New IT rules: 7 social media platforms comply with some guidelines; Twitter drags feet

Seven social media platforms have complied with some of the rules under the new IT rules that came into effect earlier this week. Koo, Sharechat, Telegram, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, WhatsApp have shared the list of their Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person, and Grievance Officer as envisaged under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 with India’s Information Technology(IT) ministry. IT ministry is the main nodal ministry that deals with the matter. 

The rules were notified in February and 3-month time period was given to social media platforms to implement them. Other key issues like traceability remain–that is the first origin of any message, the details of which have to be shared with the authorities under the new rules.

WhatsApp has gone to the Delhi High Court over that rule, saying that it will mean a breach of the fundamental right to privacy and violates its end-to-end encryption. The government has dismissed that saying no fundamental right is absolute and the rules are “reasonable restrictions”.

Meanwhile, Twitter is yet to follow the rule and told the government that it is nominating a lawyer as its Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer. According to the rules, the officers should be employees of the company and residents in India. Interestingly, Twitter sent the communication late last night, a day that saw the government slamming Twitter over non-implementation of new IT rules. 

The government statement said, “Twitter needs to stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of the land” and reminded it that “lawmaking and policy formulations is the sole prerogative of the sovereign and Twitter is just a social media platform and it has no locus in dictating what India’s legal policy framework should be.”

Twitter is yet to send out the details of the Chief Compliance Officer to the government as mentioned in the IT rules.

(With inputs from DNA India)

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