Payment System Operators New M&A Implications

Background:

On July 4, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) clarified to all banks and non-bank payment system operators (“PSOs”) that its prior approval would be required for any (a) takeover/ acquisition of control, which may or may not result in change of management; and (b) sale/ transfer of payment activity to an entity not authorised for undertaking similar activity (“Circular”).

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 15 – Series 1) – Payment System Operators (PSOs) – New M&A Implications

FIG Papers

The recent Master Directions issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Credit cards and Debit cards – Issuance and Conduct Directions, 2022, dated April 21, 2022, is a consolidation of existing guidelines on the subject, except that it has brought about greater clarity by providing definitions on what is a credit card, credit limit and other related terminologies. In addition, it has spelt out more explicitly the scope of co-branding arrangements and the roles of card issuers and co-branding partners.

Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 12: Series-1) RBI Master Directions on Credit and Debit Cards

Metaverse

The metaverse and its use-cases

There are many ways to describe the ‘metaverse’: a post-reality universe that allows several users to participate in a shared virtual environment, an immersive 3-D extension of the internet itself, or even as the next frontier of the digital economy. In due course, the metaverse may align itself with its initial usage, as described in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, as a vast digital environment where users could interact with each other. While the Metaverse may escape the contours of a universally accepted definition (for some time at least), it will, by present trends, continue to capture popular culture, imagination and increasingly, various aspects of life. As early as 2005, the metaverse had begun to be considered as something more than simply being centered around MMORPGs (or massively multiplayer online role-playing games). Today, the Indian market already bears witness to the proliferation of augmented reality, virtual reality, and elements of the ‘metaverse’ across several B2B, B2C and C2C applications. Indian tech firms and start-ups have been quick to respond.

Continue Reading FIG Papers (No. 11: Series-1) Into the Metaverse: Legal and regulatory considerations in India

Of Gambling and Gaming

India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (“MIB”), on June 13, 2022, issued an advisory (“Gambling Advisory”)1 to the media, including newspapers, private satellite television channels and publishers of news and current affairs on digital media, which has been the subject of much discussion and reporting.

Continue Reading Of Gambling and Gaming: A Tale of two Advisories

The Cert-In Cyber Security Directions More Questions Than Answers

On April 28, 2022, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (“CERT-In”) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued extensive directions to service providers, intermediaries, companies, firms, and government organisations (collectively, “Entities”, and each an “Entity”) specifying various ‘cyber security directions’ that they are required to follow (“Directions”)[1].

Continue Reading The Cert-In Cyber Security Directions: More Questions Than Answers?

Whatsapp Group Admin

The modern genesis of vicariously attributing culpability to a creator or administrator of a WhatsApp group for offensive, defamatory or objectionable content posted by a group member can be found in the recent decision of the High Court of Kerala on February 23, 2022, in the matter of Manual versus State of Kerala and another[1]. The High Court of Kerala has largely followed the bright line laid down by the High Court of Bombay[2], the High Court of Delhi[3] and the High Court of Madras[4] in their previous decisions on this subject. As a rule, most common law jurisdictions have traditionally applied vicarious liability by employing the common law doctrine of respondent superior. It is noteworthy that superior courts have also authoritatively held in successive judgments that vicarious criminal liability can be attributed only if a penal provision of such nature is specifically provided in the underlying statute.

Continue Reading Can the admin of a WhatsApp group be held vicariously liable for an objectionable post by a group member?

Digital Age Warfare

A. Introduction

In this digital age, it may not be out of place to say that data has replaced oil as the most valuable resource. The advancement of technology has led to the emergence of a new species of extortion, where ransom is sought in lieu of data, which is illegally assumed control over. This phenomenon is popularly known as a ransomware attack. A ransomware attack includes a malware that is introduced onto the host’s computer or mobile, thereby encrypting its data, with a subsequent demand for a ‘ransom’ for decryption of the same, to secure its release[i].

Continue Reading Digital Age Warfare: Ransomware Attacks

FAQs on the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 The Way Ahead

From their abrupt promulgation[1] to their unusual administration by two ministries[2], to being the subject of widespread protests, and the staying of several operative portions by courts[3], the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Rules”) have had a brief and tumultuous existence.

Continue Reading FAQs on the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021: The Way Ahead

From-Harbour-to-Hardships-Understanding-the-Information-Technology-Intermediary-Guidelines-and-Digital-Media-Ethics-Code-Rules-2021-Part-III

This is in continuation to the series analysing the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“2021 Rules”). In the first part, we traced the evolution of intermediary liability and the key changes brought about by the 2021 Rules. In the second part, we discussed the consequences of non-compliance by intermediaries which, inter alia, disentitle them from claiming the safe harbour protection under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“Act”).

Continue Reading From Harbour to Hardships? Understanding the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 Part III

Delhi Court attempts to decode the cryptic case of cryptocurrencies in India

INTRODUCTION:

Cryptocurrencies, worryingly unregulated, decentralised virtual currencies, are steadily gaining traction in the Indian transaction landscape. With digitalisation and smart contracts becoming the new norm (especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic), global trade in cryptocurrencies has increased by leaps and bounds. However, one cannot ignore the unprecedented rise in cybercrimes across the globe, relatable to virtual currencies. The expansion of the cryptocurrency landscape poses various challenges in the form of regulatory, legal, and operational risks. Whilst appropriate measures to regulate cryptocurrencies are the need of the hour, the Indian judiciary has been rather proactive in its dealing with such cryptic virtual currencies.

Continue Reading Delhi Court attempts to decode the cryptic case of cryptocurrencies in India