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Discussions on with stakeholders on new IT Rules

As Big Tech companies continue to urge the government to remove certain provisions in the new IT Rules, 2021, Minister of State for IT and Electronics, Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday said said that the IT Ministry continues to have discussions with the stakeholders concerned.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said that the government’s goals are aimed at ensuring open, safe, trusted and accountable internet for its users.

“In this regard, this Ministry continues to have discussions with the concerned stakeholders including industry, legal experts and academicians to achieve our objectives including new legislations, amendments of the rules, etc. This Ministry has received many ideas during such consultation processes,” he said.

The existing Information Technology Act 2000 was enacted 22 years ago, he said.

“Since then, the technology and the internet today has evolved at a very fast pace. There is a paradigm change in the opportunity in the Cyberspace and the challenges associated with it, which was not envisaged in 2000,” Chandrasekhar added.

An industry group called Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) representing US-based Big Tech firms have urged India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to make changes in the proposed amendments to the country’s new IT Rules, 2021 which would “negate the government’s commitment to ease of doing business”.

In a letter to the IT Ministry, the coalition that represents Apple, Meta, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Spotify, among others, said that the proposed changes in the new IT Rules 2021 would affect continuity in business operations for all intermediaries that have made significant investments in the country in regard to technology, workforce, and other resources.

The republished draft by the IT Ministry has revealed a plan to form an appeals panel that can reverse content moderation decisions by Big Tech companies.

The new IT rules also require big social media platforms to help the government trace the originator of messages in special cases. Daijiworld

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