The Government of India has issued a final notice to the microblogging platform Twitter for complying with the new IT rules for digital media intermediaries.
Rakesh Maheshwari, group coordinator for cyberlaw at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in a letter to Twitter’s deputy general counsel Jim Baker, said that the new intermediary guideline rules have become effective from May 26, 2021, It has been more than a week but Twitter has refused to comply with the provisions of these rules.
The letter read, “It is dismayed to note that your (Twitter’s) responses to the ministry’s letters neither address the clarifications sought by this ministry nor indicate full compliance with the rules.”
The letter further read, “It is clear from the responses till date that Twitter has not informed about the details of the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the rules,” the ministry’s notice stated. Further, the Resident Grievance Officer and Nodal Contact Person nominated is not an employee of Twitter Inc. in India as prescribed in the rules”
“The refusal to comply demonstrates Twitter’s Lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform. The world’s largest democracy has been among the first countries in the world, outside the parent country of Twitter Inc, enthusiastically adopt the Twitter platform,” the letter read.
It further stated, “Despite being operational in India for more than a decade, it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc. has doggedly refused to create mechanisms that will enable the people of India to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner and through fair processes, by India based, clearly identified resources. Leave alone proactively creating such a mechanism, Twiner Inc. is in the inglorious bracket of refusing to do so even when mandated by law.”
The letter said that such non-compliance would cause Twitter to lose its ‘intermediary’ status in India under Section 79 of the IT Act and the platform shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India.