The Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008, which aims at tightening procedures and safeguards for monitoring and interception of data to prevent cyber crimes, came into force on Tuesday.

“The IT (Amendment) Act 2008 came into force today,” an official statement said.

Besides monitoring and interception, the amended Act also deals with the appointment of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (ICERT), which deals with computer security and situations arising from cyber attacks.

The IT (Amendment) Act 2008 was passed by both the houses of Parliament on December 23, 2008. The Act was notified after the assent of President on February 5, 2009.

The amendment rules pertaining to various sections such as Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information, Blocking Access of Information by Public and Monitoring and Collecting Traffic Data have also been notified on Tuesday.

The Information Technology Act was enacted in 2000 with a view to provide legal recognition to e-commerce and e-transactions, to facilitate e-governance and prevent computer-based crimes.

However, the rapid increase in the use of internet has led to a spate in crime like child pornography, cyber terrorism, publishing sexually explicit content in electronic form and video voyeurism. So, penal provisions were required to be included in the Information Technology Act, 2000.