India will not be cowed in internet consultations: Ravi Shankar Prasad

By Sankalp Phartiyal MUMBAI (Reuters) - India will hold wide consultations with internet companies before finalising rules to regulate content on social media but will not hold back from framing laws that safeguard national interest, the country’s technology minister said. India, one of the world’s biggest internet markets, in late December proposed rules that will compel platforms such as Facebook, its WhatsApp messenger service and Twitter to remove within 24 hours unlawful content, such as anything that affects the “sovereignty and integrity of India'. The draft rules have prompted intense lobbying by technology companies, which say the proposals 'impose burdensome obligations'

Reuters February 21, 2019 00:06:19 IST
India will not be cowed in internet consultations: Ravi Shankar Prasad

India will not be cowed in internet consultations Ravi Shankar Prasad

By Sankalp Phartiyal

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India will hold wide consultations with internet companies before finalising rules to regulate content on social media but will not hold back from framing laws that safeguard national interest, the country’s technology minister said.

India, one of the world’s biggest internet markets, in late December proposed rules that will compel platforms such as Facebook, its WhatsApp messenger service and Twitter to remove within 24 hours unlawful content, such as anything that affects the “sovereignty and integrity of India".

The draft rules have prompted intense lobbying by technology companies, which say the proposals "impose burdensome obligations".

The rules, if implemented in their current form, are also likely to raise costs for companies by requiring them to monitor online content around the clock.

New Delhi, which is in the process of finalising the so-called intermediary rules, will be fair to all stakeholders, technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters on the sidelines of an IT conference in the financial capital of Mumbai on Wednesday.

"We'll be fair, we'll be objective, but India's sovereign right to frame rules and laws will always be there," he said.

The draft rules also come at a time when India, the world's largest democracy, heads for a general election before May and social media becomes a hotbed for circulation of fake political news.

Social media giant Facebook this month said it is toughening its advertising policies to create more transparency ahead of the vote. It also expanded its fact-checking network.

Rival Google has also conducted scores of workshops across the country to train journalists to verify news.

"As a minister, I want to assure that a social media company shall not be allowed to abuse the data of Indians to influence elections," Prasad said.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by David Goodman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Nine Chinese engineers among 13 killed in 'attack' on bus in northwest Pakistan
World

Nine Chinese engineers among 13 killed in 'attack' on bus in northwest Pakistan

The incident occurred in Dasu area of Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where Chinese engineers and construction workers are helping Pakistan build a dam which is part of CPEC

WPI inflation eases to 12.07% in June as food, crude prices soften
Business

WPI inflation eases to 12.07% in June as food, crude prices soften

Inflation in fuel and power basket eased to 32.83 percent during June, against 37.61 percent in May

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes
India

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes

The Pulitzer prize winner, who was in Kandahar covering operations against Taliban, was killed when he was riding along with the Afghan Special Forces