Technology

New IT rules | Twitter yet to share details with government


Twitter is yet to share details of their Chief Compliance Officer for the India market — a key requirement under the new IT Rules, with the government, a Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) source said, adding that most other major social media intermediaries, including Google, Facebook and WhatApp had submitted compliance details.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) had written to all significant social media intermediaries, who have over 50 lakh registered users in India, on Wednesday requesting details of compliance “ASAP and preferably today itself”.

The U.S.-headquartered Twitter, which is at loggerheads with the India government over the new IT guidelines, on Thursday, had raised concerns over some requirements under the new rules, including making an individual (the compliance officer) criminally liable for content on the platform. The platform also pointed out that the requirements for proactive monitoring, and the blanket authority to seek information about its customers represents dangerous overreach that is inconsistent with open, democratic principles.

The company had also noted that it was compelled to withhold some content, constituting legitimate free speech, in response to a non-compliance notice as not doing so poses penal consequences with many risks for Twitter employees. 

“After a firm response from the Government yesterday [Thursday], Twitter sent a communication late last night, sharing details of a lawyer working in a law firm in India as their Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer,” a Ministry source said, adding that the company, however, has not sent the details of the Chief Compliance Officer.

The source added that most major social media intermediaries such as Google, Facebook, Koo, Sharechat, Telegram, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp, have shared the details of their Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer with MeitY, as required by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

While Twitter had on Thursday expressed concerns over “intimidation tactics” by Delhi Police and “potential threat to freedom of expression” in India, the government has hit back saying that Twitter needed to stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of the land.

Twitter did not comment on the matter.

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