World Tech

Twitter calls out GoI’s new IT rules; MeitY hits back

The Government of India (GoI) has recently put in place new rules for IT services that warrant a lot of discussion. The government has a new IT policy which allows vendors (including mobile operators) to have a 25% share of the IT services market in the country. The rules are so vague that they allow any vendor — be it a large global IT services company or a small local IT services company — to offer these services. The draft policy has now been sent to the Cabinet for approval.

The latest of the Department of Information Technology’s (DIT) many rules and guidelines are yet again being slammed by social media users. Amidst the ongoing debate over the government’s fresh set of IT guidelines, the DIT has issued a new set of guidelines—the IT Rules 2017— which regulate various aspects of the cyber world.

The Indian government’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has reacted sharply to Twitter’s claim that Delhi police raided Twitter’s offices earlier this week. In a statement, Twitter called the raid a harassment tactic that has the company concerned about the safety of its employees in the country and freedom of expression on the platform. On Monday, a team of the anti-terrorism brigade visited two Twitter offices in the Delhi-NCR area. The purpose of this visit is to inform that Twitter has flagged several tweets by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as media manipulation, after it was alleged that the material posted in the tweets was fake. In the news: WhatsApp has filed a case against the government in a Delhi court over traceability. In a statement released Thursday, Twitter condemned the government’s use of police to enforce key elements of the new IT rules. The company also expressed concern about its employees in India and the potential threat to the freedom of speech of the people we serve. We intend to advocate for changes to those elements of these rules that prevent free and open public discussion. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government and we believe that a cooperative approach is essential. – Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) May 27, 2021 The microblogging site wants to push for changes to these new rules, which could hinder free and open public communication. The company plans to take a cooperative approach with the Indian government through constructive dialogue. In response to Twitter’s actions, the Indian government on Thursday issued a statement strongly condemning Twitter’s stance on the new IT rules. MeitY’s press release called Twitter’s allegation completely baseless, false and an attempt to defame India to hide its own stupidity. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a statement on Twitter in response to the allegations. The statement also points out that Twitter has not set up a grievance mechanism in India and that Twitter’s representatives in India are forced to go to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, where they reportedly have no authority. The statement also strongly defended the new IT rules: It was finalised after the widest possible consultation, including representatives of social media platforms. The MeitY also states that it has made the draft regulations available to the public and has invited public comment. The announcement also assures that Twitter and other social media in India remain safe and that there is no threat to their personal safety. word-image-18396 In the news: Instagram users can now hide the Like counter. Facebook will follow suit. word-image-18397 Someone who writes, edits, films, presents technology programs and races virtual machines in their spare time. You can contact Yadullah at [email protected] or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.

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