This week’s events reveal the challenges facing Facebook (Facebook), Twitter (Twitter) and Google (Google). Know about it in detail …
The biggest names in technology are facing disputes and tense situation with India over strict and new social media regulations, they fear it will end privacy, start mass surveillance and the world’s fastest growing market. There will be loss in business.
The impact of the growing WhatsApp and digital controversy in India is visible even to Silicon Valley. This week’s events highlight the challenges facing Facebook (Twitter) and Google (Google) as they try to navigate the Indian political scene and tackle the new rules, which go into effect on Wednesday. were supposed.
The Indian police visited the Twitter office on Monday, after labeling a tweet from a leading official of the governing party as “manipulative media”. On Tuesday, WhatsApp sued the Indian government over the new rules. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration reprimanded the Facebook-owned platform for “blatant disregard” of following the “law of the land” and on Thursday, Twitter said that it would be concerned about the safety of its employees in the country. I was “worried”.
Modi’s government insists that the new rules are appropriate and will help protect national security, maintain public order and reduce crime by making it easier to identify sources of viral misinformation. Tech companies say the rules are incompatible with democratic principles.
This is just a new conflict in the increasingly contentious relationship between American tech companies and one of their largest markets. The ruling party of India has stepped up its action on social media and messaging apps this year, especially since a second COVID-19 wave has engulfed the country.
Delhi Police visits Twitter office
Twitter’s decision to label the tweet of a spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party made it a visit to the Delhi Police. Police said the tour was “part of a routine process” so that Twitter could cooperate in its investigation. The social media giant called it a “scare tactic”. The company said in a statement on Thursday, “We, along with many people in civil society in India and around the world, use police bullying tactics to enforce our global terms of service, as well as new IT regulations.” There is concern about it. ” Twitter said, “We plan to advocate changes to these rules that prevent free, open public dialogue.”
In a statement late Thursday night, the Delhi Police described the Twitter response as “baseless and inaccurate”.
Mass surveillance or national security
The new rules released in February include a demand that companies make special compliance officers in India. There are also requirements that the services remove certain content, including “full or partial nudity” posts. In addition, technology platforms will have to locate the “first originator” of the messages when asked by the authorities. The company said that this demand would break the “end-to-end encryption” of the platform and fundamentally undermine people’s right to privacy.
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology called the WhatsApp lawsuit an “unfortunate attempt” to stop the new rules from being implemented at the last minute. The ministry said it respects the right to privacy and abuses or sexualizes platforms when necessary to investigate or prevent “very serious crimes” related to India’s sovereignty, security and integrity, public order, rape, child sex. The explicit data will ask to be disclosed privately only.
But privacy is not the only concern that social media companies have. They are required to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, who can be held liable in any action if the flagged material is not removed. WhatsApp and Twitter have told CNN Business that they find this requirement problematic.
Fear of censorship in Silicon Valley firms
Indian officials have also asked Silicon Valley firms to remove the posts this year. In April, the government asked Facebook and Twitter to remove about 100 posts, including some that were critical of Modi’s COVID-19 response. In February, a few weeks before the new social media rules were published, India pressured Twitter to delete accounts that were believed to be on fire. Twitter said on Thursday that it is concerned about the “possible threat to freedom of expression” in the country.
But with crores of internet users and more online every day, India is a huge market for any technology company to ignore. While WhatsApp has taken the unusual step of prosecuting officials, Google and Twitter have indicated a willingness to engage with the government over most of the requirements in the new rules.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the Press Trust of India on Wednesday, “Obviously it’s early days and our local teams are very busy … We always respect the local laws of the country we work in and Work in a constructive way. ” Twitter said in its statement on Thursday, “We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Government of India and believe that it is important to adopt a collaborative approach.”
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