Our commitment to privacy is unattainable, says Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, regarding the outcry over new IT rules imposed by the government. “Do they allow the free flow of expression and expression by not obeying the mandate of the Constitution of India and following unilateral regulations made by themselves?” he asked.
Prasad, in an interaction with The Indian Express, said that social media platforms decide on which content will go and which will not, or which account will be closed. “Our history of defending democratic values is too well known to them. But if you have a double standard for India compared to other big countries, this is clearly not acceptable. The issue is India’s digital sovereignty. “
The Union minister noted that the new guidelines did not suddenly appear. He said there were court orders to the same and parliamentary committees have deliberated on the issue. “There is a Supreme Court order of September 24, 2019, which says very categorically that various messages and content that are shared and disseminated on platforms, managed by intermediaries, are harmful and can spread violence. The court noted that the Social media has become a source of a great deal of pornography, drugs, weapons and other types of smuggling, and it is because of these specific circumstances that it is essential to have a properly framed regime to get to know the people, institutions or bodies that are the authors of this content or messages. “
As for intermediaries, Prasad said they cannot be prevented from making statements. He explained that the government only asks social media intermediaries to give voice to common users, a mechanism for reparation to victims of abuse and misuse of social media.
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“Social media intermediaries get good income here. Some of them have the largest user base in India. But please, ask users to come to America. Not only is it surprising, but it shows a kind of hesitation in the commitment with the users “, he emphasized. “The second thing we have noticed is his reluctance to appear before the Indian parliamentary committees. They can appear before the American Congress. Even the owners of these platforms appear before the committees of the Senate and the House of Commons, but not here. They are welcome to do business in India, but they will have to follow the laws and the Constitution of India. ”