NEED FOR CYBERLAW EDUCATION

DR. PAVAN DUGGAL
ADVOCATE, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CHAIRMAN, INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON CYBER SECURITY LAW

Education today has to reinvent itself, given the advent of new technologies. The maturing of the internet adoption and the increase reliance on the internet for variety of common day-to-day activities has ensured that education today has to be specifically tailored, around the distinctive needs of the cyber ecosystem.

The increased use of social media and over the top applications and mobile phones has suddenly resulted in massive increase of challenges for the school ecosystem. Youngsters are increasingly using new and emerging over the top applications and are beginning to face the pitfalls and the dangers therein. The advent of the internet of things promises to bring in completely new era of insecurity.

Further with increased breaches of cybersecurity happening on a daily basis and with cybercrime becoming a defacto norm, it is imperative that today’s education must be so tailored so as to sensitize and empower the students about how to meet the various challenges concerning cybercrime and breaches of cybersecurity.

I have been advocating the need for introducing cyberlaw education as a part of school curriculum from the first standard onwards. This is so, because today we are giving devices in the hands of children at a very young age. We are encouraging them to access the internet without even mentally preparing them on how to deal with challenges that the internet throws.

Hence, if cybersecurity and cyberlaw education is made an integral part of school curriculum from the first standard onwards, children in various classes can be taught about the various nuances as also legal challenges and complexities that they are likely to face in the interactions with the internet. Such an approach is going to be immensely topical, relevant and helpful for the students at large.

Today, the education system is completely divorced from reality. Today’s education does not empower the children on they have to face the newly emerging scenarios in cyberspace. The advent of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and blockchain are further threatening to completely change the landscape.

Meanwhile, all users have today become global authors, global transmitters and global broadcasters of data who are constantly generating data. Students are constantly leaving behind their electronic footprints which may come back and haunt them in the coming times. This is so because the internet is a never forgiving medium. Whatever is entered once on the internet remains there for a long-long period of time.

In this context, it is time that India should have a fresh look at cyber education. There is a need for the CBSE (Center Board of Secondary Education) to ensure the inclusion of cyberlaw as an integral part of school curriculum from first standard onwards. As the students pass to the next classes, exposure to more complex challenges of cyberspace could be brought to their attention.

In the final analysis, the aim of such cyberlaw education should be to sensitize the children on how to better prepared to deal with unknown challenges of the digital and mobile ecosystems.

The author Dr. Pavan Duggal, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, is an internationally renowned expert authority on cyberlaw and cybersecurity law. He has been acknowledged as one of the top four Cyber lawyers in the world. He is also the Chairman of International Commission on Cybersecurity Law. You can reach him at pavan@pavanduggal.com.  More about Dr. Pavan Duggal is available at www.pavanduggal.com.

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