phones using triangulation of cell towers. To keep from being tracked and getting caught, however, criminals began using new evasion tactics such as modifying the built-in ID code in their cell phone or swapping out SIM cards – making it difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement to track criminals down by relying solely on cell phone signals. The technology developed by the TU Dresden engineers would allow law enforcement to overcome the criminals’’ evasion tactics.
Identity theft, stalking, fraud, pornography, illegal electronic surveillance, and theft of intellectual property are just some of the examples of crimes committed every day on mobile devices. A mobile device is simply a portable computing device, so any crime that can be perpetuated on a computer can be committed via a mobile device. The portability of mobile devices makes it difficult, but not impossible, to identify the source of an electronic crime. If a user is using a public wi-fi, a ‘burner’ prepaid phone, cloud storage, or any other anonymizing agent, difficulties in identification is compounded not only in 2G phones — but also defects are present in every radio device and even 3G and 4G phones. Law enforcement agencies will continue to be challenged to obtain the tools and the training to perform competent digital forensics investigations and keep pace with criminal activity. 
Serious criminals are extremely adept in using single-use phones and dumping SIM cards so new capabilities should be developed to help law enforcement. As the radio hardware in a cellphone consists of a collection of components like power amplifiers, oscillators and signal mixers that can all introduce radio signal inaccuracies.
When these errors are taken together, as seen in the digital signal sent to a cell tower, the result can be read as a unique digital signal –a digital fingerprint. Thus, whatever criminals do to their cell phone — short replacing the internal components of one phone with those of another phone — the phone will continue to emit a unique signal which can be read by a device and used to separate the particular phone out from all the other cell phones. This allows the police to locate the phone, and the criminal using it, by triangulating cell towers.

Source: technology Locating criminals by tracking their cell phones’ digital fingerprints Published 5 August 2013.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Challenges of Privacy and Information Technology

As the accelerating speed of technological advances is now an unquestioning reality. It is fundamentally transforming every aspect of our personal and business lives, every industry, and every country across the globe. However, it also has  the effect of fundamentally transforming the notion of privacy —  what it means to affected stakeholders (individuals, regulators,  organizations) and how each party can remain accountable in a  world that technology has turned on its head.

One of the most pressing privacy issues related to digital devices today is the increasing  ubiquity of bring your own device (BYOD) policies. According to Gartner, by 2018 up to 70% of mobile professionals will be using their smartphone to conduct work. As enticing as BYOD is for an increasing number of organizations, it is apparent that there are two sides to the BYOD coin: heads represents increased efficiencies; tails results in increased risk. And the risks are substantial. In 2014, we expect to see organizations continue to deal with a number of privacy challenges related to BYOD. Organizations need to maintain ownership of their information. With BYOD, this information is stored on devices that now sit outside the organization’s immediate control. To keep an eye on their data, organizations tend to install monitoring tools on employee smartphones. However, when implementing these tools, organizations need to be very careful that they are only monitoring the company’s data and not collecting personal information about their employees and others such as friends and family who may use the device.
The organizations can only collect personal information for a stated reason - and can use it only for that purpose. Among others things that mean a company that supplies a service can't sell its list of subscribers to another company's marketing department. Individuals must be informed, and give their consent, before personal information is collected, used or disclosed. But most firms are unaware of the new law and very few are prepared to comply. For any organization that already sends commercial electronic messages, they presumably comply with the privacy law, that requires organizations to obtain user consent, allow users to withdraw their consent, and provide the necessary contact information to do so.  Compliance with the new anti-spam law involves much the same obligations. While there are certainly some additional technical requirements and complications (along with tough penalties for failure to comply), the basics of the law involve consent, withdrawal of consent (ie. unsubscribe), and accessible contact information. 

While privacy does create some new obligations, what is not new is the claims that business is unaware and unprepared to address their privacy law obligations. The IT Act 2000 of India defines a ‘computer resource’; expansively as including a “computer, computer system, computer network, data, computer database or software”. As is evident, this definition is wide enough to cover most intrusions which involve any electronic communication devices or networks — including mobile networks. Briefly, then IT Act provides for both civil liability and criminal penalty for a number of specifically proscribed activities involving use of a computer — many of which impinge on privacy directly or indirectly as follows:  accessing; downloading/copying/extraction of data or extracts any data ; introduction of computer contaminant[3];or computer virus;  causing damage either to the computer resource or data residing on it; disruption; denial of access; facilitating access by an unauthorized person; charging the services availed of by a person to the account of another person; destruction or diminishing of value of information; stealing, concealing, destroying or altering source code with an intention.  The Act further provides for the civil remedy of “damages by way of compensation” for damages caused by any of these actions. In addition anyone who “dishonestly” and “fraudulently” does any of these specified acts is liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term of upto three years or with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees, or with both.

In N G Arun Kumar case of November 2009, The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai, sentenced N G Arun Kumar, a techie from Bangalore to undergo a rigorous imprisonment for one year with a fine of Rs 5,000 under section 420 IPC (cheating) and Section 66 of IT Act (hacking). Investigations had revealed that Kumar was logging on to the BSNL broadband Internet connection as if he was the authorised genuine user and ‘made alteration in the computer database pertaining to broadband Internet user accounts’ of the subscribers. The CBI registered a cyber crime case against Kumar and carried out investigations on the basis of a complaint by the Press Information Bureau, Chennai, which detected the unauthorised use of broadband Internet. The complaint also stated that the subscribers had incurred a loss of Rs 38,248 due to Kumar’s wrongful act. He used to ‘hack’ sites from Bangalore as also from Chennai and other cities.

In 2014, as organizations begin to think about the endless possibilities associated with the “internet of things” — nanotechnology, product sensors, sensor-driven analytics and sophisticated tracking capabilities — they also need to think about the privacy risks. There is a strong possibility, for example, that when an organization embeds a tracking mechanism into a product or service, it has not first sought the permission, either implicit or explicit, of the consumers being tracked. And when consumers find out, chances are they’re going to be irate. These kinds of privacy gaffes erode the very trust many organizations are attempting to cultivate to create the ultimate customer experience.
There is no question that the internet of things holds huge promise for an organization to vastly improve its strategic trajectories and business models, generate efficiencies and lower costs. However, this promise needs to be balanced against the privacy that consumers innately expect, and the privacy that they will demand alongside their customized customer experience. In 2013, participants at the 35th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners continued their progress by adopting eight new declarations and resolutions that delved deeper into the issues raised the year before. Four resolutions focused on technology challenges (appification, profiling, digital education and webtracking), two addressed better coordination among jurisdictions (enforcement coordination and international law), and one urged greater transparency on what data organizations are collecting and why (openness).
At a more granular level, many government bodies at federal and state levels are continuing to update their breach notification laws. Unfortunately, the massive intelligence leak by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has cast a pall on the goals of cooperation. In fact, the Snowden affair has so eroded trust among nations that the European Union is considering a motion to suspend the US–EU Safe Harbor Framework. Once a respected guideline for US organizations to provide satisfactory protection for personal data of EU residents as required by the European Union’s Directive on Data Protection, the Framework now lies in limbo. This leaves Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) as one of the few frameworks available for global organizations to adhere to when seeking to transfer data of EU residents across borders.
In 2013, a number of jurisdictions around the world improved or expanded their privacy regulations. We expect similar progress to occur around the world in 2014. With the emerging global digital economy and the increasing popularity of cloud computing services, legislation which reinforces trust in the market will be a key driver for business growth as follows:
Brazil: Brazil seeks to mandate that global internet providers store data gathered from Brazilian users within Brazil.
Canada: Bill C-475, working its way through Parliament, would unify and strengthen the country’s approach to breach notification.
US: Although US lawmakers continue to push for a federal data breach notification law, Congress continues to debate whether federal law should supersede state laws.
Australia: In late 2012, the Australian Parliament passed the Enhancing Privacy Protection Act. The Act is set to take effect in 2014.
China: In late 2012, China’s standing committee of the National People’s Congress approved a directive that strengthened online personal data protection. That directive came into force in February 2013.
 Singapore: Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2013 came into force in 2013.
EU: Under a policy implemented in August 2013, European communication services providers are now required to notify not only affected individuals but their respective national authority within 24 hours of detection. EU: Crafted in 2012 and expected to pass in 2014, the EU General Data Protection Regulation is designed to simplify and strengthen the European Union’s data protection framework. Instead of adhering to requirements from 27 individual data protection authorities, organizations will only have to address one set of data protection rules.

One solution, which is becoming more feasible as smartphones become more powerful, is the partitioning of the devices. This would allow employees to essentially operate two different desktops — one for work and one for personal. The other option is the use of a guest network that is separate from the main network. Organizations could create a “sandbox” where company data would reside, separated from any association with personal data, applications or online services. Organizations need to be vigilant when collecting data from social media. Consumers are voluntarily providing intimate details about themselves. Organizations need to respect their privacy, even when the consumers themselves aren’t, by anonymizing the data before using and sharing it. Anonymous data can still provide deep insights into trends and opportunities, but with a much smaller privacy impact. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

World IPR Day Celebration 2014 at IPR Cell College of Legal Studies, University of Petroleum & Energy Dehradun

It gives us immense pleasure to invite you to the World IP Day celebration, 28th April, 2014. The event is being organized by the IPR Cell of College of Legal Studies, UPES in association with UCOST (Uttrakhand State Council for Science & Technology) R & D (UPES) and Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE). The celebrations will include IPR awareness, a brief video on intellectual property, Debate and Essay writing competition where any undergraduate and post graduate student is welcome to participate irrespective of the discipline. There will also be release of the draft UPES IPR policy, a poster presentation and exhibition highlighting creativity and innovation of the students.

In 2000, WIPO's member states designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP.  Since then, World IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of music and the arts and to driving the technological innovation that helps shape our world.

It gives me immense pleasure in saying that the UPES has emerged as a premier institution and the first Indian Energy University, working towards building the nation by creating skilled professionals to drive the economy. Its College of Legal Studies (CoLS) is a unique domain-specific college with specialization in courses such as Energy Law, Corporate Law, Cyber Law and IPR. In furtherance to our objective of becoming a distinctive and successful institution in the domain specific sector, the College organized various events regularly. This World IP Day celebration aims to keep alive the importance of IP in the business world.

Your presence will not only be an honor for the College of Legal Studies, UPES but also will provide an opportunity for the students to get to know the values you cherish and practice in your life.

We look forward to be privileged by your presence at the IP Day celebration.

Thanking You,
With Best Regards,

Dr. Tabrez Ahmad
The World IP Day Celebrations 2014.
In-charge- UCOST IPR cell CoLS UPES

Professor & Associate Director, College of Legal Studies, UPES

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Challenges of Nuclear Energy

Due to the fast expanding requirements of every nation we cannot continue to rely primarily on fossil fuel for energy security. According to the Department of Nuclear Energy of the IAEA which makes two projections, one low and the other high, the world could see a significant shift in reliance to nuclear energy. It is revealed that the total production of electricity could vary from 447 GW(e) in 2030 (low projection) to 691 GW(e) in 2030 (high projection). Accordingly, by 2030, the increase in electricity production could be 25 percent or 93 percent respectively. Further, by this time, the number of countries generating nuclear energy could increase from the present 30 to 50.

The disastrous effect on climate that the use of fossil fuels and beget, their exhaustible nature and the absence of any other viable alternative that could satisfy the fast growing energy needs of the world striving to achieve economic growth have propelled the reversal of the policy of abandoning nuclear energy as the focus of the future. The decision by India govt. is also the same. But the greatest challenge is safety and security. Due to the increasing dependence on atomic energy, it would be imperative for both the operators and regulators to create a culture of highest levels of  energy management and safety.While operators have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the highest safety standards, the regulators ensure that they are followed without any deviations and undertake their obligations. In order to operate at efficient level, it is must to have the required engineering, financial, and management capability to built, manage, operate and follow the highest safety standards.

The operators and regulators in the entire world function under a global nuclear safety regime. The regime is a collective international enterprise that sets safety parameters for all the operators and regulators, monitoring the progress and safety measures in place, and building competence among them. The adoption of higher safety standards by individual countries will not only enhance the credibility of the global regime but will also help in assuaging the fear of the civilian population to the establishment of nuclear plants. Now it is the need of hour that every nuclear power should ensure the adoption of safety measures.

As the technical assistance is provided by various international organizations like IAEA, NEA and WANO for the upgradation of safety standards. India requires to modify its regulatory structure and norms to make the generation of nuclear energy safe and viable. As the prospects for nuclear energy development in India and the possible trajectory India's civilian nuclear energy programme could take a survey of the best international practices relating to safety, security, liability, management and ENR transfer operations and suitable recommendations there for the existing legal and institutional structures in India and the need to build a nuclear regime in the country that would be more responsive and accountable to the concerns and needs of the public. Now there is great need that Indian government should enact a nuclear liability Law to make India a partner in the international nuclear energy regime.

Source: IDSA Task Force Report. Development of Nuclear Energy Sector in India ( )

4th Dr. Paras Diwan Memorial National Energy Law Moot Court Competition; 3 - 6 April 2014.

Dear Sir/Madam,
It gives us immense pleasure to invite your esteemed institution to participate in the 4th Dr. Paras Diwan Memorial National Energy Law Moot Court Competition 2014 which will be held from 3 - 6 April 2014.
This flagship Moot Court Competition is conducted every year to commemorate the legendary      Dr. Paras Diwan, a renowned legal luminary, acclaimed jurist, and a writer par excellence. The competition seeks to sensitize the law students to the developing domain in Energy Law and policy, both national and international and provide a platform to students to understand the complex and emerging issues involved therein.
We request you to kindly nominate a team of three students of the undergraduate law programme of your institution to participate in the competition.
You may confirm your participation by mailing us at The duly filled in registration forms should be sent by e-mail along with a scanned copy of the DD of Rs. 3500/- on or before 21 February 2014. In addition, kindly post (Speed/Registered) the original registration forms along with the DD which must reach us on or before 7 March 2014. The maximum number of teams that can be accommodated for the competition is 20 based on defined criteria.
For further details regarding the Moot Competition, Moot Problem and the rules, kindly visit the website of our university (visit the Events page).
We look forward to your participation.

For any further queries you may contact:

Harsh Vardhan Singh:+ 91 9045452789

Aditya Prasad Palai: +91 7895181554

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,
Professor & Associate Director,
Chairman-4th Dr. Paras Diwan

 National Energy Law Moot Court Competition