Internet Will Be Regulated, Censored In India – Govt. Says Social Media, Internet Threatening Democracy
This can be the turning point of India’s digital freedom.
Govt of India has declared that they will regulate, and censor the Internet, and especially social media, as it poses a threat to the very nature of democracy.
By January, 2020, a draft regulation will be created and shared with all the entities involved in this decision.
Can Internet and freedom of speech survive after this?
Internet Will Be Regulated, Censored In India: Govt. of India
In an ongoing case related with tracking of social media users, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India, wherein they have declared that social media and the Internet will be regulated in India.
The logic presented is that the Internet as a tool poses a threat to democracy.
In the affidavit, Govt said: “internet has emerged as a potent tool to cause unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity,”
Terming social media platforms as intermediaries, Govt has said they need to be “more liable towards the content that is published, transmitted, etc on their platform.”
Intermediaries here can be referred to as Whatsapp, Facebook, Youtube, and literally any social media app/platform currently active in India.
Why Internet Will Be Regulated In India?
The rise of fake news, and rumors online, which leads to violence and lynching has been attributed as the leading cause for regulating Internet in India.
Anti-national activities too, have been mentioned as the cause.
The affidavit said, “If on one hand, technology has led to economic growth and societal development, on the other hand, there has been an exponential rise in hate speech, fake news, public order, anti-national activities, defamatory postings and other unlawful activities using internet/social media platforms,”
Infact, this affidavit was filed in the case related with Govt. of India and Facebook.
Govt. is forcing Whatsapp to decrypt all messages, and track the users behind any hate message or fake message, or message related with anti-national sentiments.
Facebook, which owns Whatsapp, has vigorously opposed this move by Govt., citing privacy protection of all users.
The draft regulation will shared by January 2020, and all concerned parties including netizens, various government departments/ministries, social media platforms, messaging platforms, websites and mobile apps will be consulted for the same.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.