close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
February 27, 2021

Indian social media rules could threaten free expression

World

AFP
February 27, 2021

NEW DELHI: Internet freedom advocates on Friday warned new Indian social media regulations could pose a threat to freedom of expression, after New Delhi announced plans for tough new rules that could force platforms to remove content it deems objectionable.

Under the new regulations — unveiled on Thursday and due to come into force in three months — social media platforms, online streaming services and digital news services could be forced to remove content 36 hours after a complaint is made.

Tech companies will also have to disclose the origin of a “mischievous tweet or message” if asked by an Indian court or the government. That could lead to encrypted messages — a fundamental selling point for the Facebook-owned platform Whatsapp, which boasts hundreds of millions of users in India — being exposed.

Mozilla, developer of the Firefox internet browser used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, called for the regulations to be withdrawn. “In their current form, these rules will undeniably harm freedom of expression, privacy and security and could be subject to legal challenges,” said Mozilla Corporation public policy advisor Udbhav Tiwari.

“Provisions like traceability of encrypted content, harsh content take down timelines and automated content filtering are blunt and disproportionate to the intention behind these changes.” Other Indian activists have also warned that the regulations could be challenged in court.