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Delhi high court says Twitter in ‘total non compliance’ of new IT rules

An Indian court said statements by Twitter Inc. “clearly show total non-compliance” with the country’s new information technology rules, a development that can potentially escalate the ongoing tensions between the social media giant and the Indian government.

The high court in Delhi gave the social media giant a week to respond on how it intends to comply. “I am giving you a long rope but please don’t expect this to go on and on,” Justice Rekha Palli said during the hearing.

The new rules require online companies in India to make stricter disclosures, with the large social media companies to appoint dedicated officers for redressing grievance against content and compliance.

Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp has already challenged the new rules that also demand messaging apps reveal to authorities information about encrypted messages. Non compliance of rules can result in losing legal immunity from prosecution for content posted by users on social platforms.

During the hearing the judge said the affidavits, or statements under oath, submitted by Twitter and its official were “unacceptable” as the company had appointed an employee through a third party contractor as its compliance and grievance officer, instead of a senior person in the company as required by the rules.

Twitter’s lawyer Sajan Poovayya told the court that the company was in the process to comply with the rules and is also setting up a liaison office in India. He said the company will submit a new statement before the hearing next week. Live Mint

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