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Hotmail not bound by order: experts

Our Economy Bureau  |  New Delhi 

The landmark Delhi High Court order to Hotmail may be difficult to implement owing to the strong privacy laws governing the US company,
Pawan Duggal, cyber law expert said, "Though the High Court decision is welcome, the efficacy of the order will have to be seen.
"Hotmail will be governed under the US privacy laws which bans the to share subscriber information except when ordered by the US courts. It is yet to be seen how the order from an Indian court will be treated by the American company."
Meanwhile, Microsoft executives in India said the company will have to study the court order in detail before responding. They agreed that the US privacy law will be applicable to Hotmail and the company will examine whether the court order could be implemented or not.
The Electronic Communication Privacy Act 1986, which dates before the proliferation of Internet, bans having their servers in the US from giving out information related to subscribers.
Duggal said that irrespective of the location of the subscriber as long as the email servers were located in the US, privacy laws would make it difficult for Hotmail to carry out the Court order.
Duggal, however, said that order opens up a debate over the need for having a global cyber law and interplay between local Court orders and various cyber laws in different countries.

First Published: Wed, May 05 2004. 00:00 IST