Twitter Should Be Accountable To Indian Laws, Cannot Be Governed By US Rules


Twitter Should Be Accountable To Indian Laws: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad stated twitter shouldnt be ruled by US legal guidelines whereas working in India.

New Delhi:

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday stated tech corporations like Twitter ought to be accountable to India’s Constitution and legal guidelines and that they shouldn’t be ruled by American legal guidelines whereas working in Indian territory.

Speaking on “Big Techs and Democracy” on the India Global Forum London 2021, Mr Prasad stated: “They are welcome to do business in India, they have empowered the people of the country. They ask questions… India, being a democracy, allows complete freedom to ask questions. Let me categorically say at this platform, that they can criticise Ravi Shankar Prasad, they can criticise my Prime Minister, they can ask questions and these big tech companies are having big business in India.”

‘But there’s one challenge… the difficulty was not of use of social media, the difficulty was considered one of abuse and misuse of social media,” he added.

Mr Prasad also said if Twitter is going to invoke the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of America then it has to also be cognisant of the copyright rules of India, adding that: “You cannot say my complete stand might be regulated by an ex-parte evaluation of US regulation.”

The minister said journalists were being defamed on a groundless basis and messages on WhatsApp were being circulated to flame passion for riots, terrorism. He stressed that Twitter must appoint a grievance redressal officer and a compliance officer, as per the guidelines.

“Some of them say that we’re sure by American legal guidelines…You function in India, you earn cash in India, you’ve got good advert income in India, however if you happen to take the place that I’ll solely be ruled by legal guidelines of America…This is plainly not acceptable,” he said.

Mr Prasad further said: “You are free to do your small business in India however it’s important to be accountable to India’s Constitution and its legal guidelines… You need to have a harmonious relationship with the autonomy of those digital platforms and obligations of an unbiased, sovereign nation like India.”

The minister further remarked that if democracy is to survive, misinformation, fake news, colluded materials pose as challenges.

Twitter has been locked in a confrontation with the Indian government regarding non-compliance with new IT laws.

Mr Prasad, on June 25, said Twitter denied access to his account for almost an hour over alleged violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and asserted that its actions were in gross violation of the Information Technology Rules 2021.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police sent a notice to Twitter India regarding content on the microblogging website on child sexual abuse and pornographic material. The police also asked Twitter to remove the pornographic content and to share details of these accounts that had circulated it on the microblogging site.

Twitter had earlier lost its status as an intermediary platform in India as it does not comply with new IT rules.

Now, instead of being considered just a platform hosting content from various users, Twitter will be held directly editorially responsible for posts published on its platform.

The implication of this development is that if there is any charge against Twitter for alleged unlawful content it would be treated as a publisher – not an intermediary – and be liable for punishment under any law, including IT Act, as also the penal laws of the country.

Meanwhile, speaking on six years of the Digital India campaign, Mr Prasad at the India Global Forum said India has made a mark in terms of digital inclusion, which is a shining symbol of the programme. He added that India has become one of the biggest countries to host all the social media platforms.

“India has a inhabitants of 1.3 billion, is house to 1.29 billion Aadhaar card (holders), digital identities to complement the bodily id backed by a regulation with due regard to privateness. India is house to 1.18 billion telephones, out of which 100 million-plus are cellphones. India is house to 750 million smartphones, shifting computer systems and India is house to 750 million web connections, That is the profile of India,” he stated.

He additionally highlighted that India has the most cost effective web on the planet and has initiated over 50,000 startups, the third greatest on the planet.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by India07 workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)


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