Govt New IT Rules For Social Media Would Mandate Traceability Of Originator

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Government is reportedly finalising it’s IT rules for social media which would mandate traceability of originator of information on such platforms and removal of malicious content within 24 hours of notice, Parliament was informed on Thursday, 21 November, reported news agency PTI.

The proposed new norms include deployment of technology-based automated tools or appropriate mechanisms for proactively identifying and removing or disabling public access to unlawful information or content, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Dhotre said: “MeitY received 171 comments and 80 counter comments from individual, civil society, industry associations and organisations. The comments so received have been analysed and the Rules are being finalised.”

He noted that social media platforms are intermediaries as defined in the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, and that they have to follow certain due diligence as prescribed in the IT Rules.

Dhotre said the key features of proposed amendments in the due diligence to be followed by intermediaries include periodically informing the users for compliance of rules and regulations as well as users agreement and privacy policy.

The proposal also suggests that social media platforms will have to bring in traceability of the originator of the information, and remove malicious content in 24 hours upon receiving a court order or when notified by appropriate government authorities, he added.

The Union government had informed the apex court that the new rules are expected to be notified by 15 January 2020.