Three UN special rapporteurs criticized the new Indian IT rules. India denied them and said, ”the country’s democratic credentials are well recognized and the right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under its Constitution.” The key problem mentioned by the rapporteurs includes possible misuse of rules to lodge a large number of complaints and also the rules in their current form do not conform with international human rights norms.
Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji, at an event of IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that social media platforms must be allowed to practice ‘responsive self-governance to tackle misinformation. Issues arising through social media misuse must be addressed immediately, he added. This comment came amid a row between Twitter and Govt over the former’s non-compliance with India’s new IT rules.
A spokesperson from Twitter, after getting sued for non-compliance, said the company “strives to comply” with the new IT rules. Twitter, the spokesperson said, believes in principles of transparency. The Delhi-HC had issued a notice, to which Twitter said, it has already appointed a grievance officer. A few days back the microblogging site had expressed concerns for employees in India, to which the MeitY said, “stop beating around the bush” and “comply with the laws of the land.”
Delhi HC said Twitter has to comply with the new IT rules for social media platforms. Lawyer Amit Acharya, in his plea, had claimed non-compliance of rules by Twitter. The micro-blogging site, in its defense, said it has complied with the rules and even appointed a grievance officer. Social media platforms, according to the new rules, have been asked to track the originator of a flagged message within 36 hrs and appoint a nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.
Twitter has requested a 3-month extension for the implementation of the new IT rules. Delhi Police, recently, visited Twitter’s offices in Delhi and Gurugram with non-compliance notices that have been addressed as “use of intimidation tactics”. Not withholding the notice, can lead to serious consequences for its Indian employees. Twitter said that it will continue to address grievances from individuals and authorities via its grievance redressal cell under the new rules,
Twitter said that the recent visit by the Delhi police special team to the Twitter office in New Delhi was expressed as “use of intimidation tactics by the police”. The microblogging site expressed concern over the safety of the employees here. Twitter is now a part of the list of companies opposing the new IT rules of the Indian govt as it hopes to take a joint approach with the Indian govt while also recommend changing the new IT rules.
Google and Facebook aim to yield to the revised IT rules that will be applicable from today. The center is yet to decide whether to extend the deadline by a few weeks for acceptance of the new IT rules. Facebook has shown willingness to comply but says a few issues need more discussion with the govt. Google too sought an extension on the acceptance deadline. Both companies have not indicated they will fully accept the new rules.