What is an API? Could it merit protection under IP Laws?

The full form of API is application programming interface, which you probably knew and it does not help further in this case.

Now this term API has a wide-range of meaning when two software developers come to a conversation. It could mean the URL of a website, it could mean access to a server, it could be the login parameters of a database, and it could also simply mean a method in which two different entities exchange information.

As a developer if I had to get a source of international exchange rates for an app I would search “exchange rate API” on Google. Similarly for cat pictures, I would search “cat pic API”.

However, if I had to also find out the position of the cursor for a desktop app that I was developing, I would also search “desktop cursor API”.

Although generically used today, the original intention was to use the term only for software applications within one computer.

We will look into the different aspects of API through examples, and not technical language, so that you can decide if they merit protection under IP laws.

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Search engines, Deep web & the Darknet

In this article we will focus on mainly how the search engines work. Thereafter, we will discuss indexability, and the differences between surface web, deep web and the darknet.

Pre-internet period

There was a time when goods and services important to us would either appear on the newspaper classifieds’ section or on the Yellow Pages. There also used to be those bulky BSNL/ MTNL telephone directories offered for free on taking a new connection.

These indices used to have exhaustive contact information about all sorts of legitimate businesses. Needless to say, they did not contain contact information of businesses working outside the purview of public policy. Guns, pornography, drugs, etc. had no place in these public directories.

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WannaCry: What is a Ransomware and how does it work?

A ransomware is a software which scrambles information stored on a computer system to make it inaccessible. The process of scrambling is done through known methods of encryption. The purpose is to then ask for an amount of money to decrypt valuable information.

So how does ransomware work?

How does it get through?

Imagine you hired the best architects and got a palace built for your yourself. Little known to you or the architects, there exists a weak wall near your garage. This can be broken by application of minimal force and people can get in through that and steal your expensive car. They can also disrupt your telephone and gas lines to cause you further harm. Or worse even, plant a bomb below your bedroom. Scary isn’t it?

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What is Cloud Computing? Architecture and Data Security

Cloud computing is an architecture engineered for providing computing services via the Internet. The key features of a cloud computing service are the presence of an on demand and pay per use usage facility to a pool of shared resources, namely networks, storage, servers, services and applications. It’s a completely Internet dependent technology where client data is stored and maintained in the data center of a cloud service provider like Google, Amazon, Salesforce.com and Microsoft etc. Nowadays, several industries like banking, healthcare and education are switching to cloud computing, as it has minimal infrastructural requirement and is highly efficient and mobile in its functioning.

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Breaking: Smart Contracts (blockchain) legalised in Arizona

On March 29, (2017) Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill HB 2417 into law1. As covered earlier by IndiaTechLaw on Smart Contracts, this bill seeks to amend the current law and bring legal validity to blockchain signatures.

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Breaking: Bitcoins legalised in Japan – legal framework and tax treatment

The Japanese have brought into force a new legislation treating digital currency as a legal payment method, from the beginning (1 April 2017) of this fiscal year. Bitcoins are now legal tender in Japan and are at par with other fiat currencies. This has been made possible by the passing of a new law called the Virtual Currency Act by the Diet. The Financial Services Agency announced that it is going to treat cryptocurrencies as legal tender from April 1st, 2017.

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Value of bitcoins; RBI on bitcoin; legality of bitcoin transactions in India

Bitcoins are numbers you can trade with. People would be ready to exchange goods and services with bitcoins as they value the bitcoin numbers. Compared to currency which is made out of thin air by a central bank, bitcoins and other digital tokens, require massive computational power to generate, and have a base in global energy prices.

This idea of using a set of protocol to transact and create new bitcoins securely was published by an Anonymous author using the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. The paper was titled: Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System by Satoshi Nakamoto

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How does secure socket layer (SSL/TLS) work? Why do retail websites require https?

To answer what is secure socket layer and how it keeps websites secure it is important to understand the making of the Internet. The internet in turn is an abstract concept meaning the interconnected network of computers across the globe. Computers interact with each other to create services necessary for us.

To start off, you just need to know that there has to be a physical cable between two computers for interaction to happen between them.

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The Mt. Gox incident – the largest bitcoin hack ever

An American software developer named Jed McCaleb founded a platform in 2006 named Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange. He set up the platform for secure exchange of trading cards used in a video game by the same name, using the domain name mtgox.com. This platform allowed cards to be bought and sold like stocks.

Some quarters say that it was this underlying technology of trading imaginary cards securely that formed the basis of bitcoins. Although McCaleb never released the original code written by him for Mt. Gox, it is true that the bitcoin technology is similar to such card exchange technology. It is also in popular notion that the anonymous author of the Bitcoin paper,1 Nakamoto, is probably McCaleb himself.

It is important at this juncture to understand how the bitcoin and blockchain works. I would recommend you to go through my earlier post on What are bitcoins / cryptocurrency / blockchain – what is so different than fiat money?

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Canadian Securities Law (OSC statement) on Distributed Ledger Technologies (blockchain)

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) put up a press release on Wednesday (March 8th) containing cautionary advice against use of Distributed Ledger Technology or commonly the blockchain.1

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