There’s some dangerous information in retailer for social media companies as the federal government plans to tighten middleman tips in such a way that the immunity granted to them from authorized liabilities for internet hosting third-party content material could get diluted.
In such a situation, companies comparable to Twitter, Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, and over-the-top gamers like Netflix, Amazon, and many others, generally known as intermediaries, could face increased authorized dangers.
A brand new legislation – Digital India Act – is within the works, which might incorporate all facets overlaying cyber safety, social media, digital companies, private information safety, and many others, sources within the authorities mentioned.
Currently, Section 79 of the IT Act gives an middleman standing to social media firms. This standing gives them exemptions and sure immunity from liabilities for any third-party content material and information hosted by them. It’s solely when these companies fail to take away or block any content material as directed by the federal government that they’re liable to face penal motion, which can see their executives being jailed additionally.
Sources mentioned that there’s a pondering within the authorities that the protected harbour provisions beneath which intermediaries are exempt from authorized liabilities is altering internationally and India mustn’t lag behind. However, no mounted timeline or newer provisions changing the present ones have nonetheless been finalised.
“The point is that what is applicable in analogue world, should be applicable in digital world. Our thought process is that we have to have accountability on social media because it is affecting our society, our social life, our family life, our personal life, etc… there is a consensus on the issue,” mentioned a authorities supply.
Last yr, the federal government had led to a complete set of latest tips as a part of the IT Act to manage social media intermediaries in addition to over-the-top platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and stand-alone digital media retailers. It had tightened some clauses beneath Section 69A of the IT Act whereas mandating companies to nominate grievance redressal officers within the nation and resolve client grievances inside a selected time interval, in addition to have designated nodal officers for coordination with the federal government over legislation and order issues.
For messaging platforms like WhatsApp a brand new requirement was inserted that the businesses have to supply the primary originator of what’s deemed as mischievous messages. Some of the provisions have been challenged by WhatsApp and Google and the matter is sub judice at the moment.
“Safe harbour is a construct of late 80s when social media and Internet were not present. The concept of complete safe harbour is redundant now,” sources mentioned.