IT Act 2000 – Provisions, Salient Features of Information Technology Act

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Information Technology Act 2000, or the IT Act 2000, was notified on October 17, 2000. In India, this law was passed to deal with cybercrime and electronic commerce. The IT Act 2000 legally recognizes the transactions ( both international and national ) carried out using the means of electronic data and gives legal recognition to digital signatures for the authentication of any information. India became the 12th Nation to adopt the cyber law after it gave recognition to the Information Technology Act 2000 [IT Act 2000].

The main objective of the IT Act 2000 is to provide electronic facilities for transactions, e-commerce etc. In this article, you will get to know the objectives, features, and other important information about the IT Act 2000 for the UPSC examination. The aspirants can download the IT Act 2000 UPSC notes to be able to comprehensively prepare for the exam.

What is IT Act 2000?

Due to the anonymous nature of the internet, people with filthy and intelligent minds have been grossly misusing the internet to commit cybercrimes and other criminal activities in cyberspace. Hence, it was necessary to farm and enforce a law that would provide adequate legal protection and recourse against the people who are causing security threats to the resources of e-commerce of any legal organization. Therefore, the IT Act 2000 was passed by the Government of India.

The important issues that are dealt with by the Information Technology Act 2000 include data protection, the legality of the products, the services being offered online, protection of the customer’s privacy policy, online advertising compliance, and compliance with the provisions of the IT Act 2000.

Provisions of IT Act 2000

In I996, the UNCITRAL ( United Nations Commission on International Trade Law ) adopted the model of electronic commerce, i.e. e-commerce in order to bring uniformity in law in various parts of the world. Later on, the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization also recommended that all of its members consider this model of law before making any changes to their own laws.

The provisions or objectives of Information Technology Act 2000 [IT Act 2000] can be summarized as follows:

  • To provide legal recognition for all the transactions that are carried out by means of electronic data interchange or electronic commerce in place of paper-based methods of communication.
  • To grant legal recognition to digital signatures for the authentication of any matter or information that requires authentication under any law.
  • To facilitate the electronic filing of Government documents with the respective departments. Also, it facilitates the electronic storage of data.
  • To provide legal sanction for the transfer of funds electronically to and between financial institutions and banks.
  • To grant legal recognition for keeping the books of accounts in an electronic format for the bankers.
  • To promote legal infrastructure and e-commerce along with secure information systems. At the same time, amended the Indian Penal Code, Bankers Book Evidence Act, 1891, and RBI Act, 1934.
  • To enforce certain laws that would manage and reduce cyber-crimes at national and international levels. The IT Act 2000 governs all internet activities in India, and it is applicable to all online transactions. It provides for the penalties and prosecution for all the non-compliances.

Positive Aspects of IT Act 2000

Considering the viewpoints of the e-commerce industry in India, the Information Technology Act 2000 contains many beneficial aspects, which are as follows:

  • The implications for electronic businesses would be that email will be accepted by the communication system in India that can be acknowledged in a court of law. Section 4 of the IT Act 2000 confers all legal recognition of electronic records. It states that where any law requires any matter or information that should be in writing or in printed or typewritten form, then such requirement shall be deemed to be satisfied if it is in an electronic form.
  • The IT Act 2000 has granted legal recognition and definition for the concept of the digitally secure process, which is mandated to have been passed through a process of security procedure as prescribed by the Government on a given date. A legal infrastructure is granted by the Information Technology Act 2000 to the e-commerce companies to run all electronic commerce with the help of this act. With the coming of the various provisions of the IT Act, 2000, digital signatures are now getting legal validity. Section 3 of the Information Technology Act 2000 contains various provisions related to the authentication of electronic records by attaching the digital signature.
  • Section 35 of the IT Act 2000 allows an open door for the entrance of any kind of company in the corporate sphere in the business of being the authority to certify and issuing of legally validated signatures certificates as prescribed by the Central Government. It also heralds e-governance by issuing notifications on the e-web.
  • Section 6 of the Information Technology Act 2000 lays down the foundation for e-governance or electronic governance. It provides that the filing of any form, document, application, creation or retention or preservation of records, permit, receipt, or payment in the government offices and its agencies must be made through the means of electronic form.

Defects of Information Technology Act 2000

The IT Act had its own advantages and disadvantages. While it increased security in cyberspace, it caused a conflict of jurisdiction amongst the population. The following points mentioned below analyze the defects of the IT Act 2000 briefly.

  • While the IT Act promotes safety in cyberspace. It does not provide security in various kinds of cybercrimes such as: cyberstalking, cyber threats, cyber room abuse, and the rest of it.
  • The Information Technology Act 2000 has been unable to cater to privacy concerns. Though privacy is a fundamental right it needs to be addressed.
  • Cybersecurity has not been protected effectively. The breach of data and privacy violations are a threat.
  • To track cybercrimes, there is a need for specialized officers with adequate skills to trace the cases. However, the lack of expertise is also a major defect of the IT Act.

Information Technology Act 2000 UPSC

The information technology act is an important topic for the UPSC mains and prelims examination. Candidates must prepare this topic wisely. Many questions have been asked in the UPSC exam about the IT Act 2000. Aspirants can download the UPSC Previous year question papers for preparation along with the UPSC study material for notes.

IT Act 2000 UPSC Sample Questions

Practising previous years’ UPSC questions or sample questions will help you to prepare for UPSC exams better. It would help you to get an idea of the format of the question before you appear for the main exam.

Question: Stealing any digital asset or information is considered to be a digital crime. Under which section of the IT Act 2000 does this provision come?

Choose the Correct Option: [A] 65,  [B] 65-D, [C] 67, [D] 70

Answer: Option B ( 65 )

Question: Name the act which grants a legal framework for e-governance in India.

Choose the Correct Option: [A] IT ( Amendment ) Act 2008, [B] IT Act 2000, [C] Indian Penal Code, [D] None of the above

Answer: Option B (IT Act 2000)

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