Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter Will Be Forced To Reveal Your Identity Within 72 Hrs; No Warrant Will Be Required?
Very soon, every social media network in India will be forced to reveal the identity of users to the Govt.
And no warrant will be required as well.
Lawyers have already termed this forceful user identification as devastating, and soon, this will become a reality.
Welcome to the new Digital India.
Social Media Portals Will Be Forced To Reveal Identities
As per a report by Bloomberg, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is now all set to regulate social media in India. A draft of the proposed rules and regulations was shared last year, and discussions were invited.
Although IAMAI along with social networks have opposed the new regulations, it seems that Govt will implement them anyways.
Officially, there has been no confirmation, and this report is based on insider reports.
N.N. Kaul, the media adviser to the minister of electronics & information technology said, “The guidelines for intermediaries are under process. We cannot comment on the guidelines or changes till they are published.”
In their opposition, IAMAI, which is a powerful association and lobby of Internet and mobile companies in India had said that the new rules “would be a violation of the right to privacy recognized by the Supreme Court.”
What Will Happen Under Regulation Of Social Media?
As per the new rules, any social media having more than 5 million users will be mandated to furnish details of their users, as and when required by the Govt.
Even a warrant won’t be necessary to impose this action.
Infact, within 72 hours, the details of the users will have to be provided by the social media companies, and for 180 days, the data regarding the users and their activities need to be preserved.
Besides, every social media company operating in India will have to maintain a brick and mortar office, and appoint a grievance officer to handle queries and concerns of the users, as well as the Govt.
Data regarding foreign users of social media portals operating in India can be furnished, but no details are available regarding this.
How Will This Impact Indian Users?
There are more than 40 crore social media users in India, and if these regulations come into force, then their identities will be revealed, and it will be severe blow to privacy of users.
Few weeks back, Mozilla (makers of Firefox browser), Github, Cloudflare and other companies wrote an open letter to Govt. where they said that the new rules will implement “automated censorship” and “increase surveillance” for users in India.
Interestingly, Mozilla, Wikipedia doesnt fall into the scope of the law.
Browsers, operating systems online repositories of knowledge, software development platforms are exempted from the regulation.
Only social media portals like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and others; and messengers such as Whatsapp would have to follow the rules.
Govt is stating that increased fake news, and provocative speeches/content shared on social media has made it necessary to regulate it.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.