Censorship Of Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar & News Portal Starts; I&B Ministry Will Regulate Digital Content
In a big development, Govt of India has decided to impose strict censorship laws on all OTTs (Over The Top) platforms in India.
Now, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will regulate and monitor all digital content being produced and streamed in India.
Welcome to the dawn of censorship.
OTTs, News Portal Under Ministry Of Information & Broadcasting
In a sudden, unexpected development, all OTTs in India have been placed under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This means that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting can regulate, censor and monitor all the digital content being streamed online.
Hence, Netfix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, AltBalaji and all OTTs will now come under the purview of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Besides OTTs, this new order also covers all digital content sources, which includes online news sites, videos and images being shared online.
Basically, all digital content have been put under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s rules and regulations.
Govt has amended the Allocation of Business Rules, and have informed that “Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers” and “News and current affairs content on online platforms” will be placed under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
What Does This Mean For The Internet?
At present, digital content is not regulated in India. Digital content of any nature: news, blogs, shows, movies etc being streamed on Netflix, Amazon Prime and other OTTs are not governed by any law.
While newspapers are governed by the Press Council of India, news channels are monitored by News Broadcasters Association (NBA), whereas Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act regulates TV channels.
Advertising Standards Council of India observes the advertisements and Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) approves or disapproves of movies being shown on big screen.
But now, the Ministry Of Information & Broadcasting will censor and monitor digital content, and this means more censorship, more rules and more regulations.
In 2019, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had informed that Govt will not curb the freedom of media, but had also informed that “some kind of regulation” will be imposed for OTT players.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.