Amendments To The IT Rules, 2021:
Government notified amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.
- These are aimed at making internet-open, safe & trusted and accountable, for the digital nagriks of the country.
Key Amendments to IT Rules, 2021:
- New Guidelines for Social Media Intermediaries:
- Currently, intermediaries are only required to inform users about not uploading certain categories of harmful/unlawful content.
- These amendments impose a legal obligation on intermediaries to take reasonable efforts to prevent users from uploading such content.
- The new provision will ensure that the intermediary’s obligation is not a mere formality.
- The amendment requires intermediaries to respect the rights guaranteed to users under the Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, therefore, including a reasonable expectation of due diligence, privacy and transparency.
- For effective communication of the rules and regulations of the intermediary, it is important that the communication is done in regional Indian languages as well.
- Amendments to the Rule 3:
- The grounds in subclause 1 of rule 3 (rule 3(1)(b)(ii)) have been rationalized by removing the words ‘defamatory’ and ‘libellous’.
- Whether any content is defamatory or libellous will be determined through judicial review.
- Some of the content categories in subclause 1 of rule 3 (rule 3(1)(b)) have been rephrased to deal particularly with misinformation, and content that could incite violence between different religious/caste groups.
- Establishment of Grievance Appellate Committee(s):
- Grievance Appellate Committee(s) will be established to allow users to appeal against the inaction of, or decisions taken by intermediaries on user complaints.
- However, users will always have the right to approach courts for any remedy.