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Table of Contents  Article 1  Article 2  Article 3  Article 4  Crossword Puzzle  Trivia Section  Resources

Hackers can cripple India’s power grid It is possible for an adversary or a group of hackers to cripple India's power grids through a cyber attack ; although this is an unlikely reason for the recent power outages that crippled much of north, east and northeastern India. Since the first power trip up on Monday, there have been discussions within the security establishment about the possibility of entities trying to carry out a sophisticated cyber attack to cripple the grids. Officials who carried out an audit of critical information infrastructure admit it is "theoretically possible" to cripple India's power grids through a cyber attack Despite such a possibility, the shutdown did not seem to have led to a crisis management procedure that aimed at ruling out or confirming a cyber attack. "Given the fact that our grids are vulnerable to a cyber attack , those responsible for managing grids should have a proactive policy to rule out cyber attack as part of their crisis management procedures," a senior official said. "But none of it was visible ," he added. Sources aware of contacts among power ministry, Power Grid authorities and those in both CERT-IN (Computer Emergency Response Team-India ) and NTRO ( National Technical Research Organisation) say there was no proactive effort by those responsible for power grids. However, both CERT-IN and NTRO are believed to have established their own procedures to ensure the shutdowns were not a cyber attack, having been brought on by massive over-the-limit withdrawals by states to supply electricity for pumps tapping groundwater in the absence of rainfall during this monsoon. Officials said the government is now discussing possible ways to speed up the setting up of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, which would act as the command and control centre for monitoring the critical information infrastructure of the country. The government is already setting up dedicated CERTINs for various critical sectors such as power and civil aviation. Officials point out to breaches reported from power grids in the US, cyber intrusion into the Iranian nuclear network and other such incidents around the world to warn that India needs to have a more robust crisis management procedure that includes proactive ruling out of cyber attacks.

Cambodian cyber law could shutter freedom of expression

Cambodia's secretive draft law on cyber crime is unreasonably restrictive, say its critics, far too widely drawn and, if passed in its current form, could close down one of the country's last spaces for free expression. In May 2012, the Cambodian government announced it was drafting a Cybercrime Law. Ignoring calls to allow public input, the government has kept the draft secret, confirming only that it plans to put the law before parliament later this year. Despite the government's opaque approach, an English translation of the draft was leaked to Article 19, a British-based freedom of expression advocacy group, which earlier this month posted it online along with a highly critical assessment. Article 19 warned that the draft "falls well below international standards on the rights to freedom of expression, information and privacy." And, it added, should it pass in its current form, it would jeopardize the space for free speech online - and that in a country whose media is largely controlled by the ruling party. "The government must hold full and meaningful consultations with civil society and must ensure that it complies with international standards on the right to freedom of expression, information and privacy," Article 19's executive director Thomas Hughes said. "In its current form the draft law leaves great room for the curtailment of free speech online."The draft's nadir is reached in Clause 28, whose vague wording criminalises a host of offences. Alleged transgressors would find themselves investigated by a committee whose members, not encouragingly, would be appointed by the ruling party. Among Clause 28's list of nebulous crimes are: damaging morals and family values; undermining the country's "sovereignty and integrity"; affecting "the integrity of any government agencies or ministries or officials"; inciting "anarchism" or causing insecurity. The consequence, said Article 19, is that anyone who displeases the government could be jailed for up to three years merely for expressing a view online that the ruling party doesn't like, or for offending corrupt officials in the cosy nexus of politicians, businesspeople and military that controls - and has long plundered - Cambodia's resources. Cybercrime Law is not the only controversial draft on parliament's schedule this year. Among the others are: the Law on Trade Unions - whose provisions have been kept secret; the Law on Associations and NonGovernmental Organizations; the Law on the Supreme Council of the Magistracy; the Law on the Status of Judges and Prosecutors; and the Law on the Organization and Functioning of the Courts. The last three, which were also drawn up behind closed doors, have passed the government's internal review and will be sent to parliament in the coming days. Cambodia's courts have long been criticized for being under the thumb of the executive, and there are fears that this legislative triumvirate will further weaken what marginal independence they have. "Each of these laws will have far-reaching impacts on the status of human rights in Cambodia, in particular with regards to freedom of expression, fair trial rights and freedom of association and collective bargaining," warned the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), an NGO. The argument over the draft Cybercrime Law comes as Cambodia enters its tenth month of political stalemate since July's general election, which official results show the ruling party narrowly won. But the 55 lawmakers-elect from the opposition CNRP are boycotting the 123-seat parliament, leading CCHR to call on the legislature on April 20 to delay adopting the three laws until MPs from both parties "have taken their seats and until broad and public consultations are organized on the draft laws.

Labour calls for tougher action against cyber crime Labour has called for tougher action by police and the intelligence services to tackle cyber crimes connected with child pornography and terrorism. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said such action was needed in the face of growing online crime and abuse. But, in a speech in London, she said it must be accompanied by stronger safeguards to protect privacy. Ms Cooper argued that the government "cannot keep burying its head in the sand and hoping these issues go away". She said: "In the face of growing online crime and abuse, and the use of online communications by criminals and extremists, the police, intelligence and security agencies need to be able to operate more effectively in this digital world. "But for them to do so, we also need stronger safeguards and limits to protect our privacy and sustain confidence in their vital work. "The oversight and legal frameworks are now out of date. That means we need major reforms to oversight and a thorough review of the legal framework to keep up with changing technology. "Above all we need the government to engage in a serious public debate about these new challenges and the reforms that are needed.“ Ms. Cooper said the issues involved were "too important" to be ignored because they had implications "for our liberty, our security, the growth of our economy and the health of our democracy". Last year, ministers hoped to include new measures on data monitoring in the Queen's Speech. The plans, which would have allowed the police and security services to track emails and other online communications, were blocked by the Liberal Democrats. Critics of the proposals denounced them as a "snooper's charter". Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said his party would not support any extension of existing laws which would end up with a "record kept of every website you visit and who you communicate with on social media sites". But senior Labour figures said technological advances were presenting new problems that must be addressed. Ms. Cooper said: "Online communication and technology is forcing us to think again about our traditional frameworks for balancing privacy and safety, liberty and security. "Perhaps most serious of all has been the growth in online child abuse. Last year the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency received 18,887 reports of child abuse - an increase of 14% on the year. "The police and security services have been under pressure to explain why they did not know more about the murderers of Drummer Lee Rigby, and why more is not being done to disrupt the use of the internet by violent extremists looking to radicalize young people.

Students Take on Difficult Problems in Cyber Law Lawyers immersed in the still developing field of cyberlaw are a bit like Star Trek explorers, taking law where no one has gone before. As more of us connect to this virtual world, life has changed in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. The number of homes with Internet usage has risen from less than 10 percent of the U.S. population in 1995 to near 80 percent today—but the law is in catch-up mode. And there are growing pains. A winter course Difficult Problems in Cyberlaw, co-hosted by Stanford Law and Harvard Law and co-taught by Professors Jonathan Zittrain and Elizabeth Stark, took aim at some of the more intractable legal challenges in the field. “Facebook has more members than many countries have citizens,” says Zittrain. “When you understand the impact that a single company in this space can have on the public, on clients, on nonsubscribers, on users—when you grasp that, you start to realize that Internet policy and cyberlaw are very significant—and have huge consequences.” Held at Stanford Law, the course brought together 20 JD and advanced degree students from Harvard and Stanford to tackle real-life problems pertaining to Internet commerce, governance, security, and information dissemination. It explored overlapping themes including due process online among private enforcers, collaboration and reliance on the general public, and such issues as privacy and anonymity on the Internet. The Internet was both subject and vital tool, with research, presentations, and proposed solutions shared on a class wiki. It was an intense three-week course that included daily classroom sessions, excursions to outside experts at companies such as Google and Facebook, and visits to the class from Internet startup founders and executives such as Craig Newmark from Craigslist and Mike 
Godwin from Wikimedia Foundation. That Internet luminaries like these agreed to spend time at Stanford listening to student presentations—and offering input—seems extraordinary. But, Zittrain says, Stanford Law School’s good relationships with many of Silicon Valley’s business leaders made all the difference—as did the benefits these executives would receive in return. “If you’re running a startup or even a more mature firm, it’s rare that you have a chance to take a step back from what you’re doing to think about the larger issues and how the issues might play out across companies and spaces,” says Zittrain. But it was a heady—and exhausting—threeweek ride for the students. “We were sort of developing the game plan while playing the game,” says 
Frances Lee, LLM ’10, an IP lawyer from Canada, noting that the course was not cyberlaw per se and students were encouraged to push beyond law to find solutions in the short period of time they had. “We’re in a legal vacuum right now, not quite sure how to apply the law to cyberspace. It’s what makes this field so interesting.” Rather than focusing on theory, 
students researched and proposed solutions to real problems. “I’ve never had a course that encouraged students to go out and try to fix something.

Advice Column  When looking for cyber law advice, think about contract law

first. For example, your legal rights with Facebook start with the terms of service on their network. Whether you read them or not, when you click "I accept" you have entered into a contract with Facebook that governs your rights, where you can bring a complaint, etc. They may be boring, but should be read carefully before you set up an account with any network, game or online service.  Consumer protection laws dovetail with user-agreements to provide even more protection. If a network, game, service or website tells you they do something and don't, you may have a consumer protection action. These are typically handled through state, city, provincial and national consumer protection agencies and attorneys general

Crossword Puzzle • a law relating to Internet and computer offenses • something you have to unlock things • an attempt by hackers to damage or destroy a computer network or system • a critical part of any governments' security strategy • information that only you know and dont want anyone else to know • a gesture, action, or sound used to convey information or instructions • forceable act • something only you know to get into things where your personal items are locked

Trivia Section  

True or false- when looking for advice think about the contract law first This is considered stealing information, usually from a computer_____________  __________Is a global system of interconnected computer networks  Laws, or a specific law, relating to internet and computer offenses is called____________  True or false- Cyber threats involve only direct threats to harm someone else

Word Box Cyber Law Protection Hacking Computer Privacy

References 

012-08-02/news/33001456_1_cyberattackpower-grids-blackout   05/students-take-on-difficult-problems-incyberlaw/

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