4 min read
2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years in history. The coronavirus and economic lockdowns have changed every human life. What then has changed for cyberlaw careers?
- Who could have imagined that children would be attending online classes even in kindergarten!
- Or that work from home (WFH) would become so widespread that commercial rentals and property prices would be negatively impacted.
- Or that almost everyone would be glued to video-conferences and social media.
- Or that crypto-currencies would grow so phenomenally.
Every industry has been forced to increase digitization at breakneck speed… agriculture, banking, ecommerce, education, financial services, healthcare, media & entertainment, retail etc.
This has also created 5 massive cyberlaw career opportunities for cyber professionals:
- Crypto Law Consulting – crypto currencies, blockchain assets, CBDC, DeFi, smart contracts, stable coins, and tokens.
- Ecommerce Law Consulting – under the Information Technology Act and the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.
- Cyber Crime Prosecution & Defence – with over 125,000 crore being lost to cyber crimes annually.
- Presenting Digital Evidence in court – bitcoin, emails, IoT devices, laptops, networks, servers, smartphones, websites and more.
- IP registration & license drafting services – for apps, software, source code, digital content (videos, eBooks), websites, etc.
1. Crypto Law Consulting
In 2008, the 9-page Bitcoin whitepaper disrupted money forever… but most people were skeptical about the future of crypto currencies.
Cut to December 2020 and Bitcoin has become the 7th largest currency in the world! Let that sink in… Bitcoin has become the 7th largest currency in the world! The current order is:
- USD $4.9 Trillion
- EUR $1.7 Trillion
- CNY $1.2 Trillion
- JPY $1 Trillion
- CHF $0.8 Trillion
- INR $0.6 Trillion
- BTC $0.36 Trillion
This rapid change in the global money ecosystem has implications for all of us…
- Governments looking to clamp down on money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist funding
- banks looking to understand the implications of the virtual currencies
- law enforcement looking to clamp down on the Mafia using Bitcoin
- businesses looking for faster and cheaper ways to receive and transfer money globally.
Opportunities for crypto law consulting cover legal advice for:
- Central bank digital currency (CBDC)
- Decentralized finance (DeFi)
- Decentralized exchanges (DEXs)
- Flash loans
- Lending platforms
- Prediction markets
- “Wrapped” bitcoins
- “Wrapped” shares
Relevant laws are Prevention of Money Laundering Laws, Information Technology Law, Taxation Law and Fintech Law.
2. Ecommerce Law Consulting
India’s latest Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has completely changed the rules governing e-commerce in India. The Consumer Protection (Ecommerce) Rules, 2020 affect all e-commerce operators in India and set up strict obligations towards buyers.
Opportunities for ecommerce law consulting cover:
Compliance with the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020
- Duties of e-commerce entities
- Liabilities of marketplace e-commerce entities
- Duties of sellers on marketplace
- Duties and liabilities of inventory e-commerce entities
Compliance with the Information Technology Act, 2000
- Safe and Secure Shopping Statement
- Returns Policy
- E-waste recycling policy
- Acceptable use policy
- Refund policy
- Grievance redressal mechanism
- California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)
- EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
- Information Technology Act & allied rules
Note: Many of the above also relate to all Websites, Blogs, Mobile apps, Facebook apps, Desktop apps, SaaS apps and Digital products & digital services.
3. Cyber Crime Prosecution & Defence
Did you know?
- In 2019 alone, India lost 1.25 lakh crore to cyber crimes. (Source: National Cyber Security Coordinator, India)
- 80% Indians have been victims of cybercrimes at least once compared to 56% people globally. (Source: 2019 Cyber Safety report, Norton)
- In 2019, India reported almost 45000 cybercrime cases, which is 63% more than 2018.
This creates a massive opportunity for lawyers specializing in cyber crime prosecution and defence.
Laws relevant to Cyber Issues in India
- Bankers’ Books Evidence Act
- Code of Criminal Procedure
- Extradition Act qIndian Evidence Act
- Indian Penal Code
- Payment and Settlement Systems Act
- Prevention of Money Laundering Act
- Telegraph Act
Entities under the Information Technology Act
- Advisory Committee
- Certifying Authority
- National Nodal Agency Examiner of Electronic Evidence
4. Presenting Digital Evidence in court
Did you know?
- Data collected from a smartwatch worn by a 57-year old Australian murder victim led to the arrest of her daughter-in-law.
- Data recorded in Apple’s Health App led to the conviction of a murder suspect. The data showed that the suspect was climbing stairs and this was correlated to him dragging his victim down a riverbank and climbing back up.
- US law enforcement used Fitbit data to charge a man with the murder of his wife. q qAmazon Echo data is being used in a US murder trial.
- A 59-year old American was indicted for arson and insurance fraud based on evidence from his pacemaker (artificial heart implant).
- According to the European Commission, more than half of all investigations today involve a cross-border request to access electronic evidence. Electronic evidence is needed in around 85% of criminal investigations.
Digital Evidence is needed in around 85% of criminal investigations. There are 85+ sources of digital evidence – from alternate data streams & bitcoin wallets to virtual machines and web server logs.
There is a huge opportunity for techies to become experts in presenting digital evidence in court – bitcoin, emails, IoT devices, laptops, networks, servers, smartphones, websites and more.
5. IP registration & license drafting services
The digital boom has resulted in the creation of a huge amount apps, software digital content (videos, eBooks), websites etc. being created.
This creates a huge opportunity for registration and licensing of:
- Business processes
- Computer source code & object code
- Derivative Computer Programs
- Digital content – videos, eBooks, posts, presentations, articles, photos, infographics, mind maps
There is also a huge opportunity in drafting:
- Software licenses
- Confidentiality agreements