Google today cited its “long history” of managing content according to local laws to assure the Indian government of its continuing efforts to ensure legal compliance. The company was responding to the Centre’s new digital rules, the deadline to implement which ends today.
“We respect India’s legislative process and have a long history of responding to government requests to remove content where the content violates the local law or our product policies. We have consistently invested in significant product changes, resources, and personnel to ensure that we’re combating illegal content in an effective and fair way, and in order to comply with local laws in the jurisdictions that we operate in,” a Google spokesperson said today.
“We realise that our work in keeping our platforms secure is never done and we will continue to refine our existing approaches, and evolve our policies and be as transparent as possible about how we make decisions,” the spokesperson said.
Its statement covers all its platforms, including YouTube. Several internet majors were yet to meet the requirements till hours ago, setting them up for criminal action.
The Centre’s new rules were passed in February. Among other requirements, internet platforms were required to appoint India-based compliance officials and set up complaint-resolution mechanisms. They were also expected to monitor and remove objectionable content and submit compliance reports.
Special provisions, meant for “significant social media intermediaries” with over 50 lakh users, were to come into effect from tomorrow.
Some of them were perceived to be violative of free speech principles.
Sources told NDTV that only one company had till now appointed compliance officials while some had sought six months to comply, saying they were awaiting instructions from their US headquarters.
Facebook said it “aims to comply” with the new rules but hinted that it wants to discuss some “issues which need more engagement”.
“Pursuant to the IT Rules, we are working to implement operational processes and improve efficiencies. Facebook remains committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on our platform,” a statement from Facebook said today.