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Three Months Window For Social Media Platforms To Comply With New IT Intermediary Rules Expires Today

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
25 May 2021 7:37 AM GMT
Three Months Window For Social Media Platforms To Comply With New IT Intermediary Rules Expires Today
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The three-month window that the Central Government provided to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to comply with the new social media rules, ends today. The Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were notified by the Centre on February 25, 2021, to inter alia regulate the social media intermediaries by...

The three-month window that the Central Government provided to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to comply with the new social media rules, ends today.

The Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were notified by the Centre on February 25, 2021, to inter alia regulate the social media intermediaries by imposing a code of ethics and mandating a three-tier grievance redressal framework.

The Rules provide 16-due diligence steps to be followed by intermediaries in India. This includes an obligation to not host, store or publish any information which is prohibited by virtue of it not being in the interest of public order; decency or morality; sovereignty and integrity of India; security of the State; etc.

The Rules also empower Centre to ask messaging platforms like 'WhatsApp', 'Facebook messenger', 'Telegram' to trace the 'first originator' of messages.

Further, all intermediaries are required to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act.

Also, they should appoint a nodal person of contact for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure compliance to their orders or requisitions made in accordance with the provisions of law or rules made thereunder.

As per the Hindu, the intermediaries have urged the Government to include 'safe harbour' protection given to intermediaries under Section 79 of the IT Act, under the new rules.

"They have requested a re-think over a clause in the new rules which can lead to imposition of criminal liability upon the employees for non-compliance by intermediaries, asking for it to be dropped in the interest of ease of doing business," reported the Hindu.

As per NDTV, Facebook has decided to comply with the new provisions while also expressing the desire to discuss a few issues with the government.

On Monday, the Delhi Police's Special Cell raided Twitter India's offices in Delhi and Gurgaon after the US-based company dubbed a controversial tweet made by ruling party's spokesperson against purported Congress' toolkit as "manipulated media".

Meanwhile, the Rules have been challenged by several online platforms that are taken within its sweep.

For instance, Delhi High Court has issued notice on a petition filed by Quint Digital Media Ltd, which owns the online news portal 'The Quint', challenging the constitutional validity of the Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, to the extent it regulates the publishers of news and current affairs content. The petition has been tagged with an earlier petition filed by the publisher of 'The Wire' against the same rules.

The Kerala High Court has also issued notice to the Centre on a petition filed by LiveLaw in this regardc. The High Court also passed an interim order restraining coercive action under Part 3 of the Rules against LiveLaw, its Chief Editor MA Rashid and Managing Editor Manu Sebastian, saying that they were publishers of law reports and legal literature.


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