[ILUG-BOM] Department of IT : Govmt of India ( We need to respond Luggers )

Trevor Warren trevorwarren@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Wed Nov 26 09:03:55 IST 2003


                   Department of Information Technology
                            E-Commerce Section

      The Section 87 of the IT Act, various rules and regulations are
being
formulated by the Central Government.  Under Section 87(2)(b) &
87(2)(c),
the following rules are to be formulated.

87(2)(b):  the electronic form in which filing, issue, grant or payment
shall be effected under sub-section(1) of section (6).

87(2)(c):  the manner and format in which electronic record shall be
filed
or issued and the method of payment under sub-section(2) of section(6).

      While framing the above rules, a view point emerged that the use
of
the oen source technology for electronic filing of the records could
also
be explored and it may not be restricted to proprietary software.  The
details of the different opinion are enclosed herewith for your
reference.

      Different opinion on the procedure to be followed for electronic
filing of records under Section 87(2)(b) and 87(2)(c):

      Issue

      An electronic record may be filed with any office, authority, body
or
agency owned control by Central Government provided the said electronic
record is a secure electronic record, is in portable document format and
has been created using approved open source software.  While for the use
of
secure electronic record and portable document format could be an
acceptable norm, there is an apprehension on the use of open source
software.

      Opinion I:  There would be more issues related to security in the
open source software as all the developers who are hosting source
document
on the web do not generally take the responsibility.  The infrastructure
also as such is not available for approving the particular type of
software
from the various varieties of software available in the market.  Open
source software may not be acceptable to public at large and it could
become a legal issue.

      Opinion II:  The relevant open source software for creation of PDF
files could be easily created in short  span of time by the government
bodies.  Trojanized software could be a major threat to national
security
and the use of approved open source software is the best precaution
against
trojans.  Using the proprietary software for government filing system
could
be dangerous as the non-availability of source code could make it
impossible to evaluate the software for hidden threats.  Since the use
of
open source software is not proposed to be made compulsory for
transaction
between private parties and hence, there could be no apprehension about
legal issues on the use of open source software.

      An opinion is sought from all the members of the public
knowledgeable
on the above subject whether the open source software should be used for
electronic filing, issue, grant or payments taking into consideration
the
opinion I and opinion II above.

      The replies may be sent before 30th November 2003 to the following
mail address:

            apatki at mit.gov.in

                                          Harshprabha
                                          Joint Director
                                          16.09.03


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