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Rahul   04 August 2015

Does hyperlink in an e-mail fall under 67a

Hello Dear Members,

Request some clarification from esteemed lawyers on group on section 67A:

As per section 67A – Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing s*xually explicit act, etc. in electronic form:  

Q1: Does an e-mail having a hyperlink to a third party site having a obscene picture fall under publishing or transmitting definition of section 67A or only attachments with the e-mail be considered as publishing or transmitting?

Q2: If the hyperlink is not working as the third party content has been removed/expired, can a case still be filed under section 67A if earlier hyperlink was opening an obscene picture for which printout has been taken? In such scenario how can it be proven if the picture is from the same link which is in the e-mail?

Thanks in advance for your time and appreciate your response. 

 

 

 



 4 Replies

seshadri vikrala ( Asst.Security Commissioner/Group 'A' RETIRED)     04 August 2015

Sir, In so far as it does not come in to the eyes of the other- a dialouge or informaiton or any document made between two persons, this can be treated as confidential and as a matter of 'for your eyes only'. But once, any information, document or hyperlink, or whatsoever comes open, and attracts the provision of Law and laible to be taken up as per the laid down Laws of the Lan, you may be liable for prosecution. (2) In the present system of IT advancement and Cyber Laws, any thing once emailed even deleted/erased/removed can be opened by some other technical system, and /or can even be hijacked from your site or of your known /sent sites....One , in the circumstances, like in the phone conversation- tapping,recording, making out vedio,trapping,etc., even every work and word in the internet system/emails are /can be kept under watch/surveillance. , in reality and rival groups- it is like tag wrestling....which is , now a days, spreading like streptococcus....tq

Rahul   05 August 2015

Thanks a lot Seshadri for the reply. I've been trying to research the meaning of 'Transmitting' and 'Publishing' in context of IT act section 67 and found this:

  1. “transmit” means to electronically send a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons; 
  2. “publishes” means reproduction in the printed or electronic form and making it available for public;

I've not been able to find any case, information which includes hyperlink in the scope of section 67A. Can you please provide more information/any relevant case where hyperlink was considered for prosecution.

2. I agree with your point and understand that IT systems are very advanced now, but if the content is no longer hosted by the third party site to which hyperlink was pointing, then i don;t think even hijacking a site will give any results. So how can it be proven that the prinout taken was from the same link?

3. What steps are expected from an investigating officer in cyber law cases? Is it required from them to collect the device/laptop/computer used for sending the mail as wifi network can have multiple users/devices and each of them can have different IP?

Thanks once again for members time.

Rahul   05 August 2015

Thanks a lot Seshadri for the reply. I've been trying to research the meaning of 'Transmitting' and 'Publishing' in context of IT act section 67 and found this:

  1. “transmit” means to electronically send a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons; 
  2. “publishes” means reproduction in the printed or electronic form and making it available for public;

I've not been able to find any case, information which includes hyperlink in the scope of section 67A. Can you please provide more information/any relevant case where hyperlink was considered for prosecution.

2. I agree with your point and understand that IT systems are very advanced now, but if the content is no longer hosted by the third party site to which hyperlink was pointing, then i don;t think even hijacking a site will give any results. So how can it be proven that the prinout taken was from the same link?

3. What steps are expected from an investigating officer in cyber law cases? Is it required from them to collect the device/laptop/computer used for sending the mail as wifi network can have multiple users/devices and each of them can have different IP?

Thanks once again for members time.

cyberlawyer (barrister)     19 August 2015

Hello Mr. Rahul

You have found out the meaning of "publishing"  and "transmitting"  under the context of IT Act. But is there any definition or explanation of the word "material" under the IT Act ? . I dont think there is any specific definition for the word "material" and in general terms even hyperlinks come within its ambit. 

When interpreting a provision, the intention of the legislature has to be looked upon and not merely the words, as doing so will make it useless. 

For your second question...

The computer in which the picture is hosted may have the server logs or in other words traces which disclose the name of the file, etc . If the victim / complainant is able to prove the existence of the adult content in the link at that time when the link was opened in the PC of the victim by forensic investigation, he/she may have a case. 

In my opinion it is very vital for the complainant to establish that such content was present in the link and it was downloaded to the complainant's computer from which printout is taken. 

I am not a technical expert in these matters and this is only my opinion. 

Hope this helps. 


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