TheNFAPost Podcast

New Delhi, NFAPost: The ongoing tussle between the Government of India India and Twitter has reached a flashpoint as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a final notice to the California-headquartered social media company to comply with India’s IT Act.

In a letter issued on Saturday, MeitY alleged that the Ministry’s letters on 26th and 28th May this year didn’t elicit a clear response from Twitter to clarifications raised nor indicate full compliance with rules.

“It is clear from your responses that to date Twitter has not informed about the details of the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the rules. Further, the Resident Grievance Officer and Nodal Contact Person nominated by you is not an employee of Twitter Inc. India as prescribed by Rules,” states the MeiTY letter which is accessed by NFAPost.

The letter also highlighted the fact that even though the law came into effect on 26th May Twitter didn’t show any interest to comply with the provisions of the Rules. “Needless to state, such non-compliance will lead to unintended consequences, including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary available under section 79 of the information technology Act 2000,” states the letter.

The government came up with new regulations as the public expanded their dependency on social media for news, entertainment, etc and it is misused for spreading hatred and misinformation. Consequently, on the 25 February of this year, the Government issued the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on June 4th held a meeting that concluded that Twitter had not complied with the rules.

The government last month accused Twitter of attempting to “dictate terms to the world’s largest democracy” and “defame India to hide their own follies,” escalating their dispute after the social network accused officials of intimidation.

It gave that statement after Twitter protested a Delhi Police team vising its premises in Delhi to deliver a notice in the inquiry pertaining to the labeling of posts by senior members of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The company issued a statement on May 27 describing the police visit as “intimidation tactics” and expressing concern about the government’s actions and IT rules that threaten to curb free speech.

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