Transparency sought on internet rules

Global Internet companies on Tuesday said they have sent an open letter to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, calling the government for improved transparency related to intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules and allay fears like tilting the playing field in favour of large players, substantially increase surveillance and prompting a fragmentation of the Internet in India that would harm users.
Transparency sought on internet rules
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi

The Centre proposed changes to its intermediary rules that would require the intermediary to inform its users at least once every month, that in case of non-compliance with rules and regulations, the intermediary has the right to immediately terminate the access or usage rights of the users to the computer resource of Intermediary and remove non-compliant information.

“When required by lawful order, the intermediary shall, within 72 hours of communication, provide such information or assistance as asked for by any government agency or assistance concerning security of the State or cyber security,” said the proposed intermediary rules.

Mozilla, Microsoft-owned GitHub and Cloudflare called for improved transparency by allowing the public an opportunity to see a final version of these amendments prior to their enactment. “We are writing to urge you to ensure the planned amendments to India’s intermediary liability regime allow for the internet to remain an open, competitive, and empowering space for Indians,” the companies said.

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