Microblogging platform Twitter saw a rise in demands from the govt for the removal of content of journalists and news outlets. 199 verified accounts of journalists and news outlets faced 361 content removal legal demands. Five such tweets were removed. Globally India had the maximum reports. Last year, Twitter received 14,500 requests for info and 38,500 requests for content removal. Twitter’s tech is identifying 65% of abusive content for human review.
The microblogging platform Twitter has finally agreed to comply with India’s new IT rules. Twitter has taken down 22,564 accounts for “kid sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity” as well as “terrorist propaganda.” The platform, in its first compliance report, also stated that it has taken action against 133 posts for various reasons, including harassment and invasion of privacy. This has come after Twitter’s intermediary platform protection was lost in the country.
The Finance Ministry of India is ready to fund the expansion of broadband through BharatNet. Funds of Rs 19,041cr will be given to the project. All remaining villages of India shall receive internet services under the BharatNet PPP model, which is being implemented in 16 states. The total outlay including the previously approved Rs 42,068 cr is Rs 61,109 cr. Internet service is available in 1,56,223 gram panchayats out of 2,50,000.
The Indian govt has ordered social media platforms to remove COVID-19 content tagged as “Indian Variant”. The Ministry of IT said,” WHO has not associated the term Indian Variant with the B.1.617 variant of the COVID-19 in any of its reports.” In April another letter was sent by the ministry to social media firms to let users know that they must not host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update, or share any info on Covid-19 that may mislead citizens.
The govt, in a written reply, told the Parliament that there was no proposal to appoint a regulator for social media platforms. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications, Electronics and IT, in the statement, said that social media should not be abused or misused to defame, promote terrorism, rampant violence and compromise the dignity of women. The Minister said that social media platforms are enjoined to develop a robust grievance redress system.
India’s government IT spending in India is set to total $7.3 bn in 2021 which is a growth of 9.4 % from 2020. Apeksha Kaushik, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner, said that application, infrastructure, and vertical-specific software, will experience the strongest growth in 2021. She added that the adoption of AI, cloud services and blockchain will be major focus areas for the Indian government while focusing on ethics and privacy.
The Uttar Pradesh government approved a data centre policy to bring in investment worth Rs 20,000 cr. The policy aims to develop 250 MW of data centre industries and setting up at least three modern private data centre parks. Govt think that it could create a direct job of 4,000 and indirect employment of 20,000 people. Yotta Infrastructure, NTT India, STT Global Data Centres already have investment plans to develop data centre in the state.
The govt is looking to prohibit mobile apps from collecting users’ data that is unnecessary for their functioning. Sources reported that a policy is underway that would oversee pre burning/pre-loading of apps on mobile phones as many of these apps are installed on users’ mobile phones without their consent. This rule would be applied to all companies including Facebook and WhatsApp.