Indian Domain Name Registrars Are Defeating Digital India And Startup India Initiatives

 

3D Man trying to climb wall

Update: We thanks InRegistry, MeitY And Net4India For their timely resolution of the issue. The issue stands resolved as on 28-04-2018.

Digital India and Startup India are two of the most prominent flagship projects of Indian Government. InRegistry And NIXI are promoting .in domain names as the base for Digital India and Startup India projects. They have reason to do so but their efforts are continuously jeopardised by Indian registrars like Net4India.

Net4India has a very unprofessional approach towards its customers. It keeps on harassing them and instead of providing solutions create more troubles and hurdles before them. Recently we had a stint with Net4India and we decided enough is enough. Someone has to take a stand against the unprofessional environment created by registrars like Net4India.

It all started when Net4India provided a branch address where people can communicate and send their communications and letters. We placed a renewal order for domain names odrindia.in and electroniccourts.in and for renewal of hosting for another domain ptlb.in. As you can see there are three .in domains involved in this renewal order. We dispatched the cheque for renewal order through Trackon courier on 19-04-2018. We also kept on asking Net4India to renew our domains and hosting as the consumer empowerment portal of Resolve Without Litigation (RWL) was one of the domains that went down due to policies of Net4India.

However, our domains were not renewed by Net4India even on 25-04-2018 and on further communication Net4India even threatened to put our .in domains in “redemption period”. Frustrated with the non renewal of our domains, we decided to conduct an investigation on two fronts. We first picked Trackon and after initial investigation we came to know that Trackon was unable to deliver our courier to Net4India as its office at the specified address was permanently closed. We asked Net4India about this aspect but Net4India flatly refused closing of its branch office. In fact, an executive of Net4India even claimed that the branch office remains open all days during the office hours.

Till now it was clear that either Net4India or Trackon was lying. So we started a detailed investigation with Trackon and after getting all the details were convinced that Trackon was right in its claim. The desginated office was always closed. With this information in hand, we asked Net4India to give in writing that its specified office is a valid place for business and services. The executive at Net4India promised to do the same but she deliberately refrained from doing so.

We were facing similar problems with Net4India at its Sarita Vihar office in the past from where couriers and speed posts were always returned back and we were regularly sending the couriers at the Noida branch address that was the last known branch office address of Net4India. There was no problem with the Noida address and it was working fine but changing it to 139-A-1 S/F Mohammadpur, New Delhi 110066, India created the real problem. Any reasonable person would expect in these circumstances that the Noida arrangement would also apply to Mohammadpur address and we send the courier to Mohammadpur address that was claimed to be fully operational by Net4India till last moment.

Realising a legal action, a senior executive of Net4India placed a call and claimed that the Mohammadpur address was a bug issue in the website and claimed that Sarita Vihar address has been substituted with the Mohammadpur address. He was not aware that courier and speed posts are not accepted at Sarita Vihar addres for years. Net4India also refused to pick up the renewal cheque from our residence that meanwhile returned back and insisted that a fresh courier should be dispatched at Sarita Vihar address not knowing that such fresh courier would never be delivered at Sarita Vihar address.

At this stage we involved InRegistry and NIXI in the loop and submitted all the documents that clearly proved our version and also proved negligence, mala fide intentions and cyber contraventions by Net4India. We demanded unconditional and instataneous renewal of our domains and hosting services and a compensation of Rs. 5,00,000 (Five Lakh) for mental harrassment, agony and cyber contravention committed by Net4India under Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000). As InRegistry and NIXI were slow in responding, we also involved the Secretary of MeitY and the Minsiter Of MeitY Shri. R.S. Prasad. Now we are pursuing the matter further so that it can reach a logical conclusion.

But one thing is for sure. The suggestion of InRegistry and NIXI to use .in domain names and Indian registrars is a big trap and a sure shot method to defeat Digital India and Startup India projects of Indian government. Foreign domain names and registrars are much more professional and law compliant than registrars like Net4India. So if you plan to purchase a domain name, do not go for an .in domain name and Indian hosting and Indian registrar as your full fledged projects can be destroyed within seconds and InRegistry, NIXI and MeitY would do nothing.

We would update our viewers from time to time in this regard and would also upload the documents at this article so that negligence, mala fide intentions and cyber contraventions by Net4India can be known to world at large. Any remedy or action by InRegistry, NIXI and MeitY would also be discussed by us.

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An Open Letter To DoT And TRAI For Their Inaction Against Aircel Despite Clear Evidence

Till now everybody is aware of the Aircel fiasco from which Aircel employees and its customers are suffering. This is the first time that a telecom company has unilaterally decided to disrupt its networks and forced retrenched its employees. The position of Aircel employees and its customers is worst possible as they are not getting any justice and remedy from government side.

we at PTLB are trying really hard to ensure justice to Aircel employees and its customers. We are strengthening access to justice and justice for all when our own Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) have failed to take a concrete action against Aircel.

However, we sincerely appreciate the help of top brass of Central Government for accepting our request to ensure salary payment of Aircel employees and temporary restoration of operations of Aircel.

We have also requested the Central Government that if government is interested in revival of Aircel, it may consider extending the carrier support of MTNL and BSNL at appropriate circles. Both MTNL and BSNL can help in managing the network coverage for Aircel on temporary basis.

We are posting regular updates about the Aircel issue and stakeholders interested in this aspect may follow this thread at twitter. While DoT and TRAI are still engaging in red tape behavior yet we are sure that top brass would help us again in this regard. Handle @_PTLB has already escalated this issue to the top brass.

Here is the open letter that PTLB has sent to top brass, DoT, TRAI, etc:

“Dear Sir/Madam

Thanks for the mail. We would surely do the needful, if needed.

But we have our own dispute resolution and grievance handling platform that is helping both national and international stakeholders for various matters. This ticket has been generated using the same.

Further, if we are truly following a good governance model, we should not be rigid about procedures and formalities. You have sufficient details and information about the grievance that is otherwise also available through media and newspapers.

How would we lead by example if we fail at this basic test of Digital India? Our platform has helped many consumers of Aircel and other telecom services providers and we are doing it as part of our social legal obligation and free of cost.

You are requested to update us about the action that you have already taken or you propose to take against Aircel for illegal network disruptions.

As you have sufficient and actual knowledge of the issue, we expect an early response and resolution from your side now. Please do not send us the scripted reply anymore and take some concrete action.

We have already covered this issue and would also update the same very soon.

This communication would also be posted as an open letter on our portal(s) so that customers would be able to get first hand information about acts or omissions of your esteemed departments.

Thanks in anticipation.

Regards

PTLB”

We hope the Central Government would consider the case of Aircel employees and customers with sympathy and compassion.

PTLB Is Strengthening Access To Justice And Justice To All When DoT And TRAI Failed To Do So

Update: See the open letter by @_PTLB to Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and TRAI in this regard on 03-04-2018.

Aircel was one of the best telecom service providers in India so far. However, in the mid of February 2018, Aircel suddenly stopped giving services to customers in almost all of the States in India. At that time Aircel was contemplating filing of bankruptcy petition after changing its board of director composition but it kept that information secret. To keep its customers occupied, Aircel lied to them about technical problems. But very soon its intentions to file a bankruptcy petition were made public and a bankruptcy petition was filed by Aircel.

The National Company Law Tribunal’s Mumbai bench will hear on March 8 Aircel’s plea for bankruptcy protection under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. Aircel, running a debt of Rs 15,500 crore to lenders, besides thousands of crores to operational creditors, sought an urgent hearing on the matter, saying it needs to resume operations. This is natural as well and the NCLT would hear Aircel bankruptcy plea on March 8, 2018.

This bankruptcy proceeding is not within the purview of this article and we at PTLB are with Aircel in its hard times. But we strongly condemn the deceptive behavior of Aircel through which it misled its customers in India. This article intends to make public aware about the sad condition of consumer rights that are openly violated in India and authorities like Department of Telecommunication (DoT), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), etc remain moot spectators.

We at Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) are managing few techno legal projects that are ensuring access to justice and justice to all in India, especially for the marginalised segments. These include projects like E-Courts 4 Justice (EC4J), Resolve Without Litigation (RWL), etc. To spread public awareness and to make Indians sufficiently trained to use these services, we have opened a training cum awareness platform. The same is known Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) And Cyber Arbitration Platform. Here any person can open a dispute resolution ticket and we at PTLB fight for such person to strengthen justice for all in India.

As the problem of Aircel created all India ramifications and we were also affected by it, we created a ticket at ODR platform of PTLB. DoT, TRAI, etc were made parties to the same and a grievance was lodged with government department/authorities. This was done as both DoT and TRAI failed to comply with its legal obligations and protect consumer rights of telecom customers of Aircel.

One may ask why we need DoT and TRAI at all if they cannot perform simple task of protecting interests of telecom customers. Indian government is boasting about mobile manufacturing capabilities of India but what would we do without mobile connectivity and broadband facilities. Digital India is a complete failure has been sufficiently proved by Aircel fiasco. This also proved that India cannot rely upon telecom services for its disaster management activities. A first responder relies heavily upon telecommunication and Aircel fiasco has proved that Indian crisis management and disaster reliefs is in doldrums.

We initially decided not to write this article but both DoT and TRAI forced us to write it. We would update all about any development regarding Aircel fiasco. For the time being, we are sending regular reminders to both DoT and TRAI. While DoT is simply forwarding tweet grievances to concerned TSP, TRAI is following its trademark style of remaining deaf, dumb and blind.

Forwarding of tweets by DoT is proving to be the counterpart of sending an aggrieved person from one desk to another in a typical government office of India. But patience of public is running out and some have decided to block roads to protest against Aircel blackout. This seems to be appropriate as well when DoT and TRAI are not willing to take any action against Aircel and Aircel is not making any commitment to restore services.

We would update all in this regard very soon.

How To Safeguard Your Bank Accounts And Money From Phishing Attacks

Digital payments provide mobility to our money and comfort to us. At the same time, money stored in the form of digital payments or online payment mechanisms are also vulnerable to sophisticated social engineering and cyber crime attacks. Phishing attacks are one such form of cyber attacks that target innocent people and make them disclose sensitive information and details. These details include passwords, PIN number, one time password (OTP), etc and once these details are obtained, withdrawing money from credit cards or online banking is very easy.

We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) And Resolve Without Litigation (RWL) are frequently approached regarding credit card frauds and cyber crimes related issues. We are presently dealing with cases of credit card fraud at State Bank of India (SBI) and phishing attack involving income tax refund. Through this post I am trying to raise some public awareness about the increasing menace of phishing in India.

Phishing is a popular method of social engineering in which cyber criminals use their persuasive power to trap gullible people and make them disclose the information that is crucial for withdrawal of money. For instance, once PIN or password is known, it is a piece of cake to withdraw money. In this post I would confine myself to phishing attack case as PTLB is handling the credit card fraud case.

It all started when TLCEODRI, an alert administrator of RWL India, caught the suspicious phishing attack on the early stage of its execution on 03-01-2018. However, action by user was not taken till 05-01-2018 and on that date the cyber criminal tried to withdraw Rs. 20,000. But the alert customer had already blocked the access to her Airtel money account and this saved her money. The ticket was created on 05-01-2018 and we are pursuing the case with Income Tax Department, Revenue Department, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), etc at the time of this article.

I gave the following interim suggestions in the meanwhile to safeguard her interest in best possible manner:

(1) Block all payments from all banks that are involved till you give further instructions to such banks,

(2) Change PIN/Password of all ATM/Debit/Credit cards immediately,

(3) Deactivate all Aadhaar payment systems, if any, temporarily,

(4) Most important, do not share any OTP sent to your mobile phone, and

(5) Register a mobile with your bank account(s) for record of debit/credit transactions.

Thereafter, we were informed that the cyber criminals are using e-mail spoofing by giving the address noreply (at)incometaxindiaefiling (dot)com. But once clicked, it takes you to a private domain name. This is what I suspected at the first instance and that is why I requested for the sender’s e-mail id once the reply button is clicked.

I also believe that the cyber criminals must have persuaded the victim to click on the web link purporting to be from Income tax Department’s website. Once clicked by the victim, it took the victim to an identical or fake website or webpage that is a clever and close imitation of the original website. Victims generally do not pay much attention and take the fake website to be real and submit all the information. This is how the password, PIN, etc were stolen from the victim in the present case. Nevertheless the final step of getting the OTP from the victim was still to be executed.

But what is interesting is the statement that the cyber criminals are trying to hack the mobile of phishing victim. This is natural as well as the OTP that would be sent to the registered mobile number is last defense for her and once that is compromised, money can be withdrawn easily. I reiterated the suggestion of not sharing the OTP with anybody.

Update 1: She received the second phishing e-mail with a different amount from the cyber criminals.

Update 2: She received 3 SMS notification from Idea AD-Verify as the cyber criminals are trying everything to get the money. They even tried to install a malware on her phone to steal the OTP necessary for completion of the online transactions.

At the time of writing of this article, no communication from the government departments has been received and I would update about this as soon as I get some information.

Update 1: We received an e-mail from Web Manager, Income Tax Department. He guided the tax payer to contact her Ward/Circle Jurisdictional Assessing Officer. We also added the e-mail id suggested by the Web Manager and included the Jurisdictional Assessing Officer in the communication/ticket. Any further response would be updated here and at my Twitter handle.

But what if after becoming a victim of phishing attack, the money is already withdrawn? For such victims, PTLB has already shared a very good article mentioning the legal rights and obligations of bank customers in such cases. The article covers not only phishing attacks and cyber crimes but also liability of banks for not managing a robust and resilient cyber security infrastructure. So if a bank customer can prove that bank failed to ensure robust privacy and data protection or cyber security, banks would be liable for all monetary losses.

I wish to discuss another related issue. What if such an event happens with any account linked to Aadhaar or such cyber crime happens due to Aadhaar? Well the answer to this question is simple. Aadhaar or no Aadhaar, liability of bank remains same. The Aadhaar Act, 2016 has in no way changed this position. So do not be fooled into thinking that for Aadhaar frauds and thefts you have no remedy. See this tweet of Praveen Dalal in this regard.

Also See: Aadhaar Act, 2016 Does Not Bar A Person To Sue UIDAI Or Private Companies Opines Praveen Dalal.

Be an informed customer and enforce your rights against banks, financial institutions, etc. If nobody is listening to you, we would love to help you. All you are required to do is to create a ticket at the platform of RWL India. But we have some conditions regarding Aadhaar for people who have not complied with our forms submission deadlines. Just keep that is mind and also see how we can best help you in your disputes and grievances. Once that is done, you can consider us as your friend and we would agitate on your behalf.

Credit Card Frauds Are Increasing At SBI And RBI Is Sleeping

Something very absurd is going on in the State Bank of India (SBI) that also within the actual knowledge of none other than Reserve Bank of India (RBI). There is a spate of credit card frauds in SBI and the bank is doing nothing in this regard. SBI is neither refunding back the stolen money nor is it strengthening its cyber security and banking security. This is despite the legal obligations that all banks are required to comply with regarding refund of stole money and establishment of robust cyber security.

So what exactly is going on at SBI? To get the idea, just follow a single discussion at Twitter regarding credit card fraud that is pending for redressal for the last two months. The mere fact that SBI has not been able to resolve the issue for 60 days is self explanatory. Credit card frauds are happening at SBI and neither SBI nor RBI is doing anything about this situation. Bank customers are running from one place to another with no remedy.

If a bank customer has promptly informed the concerned bank branch about any credit card fraud, it is the legal duty of that bank to not only refund the money quickly but also to investigate such credit card fraud. But banks in India, including SBI, are simply harassing the victims in the hope that they would not pursue the matter further. And this is happening as well.

If a victim of banking fraud has no remedy either at the bank level or at the RBI level, he/she can only hope that the government would listen to him/her. But our government not only lacks the will but also the necessary infrastructure to manage such disputes.

We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) are trying to fill this vacuum. We have launched a test online dispute resolution (ODR) platform few years back. If nothing works for a victim, he/she can open a ticket at our platform and we would help him/her in this regard. Just add the relevant documents either at the time of creating the ticket or when we reply back through e-mail and mention about the status of Aadhaar. Once this is done, we would pursue your cause as our own.

As mentioned above, we are currently pursuing one such ticket about credit card fraud that happened about two months back as per the creator of the ticket. We have given sufficient time to SBI to respond back but SBI is engaging in time wasting tactics and next level of action against SBI is needed. That is why we have written this article that would be updated from time to time till the matter is resolved. If SBI continues with its present approach, we would take few more steps and with every such step the accountability and legal obligations of SBI would increase.

We also offered to help SBI to resolve its debit and credit card frauds so that victims can get their money back immediately. However, SBI is not interested in early resolution of disputes for reasons best known to it.

We hope SBI would resolve the issue mentioned in the ticket immediately so that we need not to escalate this issue to next levels.

How To Get Best Out Of The Resolve Without Litigation (RWL) Platform

Get Best Out Of RWL Platform

Getting best results out of a situation is an art. Not everybody is good at this art and some are bright while others need a hand to steer them past the technical and procedural requirements of a platform. This equally applies to Resolve Without Litigation (RWL) platform that is using online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanisms to resolve disputes of various stakeholders outside the courts.

We have designed the RWL platform in most simple terms so that even a person accessing the Internet can use it. After all how much difficult it is to fill details of e-mail. name, phone number, etc in an online form? Still some people have found it difficult to comply with the simple requirements of RWL platform.

As we receive many tickets on a daily basis it is not possible to devote much time to tickets that are incomplete and faulty despite e-mail and Twitter reminders. We have no other option but to close such tickets and block such users from Twitter accounts of few participating handles.

I have personally closed few such incomplete tickets and blocked few such users at my Twitter handle and believe me it is a very painful process to do so. I do it because of absolute necessity as I have to devote my limited time to those tickets that are complete and participating. I cannot continue with a ticket that is incomplete despite e-mail and Twitter reminders.

We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) are here to help all stakeholders but if you try to waste our time, whether intentionally or inadvertently, we would take it very seriously. At the same time we would like to guide you so that you get best results out of RWL platform. So here are few things that you must keep in mind:

(1) Documentation: Any ticket is useless unless it is accompanied with relevant documents pertaining to the dispute. How would we analyse the situation and bring forward your cause and grievance before banks, government departments, mobile companies, etc if we are not aware of the situation at all?

So most important requirement is to attach document either at the ticket or separately at the e-mail. You can leave a message at the ticket itself and we would revert back through e-mail and Twitter handles. Simply attach the documents at the e-mail responding back to your tickets.

Option to attach documents is available at the end of the column of “Issue Details” or above Captcha. Files larger than 2 MB are not supported and you must attach the same at the e-mail of Perry4Law responding back to your ticket.

(2) Involvement Of Aadhaar: Next requirement pertains to informing us whether Aadhaar is involved in your case or not. This can be done by simply writing either Yes or No at the column you can find immediately above the Captcha.

The requirement of Aadhaar has been incorporated to see whether you have complied with the deadlines prescribed by us for submission of the Aadhaar refusal or Aadhaar delinking forms.

The next requirement? Well this is all we are asking for. Did not we say our platform is very simple to use and is user friendly. We look forward to help you in best possible manner in your hard times of disputes and agony. We would really appreciate your support and cooperation in this regard.

National Litigation Policy Of India Would Fail Without Use Of ODR And E-Courts

 

NLP, ODR And E-Courts

Why is it that legal and judicial system in India is in such a bad shape? The answer lies in lack of awareness, knowledge and use of techno legal policies to strengthen Indian judicial system. As a result cases keep on piling up and judiciary is not able to cope up with the ever increasing pressure and getting justice becomes a nightmare for general public.

Justice delayed is justice denied is an old saying now as we are directly denying justice these days. People are not getting access to justice and delayed justice is an option only after we get access to justice. Access to justice for marginalised people in India is even in worst condition and they have accepted injustice as part of their fate and lives.

Disputes and litigation have so much increased in India that they have overburdened our judicial system. Courts are struggling hard to cover the backlog of cases but the backlog keeps on increasing on a daily basis. This is primarily because of bad policies and administrative inefficiencies working at the government levels. For instance, why is it required for the government to even litigate when it is clearly on the wrong side of the law? Even if a decision is given against the government in such cases, it engages in unnecessarily appeals to further delay the desired relief to the victim.

We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) believe that 90% of the government litigation and 95% of its appeals are redundant and not required at the first instance. But government is not doing anything in this regard and this is unnecessarily overburdening the courts in India.

Many of such disputes can be either avoided or they can be resolved without litigation (RWL). Information and communication technology (ICT) can play a significant role in this regard as ICT can not only prevent unnecessary cases from entering into the judicial system but it can also eliminate the vices like bench hunting. Access to justice for marginalised people in India can also be enhanced using ICT. It is clear that ICT is going to play a major role in the governance of India.

But ICT for development (ICT4D) is not possible till we use proper technology in the best possible manner. For instance, if we unconstitutionally demand Aadhaar for filing a case, that violates not only Articles 14, 19 and 21 of Indian Constitution but that would also result in failure of justice. Technology should enable masses and not exclude them from the justice delivery system. As on date people are denied access to justice right from the stage of commission of crime. For instance, if a police station asks for Aadhaar and rejects a valid driving licence or passport for filing of FIR, it is violating multiple Fundamental Rights and statutory rights of the victim. But this is happening openly in India and victims are denied justice even at the level of law enforcement.

As far as Judiciary is concerned, the concepts of online dispute resolution (ODR) and electronic courts (e-courts) must be essential part of the justice delivery system. Both ODR and e-courts must also be part of the national litigation policy of India (NLPI) as well. In short, legal enablement of ICT systems in India is need of the hour.

Unfortunately, till the month of December 2017 we are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court of India. In fact, the e-courts project of India received a major blow in the past when the e-committee refused to record proceedings at the courts in audio and video formats. Similarly, India has not used ODR for dispute resolution purposes so far.

We at Perry4Law Organisation and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) strongly recommend that ODR and e-courts must be integral and essential part of any amended Arbitration law and NLPI in future. Otherwise, justice would become a myth in India very soon.