Left Menu
Development News Edition

Draft IT rules to put undue regulatory burden on internet firms, users

Draft IT rules to put undue regulatory burden on internet firms, users
(Image Credit: Pixabay)

Internet activists, law firms and public advocacy groups Saturday said the proposed changes to IT laws will lead to censorship and not achieve the government's goal of removing objectionable content from the web. Putting forth their views at a consultation meeting called by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, various stakeholders said the new rules will also put undue regulatory burden both on the internet firms and users. "...the plan to push social media platforms to proactively monitor and moderate content will be a violation of privacy and will lead to censorship of free speech by the platforms. This is unnecessary and disproportionate," Medianama Founder Nikhil Pahwa said.

However, government officials denied having any intention to impose censorship through the proposed amendments and invited suggestions to meet the goal of removing objectionable content from the internet and trace miscreants. "This is not an effort to curb freedom of speech or censorship. If you ... have a society where social media is liable to be misused by terrorists and bad elements, some amount of compromise to the extent of being able to trace the source of such messages, that is the effort in these guidelines," Ministry of Electronics and IT, Joint Secretary, Gopalakrishnan S said.

On December 24, the IT Ministry released draft amendments under which social media and online platforms would need to trace originators of information when required by government agencies. The amendments, which come ahead of the general polls this year, also said the platforms would have to ask users to refrain from hosting, uploading or sharing any content that is blasphemous, obscene, defamatory, "hateful or racially, ethnically objectionable". Stakeholders pointed out lacunae in the interpretation of "unlawful content" in the draft Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2018.

They also said the government's proposal to include automated solutions may create a ruckus as technology is not highly developed to handle complications. One of the participants said the proposed law will also apply to internet service providers (ISPs), that may lead to blocking of websites on the discretion of such firms. Another participant said the proposed rules applicable to platforms with "more than fifty lakh users in India" cannot be made part of intermediary guidelines as it will interfere with other applicable laws of the land and the IT Act does not have scope to introduce such provisions. Gopalakrishnan asked all the stakeholders to provide their suggestions by January 15. "We will compile a draft of the all the comments and put it for counter-comments on January 18. It will be open for public comment till January 28," he said.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Handling fake news Infodemic in time of Coronavirus epidemic

Social media has provided a platform where everybody can disseminate his her views without any supervision. Its excellent if the message is genuine but misinformation is equally disastrous. Health is such a topic where every Tom and Harry c...

Sentiment Analysis on Budget 2020: Long shot for solution to economic worries?

Industries and individuals alike had high expectations from the government to take tangible steps but the budget 2020 seems to have failed expectations....


Latest News

Two German tourists killed in Norway avalanche

Two German tourists were killed Thursday in an avalanche while on a snowmobile tour in Norway, authorities said. A helicopter carrying rescue personnel and a sniffer dog were dispatched to search for the missing pair, who were discovered de...

Ethiopia gets back Christian crown spirited away to Rotterdam decades ago

An 18th-century church crown stolen from Ethiopia decades ago has been returned from the Netherlands after it was found in a suitcase more than 20 years ago, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday. The bronze crown is thought to be one ...

UPDATE 3-After fiery debate, Bloomberg seeks reset as Democrats sprint to Super Tuesday

The Democratic presidential contenders began a frantic dash for votes on Thursday, with big-spending billionaire Michael Bloomberg seeking to move past a bruising debate debut while several of his rivals jockeyed to be the moderate alternat...

Turkey will activate Russian S-400 missile systems -minister

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday that Turkey will activate the S-400 missile systems which it has bought from Russia and there should be no doubt about this.Akar was speaking in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk....

Give Feedback